Hotel business is booming after ice storm

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - February 6, 2014

"I think I called like 10 places," said Michelle Gibbs. "Finally, I got it through a website."

The Gibbs family, mom, Michelle and kids, Alex and Emma, were lucky to find a room at the Doubletree Hilton in King of Prussia.

Nearly all the hotels in Upper Merion are filled to capacity, and the same is true for most of Montgomery County.

"We began filling up yesterday morning," said Doug, Snaveley, Doubletree Hilton.

Wednesday night, the Gibbs family huddled by the fireplace in their Villanova home.

"It was horrible. It was really tough. My husband grabbed a mattress and brought it down to the front of the fireplace with one kid on either couch," said Michelle. "It is also hard because you don't know if school is going to be tomorrow."

One reason the Gibbs were able to book a room was because occasionally someone who has already checked in gets a call from PECO that their power was back on.

"We left the house about 4, and it was about 54 degrees in the house," said Sanober McNellis. "But we called our neighbor, they said the power was back on, and then PECO called and said the power was on."

One woman, her husband, young daughter and parents checked in at the Doubletree in King of Prussia Wednesday afternoon after they couldn't find a hotel anywhere in Bluebell.

"We were calling all over the place, calling hotels closer to our home. They were all packed. This was the only place," said McNellis.

"We have people here moving in and out of the hotel. As they get electricity, others get in who still don't have electricity. We expect to be busy tonight and see what the weekend brings for us," said Snaveley.

There were no rooms available at the Doubletree Hilton when Action News left, and none at more than a dozen other hotels we called.

But hotel staff members say that could change at any time as customers slowly begin receiving word that their power has been restored.

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