Baton Rouge hotels booked with evacuees, emergency teams

The Courtyard Marriott in Baton Rouge. (File photo)

Baton Rouge hotels are all booked up—some through September—with evacuees from hurricane-devastated areas and emergency personnel brought in to assist with post-storm cleanup.<

The Renaissance Hotel, Hotel Indigo, Courtyard Marriott and Hampton Inn are full for at least the next few weeks.

The Renaissance is housing evacuees from mostly Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, says General Manager Nathaniel Tannehill, along with first responders who are working to get power back up in surrounding areas and supplemental workers for agencies like the police department and search and rescue.

Of the guests in Hotel Indigo’s 93 rooms, Miranda Barcelona, director of operations, says 50% are evacuees and 50% are restoration workers. Many local businesses are also using their conference rooms to connect to Wi-Fi and internet service.

Barcelona and her staff have been fielding around 200-300 calls a day from people trying to book rooms.

Everyone responding to the storm is coming through Baton Rouge, says Ben Blackwell, general manager of the Courtyard Marriott and Hampton Inn. His hotels have hosted evacuees as well as rescue, energy and oil and gas workers. 

The Renaissance was prepared for the storm, Tannehill says, and had a backup generator for the entire hotel, although they remained on the main grid through the weather.

Barcelona and her team were not expecting an influx of refugees since Baton Rouge was originally in the storm’s path, she says, but they were prepared. They made sure to have enough linens, towels and soap for a high number of guests.

Hotel Indigo also waived all pet fees, she says.

Baton Rouge area hotels may stay booked up for a while. New Orleans is not expected to fully regain power for a few weeks, Blackwell says. Until then, many evacuees will want to stay as close to home as possible.