Oxford Suites opened last month. Now it's packed with exhausted evacuees.
After opening just last month, the Oxford Suites hotel in Rohnert Park is at 100 percent occupancy, and is receiving multiple calls a day for new reservations.
It's a mixed blessing for the hotel, however, as most of the guests are evacuees of Sonoma County fires.
The 163-room hotel was operating at 40 percent occupancy before fires broke out, said Gennero Filice, assistant general manager.
The hotel is trying to ease the hardship of fire-victim guests. Any and all pets, already including a few rabbits, are allowed in all rooms. Free continental breakfasts are offered, and appetizers, soup and snacks are being served each evening.
'We want to make sure they get two meals a day,' Filice said.
The hotel ballrooms have been converted into theaters, one for children's movies and one for others, and a clothing drive is already bringing in items.
Each guest who has been displaced has a heartbreaking story, Filice said. Many of the hotel's workers do as well, and yet they listen to everyone else's story.
'To hear it over and over, it's hard,' he said.
Owners of the Oxford Suites will send 200 gift bags for staff that include $50 gift cards and other items, Filice said.
Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.