It was a packed house at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Conference Center in Suffern after Superstorm Sandy rolled through the region. For the first two and a half weeks, the hotel’s 230 rooms were booked to capacity.
While there were power outages throughout Rockland County and much of the region, Crowne Plaza Suffern was open and busy because of the hotel’s recently purchased generator, which provided electricity to the entire facility during this outage. The guests at the hotel were impressed by the seamless interruption to the overall operation.
Crowne Plaza Suffern became temporary housing to utility crews, emergency workers, the National Guard, displaced families and the elderly. The hotel added 60 rollaway beds to assist guests to house their families. During the day, people in the community were welcomed into the hotel to warm up, recharge batteries and take advantage of free WiFi access.
“It has been our pleasure to serve so many people in need,” said Robert E. Wilson, general manager of the hotel. “We were fortunate to remain fully operational and glad to share our facilities with people looking for a respite for a few hours, a temporary home or a place to stay while they helped with cleanup efforts.”
Out-of-town insurance claim adjustors continue to utilize the hotel while they continue to work around New York City, Long Island and New Jersey.
The hotel served family style buffets for breakfast and dinner in order to accommodate as many food services to the guests.
Utility crews from Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina stayed at the hotel as did displaced families from Rockland and Westchester counties, and Bergen County, N.J. The hotel added an additional 20 cots that were set up in the ballroom for emergency workers one evening
“Your team is first class and I would like to personally thank you guys for your effort,” Christopher Tofallos, an energy delivery specialist with Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., said in an email note to Crowne Plaza Suffern. “People don’t always appreciate what goes on behind the scenes but with the thousands of contractors we were lodging it is always comforting from my perspective that we have friends at the Crowne Plaza helping the cause.”
Dr. Ray Zirkel, who was displaced with his wife from their Monsey home because of the storm and stayed at Crowne Plaza, wrote to Wilson:
“My wife and I had lost the electricity to our house and we were able to find a room at the Crowne Plaza in Suffern. Our original booking was for seven days but the power had not been restored for 11 days. We asked the staff if we could extend so we would not have to return to a freezing cold dark house and they always were able to find a way to provide a warm and safe room for us at the hotel.”
“It was our objective to keep people safe and happy during this difficult time,” Wilson said. “It was a very trying time but our staff did an amazing job and I am very honored to work with such an incredible team. Employees were sleeping over and staying in their offices while also dealing with their own families and homes.”
About Crown Plaza Suffern
Crowne Plaza Suffern is conveniently located just off New York Thruway Exit 14B. Woodbury Common Premium Outlets are about 20 minutes north and New York City is about an hour south of the hotel. Shuttle bus service is available to Stewart International Airport and Westchester County Airport, both of which are about 30 minutes from the hotel. Shuttles also take guests to the nearby commuter rail station serving Manhattan.
For more information on Crowne Plaza Suffern, call (845) 357-4800 or visit cpsuffernhotel.com