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Florida hotel chain offers hurricane ‘distress rates’ for Idalia evacuations

Aug 06, 2023

Rosen Hotels and Resorts in Orlando is lowering room costs ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is expected to strengthen to a hurricane.

The hotel chain announced Monday it activated “distress rates” for Florida residents who want to evacuate inland. Rooms start at $69 per night and each hotel is waiving pet fees.

“This is an unexpected expense, not a staycation,” Rosen Hotels director of guest contact Jennifer Rice-Palmer said in a statement.

Idalia is forecast to become a major hurricane before reaching Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Pasco County already issued mandatory evacuation orders for Zone A on Monday morning. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Floridians on the coast should expect more to come.

It is illegal for hotels to raise rates during a state of emergency, which Florida has been under since Saturday. Businesses cannot price gouge essential items like lumber, ice, water, generators or shelter before or after a storm.

If consumers suspect price gouging, they should report it to Florida’s attorney general’s office.

Rosen Hotels said it’s reducing rates so evacuees can save money during a storm emergency. Rosen Plaza rooms start at $99, Rosen Centre at $109 and Rosen Shingle Creek begins at $129. The prices don’t include taxes. The rooms offer free Wi-Fi.

“We do this because it is the right thing to do,” said Rosen Hotel founder Harris Rosen in a statement. “The safety of our guests, our associates and families across Florida is something we will go to great lengths to protect.”

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