Alabama Issues Hotel Rooms Advisory due to Hurricane Dennis
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2005
(Montgomery, Ala.) — Gulf Coast residents and tourists seeking refuge
from hurricane Dennis will have a better chance to find hotel rooms in
Birmingham and Huntsville than other cities in Alabama, State Tourism
Director Lee Sentell said Friday.
About 1,000 of Jefferson County’s 12,000 hotel rooms remained available
late Friday afternoon, according to a survey by the Alabama Bureau of
Tourism & Travel. About 1,300 of Huntsville’s 5,200 rooms were available
Friday. Decatur, west of I-65 had 500 of its 1,700 rooms open.
South Alabama hotels and motels reported being virtually sold out for
Friday night, with only scattered vacancies further north in Montgomery,
Auburn and Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has 59,000 hotel guest rooms, but nearly 40 percent are south
of Interstate 10 in Mobile and Baldwin counties, the area under evacuation,
Sentell said. Hotels along interstate routes reported brisk reservation
on Friday. Hotels in smaller cities away from major highways had more
The state tourism agency planned to staff the north-bound Clanton Rest
Area on I-65 to share hotel room information with travelers, Sentell said.
Motorists were also encouraged to phone the state tourism agency at 1-
800-Alabama on Saturday for vacancy information.