Los Cabos Begins Cleanup After Most Devastating Storm in 50 Years

In the aftermath of the most devastating hurricane to hit Los Cabos in 50 years, the region’s tourism industry is still in the process of assessing the damage from Hurricane Odile. Most hotels have closed, at least temporarily, and tour operators are working to rebook travelers who were scheduled to travel to the destination in the next several weeks.

The San José del Cabo International Airport said it will take several more days to clean debris and repair damages to the terminal buildings. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Sept 22.

The control tower, runways and ramps have been repaired to enable the Mexican Air Force to conduct emergency evacuations, a statement said. “This on-going airlift is also transporting much needed food and medical supplies to the affected areas of the Los Cabos region.”

Airport officials said that Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and WestJet are assisting with evacuation and relief flights.

The La Paz International Airport was scheduled to resume regular service on Sept. 18.
Area hotels, meanwhile, have begun to assess the damage to their properties.

The Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa Hotel said it will remain closed until Nov. 14. For more information call 800.504.5000.

Travelers booked at the Riu Santa Fe and Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas are encouraged to call 800.225.5748 regarding cancellations and change of dates.

“We have 150 staff at the Hotel Riu Santa Fe and 120 at the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas,” a statement said. “Some employees left the premises yesterday to check whether their families were safe, despite the danger involved in traveling at the moment due to the floods. Many of them have returned to the hotels and others, who were not present when the hurricane hit, have joined their colleagues in looking after guests and in cleaning tasks.”

Officials from Riu said that the hotels have both food and water for guests. “With the support of the Civil Protection Service, all measures are being taken to re-establish supplies over the coming hours and days,” the statement said.

Teams of Riu employees from other properties in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Guadalajara will travel to the destination to help with support and clean up once the airport is open.

AMResorts said all guests have been evacuated from its resorts and are being taken by government planes to other Mexican airports for flights to their final destinations. A spokeswoman for the company said the resorts are scheduled to resume business on Oct. 15. Affected resorts include Secrets Marquis Los Cabos, Zoëtry Casa del Mar Los Cabos, Dreams Los Cabos and Secrets Puerto Los Cabos.

Starwood’s Westin Los Cabos Resort & Spa and Sheraton Hacienda del MarGold Resort & Spa are not expected to reopen until Oct. 31. Starwood said that it would assist guests in rebooking to other properties and would waive all change or cancellation penalties for guests who were scheduled to arrive in September and October.

Westin Los Cabos guests were transferred to the airport and are being evacuated on government and military aircraft.

The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort said it is still in the process of assessing the damage and will not be able to accommodate existing reservations or accept new ones. The property said is attending to the guests who were at the hotel when Odile hit with meals and water.

One&Only Palmilla said its guests were evacuated ahead of the storm. The property is in the process of rescheduling and cancelling reservations for arrival dates on or before Sept. 30. For more information, call 866.829.2977.

Hyatt Place Los Cabos said that it has closed and will not be accepting any reservations until further notice.

Pueblo Bonito Resorts’ Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos and Pueblo Bonito Rose said that, although the properties were damaged, none of the damage appears to be structural. It has not yet determined when its resorts will be operational again.

The Capella Pedregal is also in the process of assessing damage and said it will not accept reservations until after Sept. 30.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso said it will remain closed for the time being, as will be unable to fully assess damage until after the rain stops. Its guests were transferred to San Diego before the hurricane hit.

On the tour operator front, Pleasant Holidays said it is monitoring the situation closely, and is has been in close contact with its service providers, hotel partners and travel agent. “Since the Mexican government initiated rescue flights Tuesday, all Los Cabos ground handlers have been working in concert to assist with the evacuation effort in Los Cabos and at airports in Mexico City, Mazatlan, Tijuana and Guadalajara,” a statement from the tour operator said.

The company said its customer service department has contacted travel agents with clients scheduled for vacations through October 1 to help them rebook to other destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii or Tahiti. It is waiving its change fees for itinerary changes.

For its part, MLT said that a “small number” of customers were vacationing in Los Cabos when Hurricane Odile hit. “A small number of our customers were in the destination during the storm. Our hotel partners and destination management partners are working to get them home as quickly as possible,” a statement said. “We are also currently working with our travel agency and hotel partners to rebook customers with upcoming vacation plans to Los Cabos and elsewhere on the Baja peninsula”.

Agents who have clients booked through MLT Vacations to Los Cabos or other Baja Peninsula destinations through Oct. 4 should call 800.727.1111 to reschedule their clients’ vacations.

Photo courtesy of @MikeSeidel on Twitter

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