Upstate hotels, Airbnb booking up rapidly as Irma approaches

GREENVILLE, SC – Phones are ringing off the hook in hotels across the Upstate as evacuations continue ahead of hurricane Irma.

As of Wednesday night, the category 5 storm was heading straight for the southeastern seaboard.

“We have 144 rooms and they are all accounted for right now,” Michael Bonasia, director of sales at Aloft Hotel in Greenville told 7News on Wednesday.

He said the hotel is already booked solid for Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Many, he explained, had been frantically calling, looking for a place to stay to escape Irma’s projected path.

“We’re seeing everyone from our coastal cities, so it’s definitely south Carolinians coming our way.”

Over in Spartanburg the Marriott also told 7News they’re slammed with guests.

Hotel managers said about 100 people booked rooms from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Many of those who made reservations were evacuating from Florida.

They will leave 20 to 25 rooms blocked off for emergency responders, Duke Energy employees and others, but other than that they’re full Monday through Wednesday.

Airbnb in the Upstate is sharing a similar problem with rapid booking.

Ann-Marie Valle and her friend share a loft in Downtown Greenville. Valle said she listed the two-bedroom apartment on the site on Wednesday, knowing fully well it would be needed.

“I had been in contact with my family, all in Tampa, and knew that it was a great need for those that were being displaced from other areas,” she told 7News Wednesday night. “A lot of the hotels were booking up so I just wanted to do whatever i could to help out anybody that needed it.”