Marriott CEO: Some hotels in Puerto Rico could be closed for a year or two

Nicole Sinclair
Markets Correspondent

The devastation and destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria continues to hang over hard-hit areas of the country, particularly Puerto Rico. Marriott (MAR) CEO Arne Sorenson said the storms took their toll on the company’s business and that rebuilding efforts could take some time.

“September was a tough month with the natural disasters that we went through,” Sorenson said at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on Wednesday. “Starting in Houston but then in the Virgin Islands, Florida and then of course in Puerto Rico.”

Sorenson said some of his hotels could be closed for up to two years. “The story in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico is a tough one,” he said. “We’ve got hotels that are not just still closed but could be closed for a year or two, and obviously that has an impact on our people there, which is very tough and you sort of try to navigate through that and figure out how to help them. That’s obviously not fundamentally about demand and supply, but very much about the human factor which is important to us.”

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are estimated to cost more than $150 billion in damage and lost productivity, while Hurricane Maria could be a $95 billion storm for Puerto Rico.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson discusses the impact of devastation from this year’s hurricanes

Nicole Sinclair is markets correspondent at Yahoo Finance.

For more from the interview with Marriott’s CEO, please see:
Marriott CEO: America’s unwelcoming message is hurting the US travel business
Marriott CEO: Corporations overstate the impact of tax cuts on business investment

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