While the tri-state area suffered immeasurable damages from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, some members of the Jericho community found refuge in the Viana Hotel & Spa in Westbury to flee the peril of falling trees and the lack of electricity.
The hotel’s busiest times of the year includes the holidays, according to the owner, but the span from the beginning of the storm to late November is easily the most occupied the hotel has ever been. Securing a room at the hotel is a combination of luck and determination since 200 people are on a waiting list for a room.
“Our goal here is to help anyone and everyone in our Town of Oyster Bay family, but we have also made an effort to help those in Long Beach.” said hotel General Manager Michael Papierno. “We have made a point of making calls to those in shelters on our waiting list during all hours of the night. We want everyone to be safe and have a chance to stay at our hotel.”
The Viana’s staff has worked day and night to comfort its distressed guests. The hotel has found time to organize an effort for donations to the Jericho Fire Department which has brought the supplies to residents of Long Beach. The idea stemmed from the guests’ collaborative concerns for those in less fortunate circumstances. Families have even risked depleting their invaluable gas supply to purchase socks, underwear, and other necessities.
“I think it is our responsibility to give as much help as we can to those in need,” Jericho parent Bonni Silber said. “Taking part of my day to help the people of Long Beach is a small price to pay for the well-being of others.”