JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A hotel in Jacksonville is back open after a fire shut it down in 2020.
On June 28, 2020, devastation struck the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Jacksonville. Now, two years later, they’re returning with the same employees and a story of resilience.
“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it is like really, I couldn’t imagine ever having to come here and think that there would be a fire here at the place we work at,” said hotel employee Kristina Vasquez.
Vasquez was off work when she got a call asking her to come back in.
“I didn’t know what to expect. So when I got up here, I started to pull in through here. And I was like, ‘wait a minute, there were fire trucks.’ We had an ambulance and everything everywhere,” said Vasquez.
Room 417 had caught on fire. The sprinkler system put it out but the damage was already done.
“We didn’t really know, to the extent what it was or how bad it was until the after the fact, and then once the sprinkler system stopped and then we noticed that you know, it’s really bad,” said Vasquez.
From that day forward, they had to deal with water damage. They had to renovate the inside of the hotel, and manager and owner Bhavin Patel said they ran into a few problems along the way.
“COVID really played big roles in getting the full supply chains and to getting supplies to the hotels,” said Patel.
But, after two long years, they’ve finally made it, with the same employees deciding to stick around because of their love for the hotel and its team.
“It feels really good to know that, ‘hey, we took two years, but we got it.’ We’re making it, we’re gonna make it the best we can and hope everybody comes and stays with us to see how beautiful the hotel is now,” said Vasquez.