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HOTELIERS: PILOT SLOWDOWN TOOK HEAVY TOLL

The American Airlines pilot slowdown did serious damage to an already economically strained hotel business in St. Thomas.
The slowdown, which began Feb. 5, reached critical mass over the most important Weekend of the year for local hoteliers, though flights in and out were back to normal Monday.
"The week we've looked forward to since Christmas didn't happen," said Nancy Schneider, sales manager for Renaissance Grand Beach Resort.
Sunday, Valentine's Day, should have been their busiest night, Schneider said. Instead occupancy was down by an estimated 15 percent from original estimates and down about 25 percent for the whole holiday
weekend.
She said some people called — others just didn't show up. The people who were stranded here because of the strike didn't make up for those who couldn't make it because of cancelled flights, she said.
Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said Monday afternoon that she
was only able to obtain figures from four of her hotels because of the Monday holiday.
Those four, which represent less than 10 percent of her membership's entire rooms, reported losing $500,000 because of the pilots' slowdown, Nicholson said.
During the height of the slowdown over the weekend, virtually all of the four direct American flights in and out of St. Thomas from the mainland,were canceled.
Some visitors were able to get flights to San Juan and from there to St. Thomas either on American Eagle, which was not affected by the slowdown, or on the new airline serving St. Thomas, Cape Air.
Cape Air reportedly tripled the number of flights on its regular schedule to bring travelers from San Juan to St. Thomas and
back.
But the best efforts of the small regional airlines were not enough, it appears, to make up for the losses stacked up as a result of the slowdown of the major airline that services St. Thomas.

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The American Airlines pilot slowdown did serious damage to an already economically strained hotel business in St. Thomas.
The slowdown, which began Feb. 5, reached critical mass over the most important Weekend of the year for local hoteliers, though flights in and out were back to normal Monday.
"The week we've looked forward to since Christmas didn't happen," said Nancy Schneider, sales manager for Renaissance Grand Beach Resort.
Sunday, Valentine's Day, should have been their busiest night, Schneider said. Instead occupancy was down by an estimated 15 percent from original estimates and down about 25 percent for the whole holiday
weekend.
She said some people called -- others just didn't show up. The people who were stranded here because of the strike didn't make up for those who couldn't make it because of cancelled flights, she said.
Beverly Nicholson, executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said Monday afternoon that she
was only able to obtain figures from four of her hotels because of the Monday holiday.
Those four, which represent less than 10 percent of her membership's entire rooms, reported losing $500,000 because of the pilots' slowdown, Nicholson said.
During the height of the slowdown over the weekend, virtually all of the four direct American flights in and out of St. Thomas from the mainland,were canceled.
Some visitors were able to get flights to San Juan and from there to St. Thomas either on American Eagle, which was not affected by the slowdown, or on the new airline serving St. Thomas, Cape Air.
Cape Air reportedly tripled the number of flights on its regular schedule to bring travelers from San Juan to St. Thomas and
back.
But the best efforts of the small regional airlines were not enough, it appears, to make up for the losses stacked up as a result of the slowdown of the major airline that services St. Thomas.