LIVE: Update from Businesses Impacted by the Hard Rock Hotel Collapse
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO)- While the search still continues, businesses are still closed and the owners are starting to wonder what will happen.
It doesn’t look good for business around the collapse area.
As New Orleanians know, Canal is usually bustling with tourists and locals at this time of day and it’s a ghost town now.
Barricades are still blocking foot traffic and the yellow caution tape is up for blocks. It has been three days since the collapse of the hard rock and businesses are beginning to worry because there is no sign of when they will be clear to reopen.
Dozens of businesses along Canal Street sit vacant and dark. Well-known restaurant, The Ruby Slipper is among those that remain closed.
“As far as we can tell we won’t be able to reopen any time in the near future,” said Jennifer Weishaupt, owner of The Ruby Slipper.
Now, business owners are beginning to wonder, what will this do to their bottom line?
“2019 has been a tough year. This is our third closure at that location. Previously we were closed due to the mother’s day flooding that occurred on canal street and again in July. So for our employees, it’s been a really stressful year,” worried Weishaupt.
As the perimeter around the building site is closed to the general public, business owners are pulling out their business interruption insurance policies, hoping that this catastrophe will be covered and provide some financial relief.
“We do have a business interruption. Insurance but, it has a waiting period and a pretty high deductible because of course, you didn’t expect to have this many disasters in one year.”
So far, businesses like The Ruby Slipper are looking at $40,000 to $60,000 in revenue loss and they expect that number to continue to rise.
Many businesses along Canal and near the Hard Rock collapse site were forced to close their doors. While some remain open but, still affected.
“These are the only two places-the gas station down there has closed. So right now the store on the corner and this store, in this area are the only two places that you can get food or things that you need,” said Aaron Ackserson, Basin Seafood, and Grill Chef.
Still hopeful that customers will com, their open sign remains on.
“My business today, and the past couple of days we’ve slowed down,” said Nam Dang, Owner of Basin Seafood and Grill.
The businesses that are still closed said, they won’t reopen until they are certain that it is safe for their customers and employees.