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Seattle hotels booked up as residents attempt to stay cool in record heat

Hotels say they're booked up for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began as Seattle residents without a/c seek reprieve from the heat.

SEATTLE — Seattle residents desperately needing reprieve from the heat are looking at an unexpected source for comfort: hotels.

Fully air-conditioned and often with a pool, several hotel operators in the Seattle area said they're fully booked for the next few days as the Pacific Northwest endures record-breaking heat.

With many homes in the Puget Sound region not equipped with air conditioning and many portable ACs being sold out, residents are scrambling to stay cool in hotels.

"Cause you can't really open the windows or anything when it's hotter outside. So you're stuck with what you got," said Mikyla Cardwell of Lake City.

Cardwell said her home has no AC. She and her mom lucked out with a room at the Holiday Inn to keep cool.

"I'd rather sleep with an AC than fans circulating hot air around," Cardwell said.

Ron Oh, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in North Seattle, said his rooms are sold out for the weekend, something he said has not happened in the last two years due to the COVID slump.

"It's been a blessing," Oh said.

A search for a room in Seattle for Saturday through Monday shows a long list of hotels that are fully booked through Monday.

Oh said guests are calling nonstop to ask about availability.

"It generally comes down to "oh my god, it's so hot, I need a place with air conditioning,' " Oh said.

Oh, who is also Chairman of the Board of the Washington Hospitality Association, said the extra business has been a boon for hoteliers that have been in need of extra revenue. He added that it is great timing for guests who are willing to drop some cash to stay comfortable.

"It's actually the best time to come and enjoy hotels in Seattle because with tourism down, the rates have actually been a lot lower," Oh said.