DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Many hotel rooms are completely booked as Biketoberfest gets ready to kick off Friday in Daytona Beach. While that is a normal occurrence for the event, residents say this year it is leaving Hurricane Ian victims without a place to stay.
What You Need To Know
- Biketoberfest is scheduled to start Friday in Daytona Beach
- The even, which usually draws tens of thousands of bikers to the area, has left area hotels completely booked up
- Some local Hurricane Ian victims say that has left them without a place to stay while the event is ongoing
Officials with the Lodging and Hospitality Association of Volusia County say reservations for this week have been in place for months. On top of the annual event, some hotels are currently operating at a lower capacity because of their storm damage.
"All the hotels are booked," said Gloria Gonzalez, who is currently staying in a temporary shelter.
She said her faith is helping her get through the setbacks caused by of Hurricane Ian.
Over the last two weeks, she has been living in a shelter at the Ocean Center, which opened up as a relief location after the storm hit.
Gonzalez said Hurricane Ian flooded her apartment when the storm hit Volusia County, leaving her with nowhere else to go.
"They had to come with boats, and that was a scary situation," she said.
While she works on figuring out what her next steps will be, one option that doesn't feel like a possibility right now is staying in a hotel.
"It's getting pretty cramped in there now that Biketoberfest is here," Gonzalez said about the shelter.
She said there have been some glimmers of hope during her stay at the center.
She was recently invited to a women's faith conference where she shared her story and received moral support from her peers as she works to get back on her feet.
"They're bringing me to go see an apartment at Northwood," Gonzalez said, adding that she plans to use the next few days to try and solidify a plan.
The shelter at the Ocean Center is currently set to close on Monday, so Gonzalez will have to have something in place by then.
"And it is hard, because no matter how anointed you are or strong you are in Christ Jesus, you're still human, and it still impacts you," she said.