Beachfront hotel keeps the power on despite hurricane

As the owner of a beachfront hotel that distinguishes itself by providing robes and delivering breakfast to guest rooms, Rich O’Brien knows a thing or two about customer service.

So when the owner/operator of La Fiesta Ocean Inn in St. Augustine Beach, Fla. decided that he needed to be prepared in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, he contacted the electric power professionals at Ring Power.

Six years ago, O’Brien had an automatic transfer switch installed, making the process of installing a rental generator set faster and simpler. But years passed with no significant storms. So when Hurricane Hermine came through Florida in early September—a month ahead of the stronger Category 4 Hurricane Matthew—O’Brien called his rental power representative at Ring Power.

“He was completely up to speed on what we needed and where to put the generator, and so on,” says O’Brien, a longtime city councilman who currently serves as the mayor of St. Augustine Beach. “Ring Power coordinated the whole thing—they brought the generator out. They sent someone here to give us the orientation, and he told us what to do, A to Z. 

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“After Matthew came through and the power was out, it was very easy for us to get the mobile generator up and running, and the equipment was splendid.”

O’Brien says the ability to stay open and provide his guests with full power during an outage gives his 46-room hotel a competitive advantage.

“We’re committed to our customers, and by having power when there is a major weather event, we feel like we’re providing a good service to the public,” he says. “It also keeps our income stream steady. So it’s important to have that relationship with Ring Power, and I can tell you when we call them, they answer and they come to our aid. 

“And their service is first class,” he adds. “They are very knowledgeable people and a pleasure to work with. We’re in the hospitality business and we know service, and I can tell you for a fact that they know service.” 

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