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Staten Island Hotel Owner Refuses To Displace Hurricane Evacuees For Marathon Runners

Richard Nicotra said hurricane victims can stay as long as necessary

A Staten Island hotel owner is refusing to evict hurricane evacuees to honor marathon runners’ reservations, NY1 reports.

Richard Nicotra, who owns the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield, said those who have been displaced by the hurricane can stay as long as necessary. Marathon runners are unhappy that he will not honor their reservations, but Nicotra said he will not ask the evacuees to leave.

“How do I tell people that have no place to go, that have no home, that have no heat, that you have to leave because I need to make room for somebody that wants to run the marathon,” Nicotra said. “I can’t do that.”

Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, agreed with Nicotra that the evacuees need to come first.

“The marathoners will find a way,” Wittenberg said. “They’re deciding they want to be here to be part of helping this city move on.”

The Road Runners — which sponsors the marathon every year — said it would donate $1 million to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

Nicotra said he doesn’t have any vacant rooms, but he is trying to work with local officials to get cots to set up in the hotel’s ballrooms.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to postpone the marathon this weekend has divided residents and marathon runners. City Councilman Domenic Recchia, whose South Brooklyn district includes Coney Island and other areas that were hit heavily by the hurricane, said, “To host the New York City Marathon in the middle of what is complete devastation and a crisis in parts of this city is just wrong.”

Olympic marathoner Paula Radcliffe, however, said the city needed “the solidarity, the lift, and the economic boost that Marathon Sunday brings to NYC.”

Bloomberg said Wednesday that the city “is a city where we have to go on.”

Do you agree with Richard Nicotra for allowing hurricane evacuees to stay in the hotel as long as necessary? What do you think of Bloomberg’s decision not to postpone the marathon?

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Comments

26 Responses to “Staten Island Hotel Owner Refuses To Displace Hurricane Evacuees For Marathon Runners”

  1. Jeff Kuhnke

    "You may have lost your house and some family/friends, but WE WANNA RUN A MARATHON!" -Any d-bag runner who is upset over a national disaster affecting their precious hotel reservations.

    Can we *at least* finish the rescue efforts before we displace people already going through a traumatic experience? I really can't believe these idiots.

  2. Sherry Stewart DeHaven

    So glad that this hotel owner is standing up for these homeless survivors of Sandy! Cudos to him!

  3. Erica Pk

    unlike bloomberg, this hotel owner obviously has a heart. and I can't believe the nerve of the runners who are upset for their reservations not being honored. you'd rather the evacuees who lost their homes, have no power, food or water, clothes, possibly lost loved ones get booted so you can run around this devestated area. yippee…you can try to get the best time in your top of the line running shoes as you're route takes you down the street where 2yr old and 4yr old were swept out of their mothers arms and were found dead. and you can catch a glimpse of people trying to salvage what they can, maybe even some dumpster divers. I'm sure this marathon will definitley lift the spirits in this community.

  4. C Glow Lang

    This hotel owner is spot on! Mayor B. is completely wrong! All those people coming in to run that stupid marathon should be put to work digging out the debris left by the storm. Allowing this marathon to go on is the most irresponsible thing I've ever seen! Would he have done this in the wake of 9/11/01? Good God help us. Typical lib/progressive stunt. All about you, never about someone else.

  5. Sherrie Palmateer

    Richard Nicotra your a real Hero…God Bless you for caring about the Huricanne victims. It is so nice to see someone with a true heart!

  6. Becky Masoner

    No question that he did the right thing. And anyone who questions that or indicates otherwise is a total idiot. Running a marathon is a CHOICE….the people in the hotels LIVE in the area year round. THEY COME FIRST.

  7. George Shields

    Bloomberg did not loose his home , if he did he would think different.

  8. George Shields

    If he Bloomberg lost every thing I bet one of his political croonies would put him up in some 5 star hotel for the duration, on the Bowery.

  9. Stephen Francis Gronert

    I just heard they canceled the marathon. I think that's smart. I wonder what will happen to the Thanksgiving day parades in New York. Of course thoese are several weeks away.

  10. Julie Winlund Evans

    Paula Radcliffe 'needs' to be put out on the streets in NYC for a few days to fend for herself. Seriously.