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Hotel Has Cool Rate For Victims

The folks at the Sierra Hotel know what it’s like to be cold, so they’re hoping to warm things up a bit.

The hotel at 4212 W. Sunset Blvd. is offering a flat, $29-a-room rate to ice storm victims. The usual rates are $55 to $80.

“We were without power for five days,” said Lyle Tostenrude, guest services manager. “We froze so much we wanted to do something to help the neighborhood.”

Tostenrude said the hotel lost power when the storm hit Nov. 19 and got it back Saturday night.

A few guests tried to wait it out, huddling around the lobby’s fireplace and eating dinner by candlelight cooked on the restaurant’s gas grill. “It was quite romantic,” Tostenrude said.

But the remaining guests called it quits Thursday, heading for warmer accommodations.

The hotel plans to continue the storm special through Thanksgiving and possibly the weekend. “As long as necessary until people have their power on,” Tostenrude said.

No tree lights yet

Trees won’t light up Friday night in downtown Spokane.

“We haven’t been able to get the lights on the trees yet,” said Annie Matlow of the Downtown Spokane Partnership. “It takes a bucket truck, and bucket trucks are doing more important things.”

The delay shouldn’t last longer than a week, Matlow said. “We’ll have to see how things happen in the next four or five days.”

The partnership’s Holiday Headquarters at 715 W. Main will launch the season’s celebration Friday at 10 a.m. with caroling and a carousel art exhibition.

The Parks Department hasn’t decided whether to open the “Winter Lights Festival” at Qualchan Golf Course on Friday. The city decided not to turn the lights on for a special Tuesday night showing.

Out of respect for people who don’t have power, that may also be the case Friday.

Golf courses damaged

Three city golf courses took a major beating during last week’s ice storm.

A tree crashed through the roof of Downriver’s pro shop, also damaging a brand new heating and air conditioning unit, said golf manager Mike Stone.

At Esmeralda, ice pulled down four of eight poles that held up giant netting for a driving range, he said.

Stone said he estimates the storm destroyed about 300 trees - maybe more - on three city courses: Downriver, Esmeralda and Indian Canyon.

Qualchan was largely unscathed, losing only a few small pine trees.

Considering all the trees devastated by the storm, Stone said the “city of Spokane probably won’t look the same in our lifetime again.”

Debris disposal

The city of Spokane closed the free debris disposal site at High Bridge Park on Monday.

Manito Park will accept fallen limbs and branches through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Joe Albi Stadium will continue taking storm debris through Dec. 31, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

City officials ask that branches and limbs dropped off at those sites not be longer than 3 feet.

Also, residents can dispose of debris for free at three city-county solid waste centers: Waste to Energy Plant, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd., Valley Transfer Station, 3941 N. Sullivan Road; and the North County Transfer Station, 22123 Elk-Chattaroy Road.

Those centers are open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and take limbs up to 6 feet in length and any diameter.

, DataTimes

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