National Harbor businesses reopen after PG water crisis - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

National Harbor businesses reopen after PG water crisis

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - The water crisis may be over but it had a huge impact on businesses, especially at National Harbor. All 15 restaurants and nearly 95 retailers closed their doors Wednesday because of WSSC's announced water crisis.

But people are starting to come back after some businesses reopened Wednesday evening.

Within minutes of learning the water was staying on at National Harbor, the crowds returned, but there was plenty of elbow room.

"It's nice over here and you're not fighting large crowds," said Phil Garrett of Alexandria.

Bob Sullivan, his wife, and five kids drove in from Nebraska and didn't find out about the water issue until they got to the check-in desk at the Westin hotel.

"They said we have running water, but we just can't use the pool," Sullivan said.

Lori Matthews, who owns Platinum Health and Wellness, says she is just glad to only be losing a day of business instead of five.

"It would have been a detriment to our business. We've only been open a short time," she said.

The 95 retailers at National Harbor should all be back open on Thursday.

Kent Digby, Senior Vice President of Operations for National Harbor, says the water scare couldn't have come at a worse time.

"In the middle of summertime, we're about 20,000 visitors per day," said Digby.

On Wednesday, Digby estimates about 3,000 people will come through. The problem is they are finding almost everything shut down.

Even the Gaylord National Resort told visitors they had to leave. The National Harbor also canceled a wedding scheduled for this weekend.

The loss for even one day is staggering. Digby estimates it could amount to as much as $500,000, which means sales taxes for the county are also lost.

"When you're losing good days in season, that's hard to replace," Digby said.

Outside the National Harbor, most businesses are not shut down, and now, it does not look like they will have to.

But the losses at National Harbor from one day alone are mounting and it is still unclear if the hotels that have canceled weekend reservations will be able to get those customers back.

Now that the crisis is averted, the operations team at the National Harbor has been focused on trying to get restaurants and businesses open as soon as possible.

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