Kearney Holiday Inn opens after months of flood repairs

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - In July, several feet of water flooded the hospitality district in Kearney causing all the hotels along Talmadge Street to close. Now the last one to reopen is up and running.

After being greatly damaged in the July flooding, the Kearney Holiday Inn is now back open for business. (KSNB)

The Holiday Inn is one of the largest hotels in the hospitality district and stood in the flood water for much longer than the others.

“This one here the water was here about 10 days after the flood. We could not get into the building. When we got to the building we did not have power until the middle of August,” Owner Paul Younes said.

It is projected that they have lost over $1 million for being closed for four months. The first floor rooms are still closed but people can stay in the second floor rooms now which are all booked for the rest of this week.

They had to totally replace floors, walls, and furniture that had been touched by water. Everything is different about the hotel inside including some precautions in case water ever finds its way back inside. Outlets are now higher and their furnaces are placed where it is harder for water to get to them.

“We cannot change the building, raise the building, or lift the building,” Younes said. “We did a lot of things mechanically inside the building from the water heater, to the plug ins, different things we raised some of the stuff. In some 18in, some 24, 30in off the ground just in case we have another 100 years or when nobody knows.”

Now a new restaurant and redone gift shop have been put in on the first floor.

“This is where our revenue and money comes from,” Younes said. “We open hotel by hotel as well as the younes conference center, as well as this hotel. Hopefully we will be at full speed after the first of the year. With all of our properties running 100% at that time.”

The rest of the rooms are expected to open at the start of January. Two big conventions are being held this week and next weekend so the owners wanted to push to get back open for them. Younes said he is grateful for the work his staff has put in to have it open again.