W Hotel Set To Reopen Saturday
The upscale W Hotel in downtown Austin is scheduled to reopen its doors to the public on Saturday. All 1,000 glass panels on the balconies have been replaced with temporary wood paneling. Meanwhile, engineers are still trying to figure out what prompted glass to fall from the building three times in a little more than two weeks.
No one was seriously injured by falling glass panels, but several people suffered cuts and minor injuries. Hotel operators temporarily shuttered the hotel and bar, and erected protected pedestrian walkways around the building. The city closed traffic lanes to reduce the risk of cars being hit by falling glass, with Austin police enforcing the perimeter.
That prompted the vice chairman of Austin's Public Safety Commission, Mike Levy, to call on the W Hotel to reimburse the city for policing costs.
Here is the full press release from the W Hotel:
The W Austin Hotel anticipates reopening on Saturday, July 9th, pending city review and approval of inspection reports of the temporary replacement panels by the project’s balcony engineer, as well as a third party independent engineering firm. All balcony glass panels have been removed from the building. Once the city has reviewed the engineers’ reports, the hotel restaurant and bars will open first, followed by the hotel guest rooms. “We express our sincere gratitude to the community for your patience and understanding over the last week,” said Drew McQuade, General Manager of the W Austin Hotel. We also thank our local hotel partners for graciously accepting our guests; and our residents, neighbors and the City of Austin for their cooperation during this difficult time. The cause of the glass breakage is still under investigation, and we will keep the media updated as more information becomes available.