Sinkhole Disney World: Resort open for business despite collapse


The resort near Disney World that suffered a partial collapse is "open for business" despite the yawning sinkhole that opened up late Sunday.

"We are open for business taking care of our guests," Paul Caldwell, president of Summer Bay resort in Orlando, encouraging guests with reservations "to come on down, we're ready to receive you and take care of you."


The 100-foot sinkhole took out a 24 unit building, which Caldwell said is about 3 percent of the resort's capacity.

"As of this time, we've been told that what we see there is what we have and there's no reason to believe that it's going to expand or it's going to grow," Caldwell said.

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No one was injured when the building began to collapse about 10:30 Sunday night, as guests fled, leaving behind their belongings.

Richard Shanley, a security guard at the resort, is being credited with getting everyone out safely as he ran around the building as it began to collapse, shouting to wake guests.

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"It was a matter of just reacting because the building was coming down so quickly," he said, shrugging off hero status. "I'm just an average run-of-the-mill person."


Two other buildings near the collapsed unit were evacuated for evaluation, but guests were being allowed to return to collect their belongings.

"It sounded like a fight -- like multiple people with aluminum baseball bats who were swinging them against the windows, and then one window broke," said Maggie Ghamry, who was visiting from Virginia.

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"All of us were like deer in headlights," she said. "You don't see a building every day twisting around like it was in a vortex and coming down around you, and seeing the room you would have slept in with three toddlers sink 50 feet into the ground and then two floors collapsing on top of them."

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