Biz owners hope for Carmaggedon business


We've been hearing the warnings for weeks: stay away from the Westside this weekend if you can! But what if you can't?

What if you work or own a business along the stretch of the 405 being shut down starting tomorrow night?

When the 405 shuts down, people will hide their keys, ignore their cars and hunker down for the weekend. All those people staying home could be bad for local businesses. But it's turning out to be big business for some hotels.

Most people may not recognize Ron and Larry Weintraub, but they might recognize their business: Randy's Donuts in Inglewood.

But with the 405 closure looming over this weekend, they're worried customers won't be able to visit.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

"I'm thinking, How we going to get through it? Are we going to have any customers, is everyone going to stay in their house and lock the door?" said Ron Weintraub.

"I think it's going to cut down probably about half of our business," said Larry Weintraub.

That's because 405 practically threads the hole in Randy's Donuts iconic ornamental donut.

And the 53-hour-long Carmaggedon closure not only could take a bite out of their revenue, it could also lead to problems for the people who need to work there.

But the Weintraub brothers say they've solved that issue.

"We got a hotel room at the DoubleTree by Hilton down the street. And then one of our employees, he's also going to be getting a room over here," said Larry.

In fact, many local hotels can't get enough of the 405 closure.

"We are very happy and excited about the opportunity," said Michelle Gavon, Holiday Inn Express, West Los Angeles.

Excited and happy because her hotel in West L.A. is just yards away from the soon-to-be-shut-down section of the 405.

And the hotel's 78 rooms are booked solid this weekend, mostly from workers from UCLA and local hospitals, and of course 405 construction crews all looking to stay off the roads as much as possible.

"We filled up about two weeks ago. We had a long list of people who would like to stay here," said Mary Banzon, West L.A. Holiday Inn Express.

So while hotels are celebrating Carmageddon, Randy's Donuts is bracing for what could be one of their worst weekends in their 33-year history.

"I understand also that we're going to have another one next year. And we're really looking forward to it," said Larry.

That's when crews will tear down the north side of the Mulholland Bridge. The date for that has not been announced.

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