GRAPEVINE, TX? Handling small glitches the first week a hotel opens is pretty much the norm; bringing full-blown crisis management into play is another story. That was the scenario recently at the Embassy Suites Outdoor World at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, the latest addition to the John Q. Hammons Hotels portfolio. A natural gas explosion tore through the property?s swimming pool maintenance room at 6:25 p.m., August 6, just four days after the hotel?s opening, forcing guests to flee the property. Rapid response by the hotel?s staff, lead by GM Bill Bretches, as well as police, firefighters and paramedics, helped clear the property swiftly and minimize injuries. Two hundred fifteen of the hotel?s 329 guest suites were occupied at the time of the explosion, with many of the guests in the property?s atrium for the evening reception. Some two dozen guests received minor injuries?mostly cuts from broken glass?and were treated at the scene. An employee of a subcontractor was working the pool area at the time of the blast, and was in serious condition from burns at last report. ?Fortunately, most of the force of the blast was directed away from the main guest areas of the hotel,? said Bretches, who noted the property suffered no structural damage. Guests were brought to the hotel?s parking lot, where they were given water and clothing provided by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, a part of the hotel complex. Staff accounted for guests by matching names with the registration list. All guests, accompanied by Embassy Suites staff, were relocated within 90 minutes to nearby hotels. Guests were able to retrieve their belongings the following Saturday. Bretches said the design and construction of the hotel, which is owned and managed by Hammons, along with the location of the swimming pool, helped limit the number and severity of injuries resulting from the blast, which is under investigation. At press time, the property was up and running; the pool remained closed.