November 14, 2017

Are hotels gouging when doubling, tripling or quadrupling rates?

It’s a world of supply and demand in a free marketplace, but something just doesn’t feel right when a hotel doubles, triples, quadruples or quintuples its room rate during certain occasions.

College parents know the feeling. Many have done a double take when searching for a reasonable rate and finding much higher rates for a room during a football weekend, homecoming or graduation.

Of course, it’s not just hotels in college towns. Many, if not most, other hotels also boost rates during special occasions or periods of high demand for rooms.

“I have experienced this phenomenon but more often in major cities during large conventions or major sporting events,” says Ira Lawrence, a Chicago-based consultant in the pharmaceutical and device industries. “It wreaks havoc on the business traveler from a room availability standpoint and budgetary constraints. I’m not sure how to address it, because it’s a what-the-market-will-bear scenario.”

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