How Much Do Hotels Inflate Their Prices On Weekends and Special Events?
Nobody is surprised when the price of certain products rise as the weekend begins, and then fall again when the weekend ends. The two most common items that fall into this category are gasoline and hotel prices. We’re all used to the ebb and flow of the prices, so it’s not shocking to anyone. What did shock me, however, was the amount that one of these products can be inflated.
I registered for a marathon later this year, and immediately searched out a hotel room. I knew the hotel rooms in the area would fill up fast, and would come with a premium price tag attached. I found an available room at a major hotel chain near a pick up point for the shuttle that would take me to the start line. I booked the room at a rate of $334.00.
I was curious just how much the hotel jacked up the price for marathon weekend, so I got online and checked how the rate changes:
- Monday Night: The price to stay in the exact same room on a normal Monday Night is $142.
- Friday Night: The price to stay in the exact same room on a normal Friday Night is $190.
My marathon weekend rate is jacked up 75% from a normal Friday, and 135% from a Monday night stay. So, why do hotels rase the rates on weekends and on special event weekends?
The answer is, because they can.
An in-law of mine in the food service business calls it the â€œcaptive audience phenomenon.â€ A family attending a sporting event that is in the mood for food or beverage has no choice but to buy them from the vendors in the stadium. Therefore you get $8 sodas, $6 boxes of popcorn, and $6 hot dogs. I’m traveling hundreds of miles to run a marathon and need a good night sleep before I hit the asphalt for a 26.2 mile run. Hotels jack up the price knowing this, and can get away with it.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
What have you overpaid for simply because you were experiencing the captive audience phenomenon? How much would it have normally cost you?
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.