Room prices rise as many down­town ho­tels sell out

The Buffalo News - - CITY & REGION -

pre­pared for a bustling crowd with added staff, and ex­tra roast beef and wings.

“The beer cooler is full,” she said.

The Dou­ble­tree Ho­tel by Hil­ton in Amherst will host the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts Min­ute­men when they get into town this evening. The play­ers, staff, coaches and fam­ily will rent 75 rooms un­til at least Fri­day morn­ing. If they win their semi­fi­nal game to­day, they’ll stay for Satur­day’s na­tional cham­pi­onship game and then check out Sun­day.

“That’s a great piece of busi­ness for my ho­tel,” said Olivia Galante, di­rec­tor of sales at the Dou­ble­tree Ho­tel by Hil­ton in Amherst. “This does not hap­pen of­ten for our prop­erty. It will make our month, mon­ey­wise.”

Though the ho­tel has plenty of rooms, it has less meet­ing space than most other ho­tels, which pre­vents it from book­ing as many large cor­po­rate groups as its com­peti­tors. Sports teams, such as the Girls Na­tional USA Hockey team it re­cently hosted, are a wel­come wind­fall.

It’s not just the rooms. The play­ers and their en­tourages plan ex­tras with the ho­tel’s ban­quet staff: break­fast, pregame meals, din­ners. And fans can be counted on to eat and drink in the ho­tel’s bar and res­tau­rant.

As of mid­day Wed­nes­day, many ho­tels down­town were sold out, in­clud­ing the J.W. Mar­riott at Har­borCen­ter, the Hamp­ton Inn and the Court­yard Mar­riott. Hil­ton prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing the Hamp­ton Inn and Home­wood Suites, were booked up as far out as Ham­burg, East Aurora, Lock­port and Ni­a­gara Falls. There are other va­can­cies, but few rooms are left.

Prices are high, too. The Adam’s Mark, which is ad­ver­tised for $90 the fol­low­ing Thurs­day, is go­ing for $258 to­day. The Westin, usu­ally $175, is run­ning $371. And the Fair­field Inn & Suites at the Buf­falo Air­port, reg­u­larly $101, is book­ing at a whop­ping $548.

The only other time Buf­falo hosted the games was in 2003, when tick­ets sold out a year in ad­vance. Ho­tels have had con­tracts to host teams signed for two years.

Tick­ets for the three games haven’t sold out yet, but as many as 14,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend each ses­sion to­day and Satur­day. Many of those at­ten­dees are from out of town and will need Ubers, ho­tels and places to eat.

Fans are ex­pected to ac­count for 5,300 ho­tel room nights in down­town Buf­falo and gen­er­ate about $3.9 mil­lion in eco­nomic im­pact, ac­cord­ing to Visit Buf­falo Ni­a­gara. That dol­lar amount fac­tors in trans­porta­tion, lodg­ing, food, bev­er­age and en­ter­tain­ment costs based on an es­ti­mate of teams, NCAA of­fi­cials and staff, me­dia and fans that are ex­pected to at­tend. The or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee that helped bring the games shared a higher $6.1 mil­lion es­ti­mate that fac­tored in more fan data for ticket sales and ho­tel book­ings.

Erie County Ex­ec­u­tive Mark C. Polon­carz, who made a pitch to host the Frozen Four with Mayor By­ron Brown and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Cani­sius Col­lege and Ni­a­gara Univer­sity, said the com­pe­ti­tion was “stiff” to win the games, but he be­lieves Buf­falo has proven it­self wor­thy.

“As a com­mu­nity, I just hope that we do roll out the car­pet. It re­ally is one of the pre­miere events that the NCAA has, and it’s very rare for a com­mu­nity like Buf­falo to re­ceive it twice in, ba­si­cally, a 20-year pe­riod, “Polon­carz said.

“It just goes to show that the NCAA be­lieves in our com­mu­nity by bring­ing it back here,” he said.

Mark Mul­ville/Buf­falo News

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.