Hotels Cashing Out on New Year's

New Year's Eve partygoers waiting until the last minute are seeing cheaper hotel rates

As New Year's Eve gets closer and closer hotel owners are losing hope of filling up their rooms. A year ago hotels hiked up prices thinking their would be a huge demand. That never panned out and now with just a couple weeks left the only way to fill the inn is to lower the pricetag.

On New Year's Eve hotels are usually about 70 - 80 percent booked, this year most will be lucky to reach a 55 percent occupancy rate. Some say greed got in the way, and most people decided to stay away. Most hotels are expected to reach only a 55 percent occupancy rate, which is really all they need to turn a profit.

To get an idea on how high the prices went here's an example from Phoenix. The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix cut its $7,000 four-night package by $1,000, and then finally saw an increase in bookings. That means they were charging $6,000 too much per package. Even at the $1,000 rate the hotel isn't sold out yet.

Hotels in Las Vegas and New York will do better than the rest of the country because those two cities are typically New Year's Eve destinations. However, those two cities are in the minority this year, as other hotels scramble to find customers even at this late date. If you want to spend the night away from home start calling around, chances are you'll find a deal to suit your pocketbook.

A survey by the Travel Industry Association of America found 39 percent of those who normally plan to travel on New Year's eve do expect some sort of Y2K problems. In the same survey seven percent said they thought there will be major problems. It looks like those fears scared away some vacationers because the survey found that 76 percent of all Americans said they would not be traveling this year. It may be money, it may be Y2K, whatever the reason the majority of us is staying home this year.

All is not lost for hotel owners who can learn from their mistakes this year. Next year they can change their costs, change their plans and fill their rooms for the real millennium celebration which will take place on January 1, 2001.

Source: Associated Press

DATE: 12/14/99

For more E2000 stories, click here:
news | events | <A HREF="/news/archive_computer.asp" T