Hotel Gouge Of Race Fans Disgusting

Charlotte, NC (June 29, 2010) – Looking to get away for a short vacation? A quick trip around the Internet reveals it is a traveler’s market – especially the hotels. That is, unless you are a stock car racing fan.

Let’s use the upcoming Bristol weekend as an example. It’s set for August 18-21 and will feature a great NASCAR Truck and Mod doubleheader at the Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, a downtown festival and the hauler parade on Thursday, Nationwide action Friday, and the famed Bristol Night Race Cup battle Saturday evening.

That rocks, and now that the economy is a little ‘soft,’ Bristol isn’t sold out anymore. That means a lot of new people get the opportunity to experience all that Bristol has to offer.

A quick look at reveals tickets can be had at the swipe of a credit card. No problem there. You’re going to the Bristol Night Race. Hell yeah.

Next stop – – need a hotel in Bristol.

The search reveals there are plenty of hotels in Bristol and the surrounding communities of Abingdon, Kingsport and Johnson City . They got ’em all – Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Days Inn – and more. A swell selection.

Then you look at the price.


The Comfort Inn in Bristol – $330 a night – $1,320 plus taxes for four nights stay? Days Inn in Bristol – $483 a night – $1,932 plus tax?

Are you serious?

Two people can spend four nights, five days in Punta Cana Dominican Republic at an amazing all-inclusive food and drink island resort for just over $1,700 – and that includes direct, round-trip airfare from Charlotte.

Those Bristol hotel prices can’t be right.

A recheck of the race dates – August 18-21 – and refreshing the Expedia page reveals the same tale of woe. The hotels in Abingdon, Kingsport and Johnson City also all have rates in those price points too.

The best available remaining rate found is at the Comfort Inn in Kingsport at $209 a night.

A check of some other travel sites as well as some hotel home web addresses comes up a big Ditto – rates out the roof at all Bristol hotels. Hell, who do these folks think they are – the Waldorf Astoria in New York City?

A quick search for the Waldorf Astoria on the Internet reveals what the price would be for the Bristol weekend dates – $259 a night.

Damn, you could stay at the freakin’ Waldorf Astoria cheaper than the Bristol Days Inn!

How about $232 for the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco – or the Royal Palm South Beach Resort in Miami for $166 a night?

Paris? Just $259 for the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe.

Paris too – all way cheaper than Bristol, TN hotels?

Say it isn’t so.

Resigned to the fact of paying the gouge for a hotel room for the races, it’s back to the Bristol page. Just to satisfy one last inch of curiosity, a check what the same rooms would be the weeks before and after the race is stunning.

The Comfort Inn in Bristol is just $80 a night – a full four times less than race weekend. The Days Inn Bristol had a special posted rate – $59 a night – one-eighth the amount charged for the same room race week.

That’s disgusting.

Unfortunately, it is also the way the hotel industry ‘treats’ their customers in many cities that host NASCAR events, the Super Bowl, NCAA Finals, World Series and other major sporting events.

It’s a license to steal. Nobody should be allowed to increase their prices four-to-eight hundred percent – or more – to take advantage of the public regardless of the product.

Just because the banks get to do it, not everyone else should too.

Unfortunately for NASCAR, not even a great event like the one at Bristol can overcome a tight economy AND money-crazed merchants.

It’s a $2,500-$3,000 by the time two tickets to three events, gas, food and the ‘lodging’ are paid for on the current program.

If the hotel folks play ball nice and price their rooms at a reasonable rate – even to 100 bucks a night – that total drops to $1,300-$1,600 for the weekend. And even that is a stretch, or just outright not doable – for a lot of folks today.

It’s also why there are seats available at Bristol these days.

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