Wed August 15, 2012
Booking Leftover DNC Rooms
The DNC originally blocked off 15,000 rooms for the week of the convention, and it announced Tuesday that 93 percent of those rooms have been booked. Overall, 7 percent is a small margin.
But releasing those rooms—a little over 1,000 in all—also means that some hotels beyond the 485 loop are left scrambling to recoup what could be a huge loss.
The Hampton Inn in Salisbury blocked out 80 percent of its rooms for the DNC to help Charlotte secure the bid for the convention. When the DNC released the hold on Monday, none of those rooms had been booked.
“We all understood that we were taking a gamble with it, but like I said, we had been assured for an entire year that the rooms would be used,” says Krista Osterweil, the Hampton Inn’s general manager. “So, I think we all expected that probably not all of them would be used, but I think we were all shocked that none of them were used.”
Osterweil says her staff will be calling back groups they originally turned away. She also says she might lower room rates to attract visitors.
James Meacham, the executive director of the Rowan County Tourism Development Authority says a lot of problems could have been avoided if the DNC had released those rooms earlier.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority has asked hotels facing similar situations to update it with their vacancies.
The tourism organization says that by Friday it will be using its website, its Facebook page, and Twitter (#DNCRooms) to publicize the latest room openings in the area.