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October 28, 2017 5:45 am

Some Hoteliers Hot Under the Collar

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Prince George, B.C-. In preparation for the Canada Winter Games,  hotels in  Prince George were asked to block  sections of rooms, a measure to ensure  there would be space for all the athletes and visitors to the City.

Downtown Prince George was designated as the ‘Athletes Village’ and  hotel rooms in the downtown area  have been in high demand.

So, several hotels outside the bowl area of Prince George had  agreements with the  2015 Games Society  which called for them to block off rooms.  Some claim to have turned away potential business in order to be ready for the Games, but the Games reservations  haven’t come and  some hoteliers outside the downtown core,  are not happy about it.

“I have heard the complaints” says  Tracy Peterson,  President of Accommodation Prince George, “but I don’t yet have all the bits and pieces.  I haven’t  had a chance to speak  directly with  all the  hotel operators or the Canada Games  representatives.” Peterson has been busy at her own  hotel, the Ramada, where she  is General Manager .

Peterson says  she hopes to be able to  meet with the concerned parties  over the next two  weeks to  sort out  the issues “Certainly we will be having a meeting  after the Games to  talk about  what worked and what didn’t  in order to prepare for the next major event in the City.”  She also says it is  possible there  may be  guests, such as those who  booked in Quesnel and Vanderhoof,  who are “further outside the city than they needed to be”.

It is also possible  some folks opted to book in the neighbouring communities  in order to save a few dollars. The cost of a hotel room in Quesnel or Vanderhoof  is, on average,  at least $30 a night cheaper than Prince George.  With  shuttle service offered  into P.G.,  booking out of town may well have been a financial consideration for some visitors.

When asked if  hotel  rooms would normally  be in demand  in February,  Peterson says February is the  month which sees  increased demand for conventions and  some wedding activity, so it is possible  business was lost because space was  being held for the Games.  She adds  each  hotel would have its own  agreement with the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

But transition day is just  five days away, and  those  hotel rooms which have been empty could be  in demand  when the new  group of athletes, coaches, visitors and supporters arrives.


$30 a night cheaper in Quesnel ans 230km round trip. How the hell long does it take for that to make any sense?

Sounds more like they over estimaded the people coming… Just look at Kigigi… Sooo many listings there still up and not filled

Travel between Quesnel and Vanderhoof in the winter, these two hi ways are not the safest to drive, I would most definitely have spent the extra $30.00 a night.

Heard some Hotels up there rate.

As I mentioned early on. When these types of events come to town it displaces those who would normally come because they cannot get any spaces..So this has an effect on the retail industry, however now we are looking at a situation where we have some empty rooms, which just exacerbates the problem.

Don’t know how the second groups coming will make any difference unless they release a bunch of rooms rather quickly, and drop the prices back to normal.

I noticed last night that three hotel/motels on the bypass had vacancy signs, so this gives you some indication that there is a problem.

There are some other things happening that would make you raise your eyebrows, however if one was to mention them, they would be accused of being negative.

Local Canada Game organizers grossly over estimated the business potential of these games. Then to top it off they chassed away regular customers by advertising that parking is going to be a problem downtown so people should take a bus. News Flash so far downtown is not any busier that most normal weeks. There are some out of town customers but regular customers are down. Before the games they were selling everyone that it will be so busy you are going to need longer hours more staff. Bla bla bla. The games are great for the participants. As for business potential, status quo as they chased away the local customer. They did such a poor job promoting to locals and instead turned them away. Downtown has lots of parking and aside from a couple blocks right by the civic center it is wide open.

Another factor may be the number of houses that were rented out, or the people who took in visitors, because of the perceived shortage of hotel rooms.

But still…. their Homestay website still has vacancies. Some people did crowd into houses, 12 per house to save on costs. Wouldn’t surprise me if hotels upped their rates for this event and that contributed to the empty rooms. Even the Opening Ceremonies had a lotta empty seats., maybe due to the higher prices. Downtown is not as busy as they expected.

BTW… where does one buy souveriners for the games.. Figured they’d have them at the plasa but didn’t see any.. Any suggestions???

Have we come close to bringing in the $ 90 million dollars yet? Im thinking
maybe a few million. Restauraunts are not full. Businesses are quiet. I hope we can wow the world like city hall said.

Some Industrial maintenance projects don’t happen during these types of events due to a perceived lack of room for out of town tradespeople.. Not complaining . I’m getting through the honey do list before the next wave of construction activity starts.

I had people ask where was a good place to stay in Prince George , so I alwayd direct them to any of the Hotel on the by pass are good , close to Costco and southridge shopping , and not far from the games .

I’ve been approached several times too for directions and such. It’s still early in this games, it’s only day 4. Two weeks left! Maybe by next Tuesday we can discuss better results. I found Saturday and Sunday were the busiest days thus far.

It seems strange that with all the advance knowledge of these games, and other games like the Olympics, that any hotel agree to holding rooms for guests, on the assumption they are going to be filled. I would simply have thought anyone who needed a room would set up a reservation well in advance of coming to Prince George in order to ensure a room for themselves. I would have told the CWG people to either pay for any rooms THEY want to reserve or go take a hike.

There should be more rooms opening up now that the long skate event is moving to Ft St John. However I expect that those people who made other plans because of the games will not change those plans now.

In fact because they moved the spring break to coincide with the winter games, many people have left on holidays. The destination I hear the most is Disney. Go to Disney and rent out your house in Prince George. Not a bad deal when you think about it.

Its like everything else..its a gamble.. how many actually came to town compared to estimated numbers ? Did the warm weather impact out of town spectators from coming to town ? Did these hotels/motels complaining raise their rates for the game and price themselves out of the market ?

I tried to book a room at one of the three at the intersection of 16 and 97. Low and behold. All the rooms were blocked off. And I noticed the price was upped 30-50% at those locations. Good on them for being empty. I think price gouging for events is ridiculous. Especially when these athletes are amateurs and rely on donations and government funding to get them to these events. 99% of the hotels usually offer a sport team/group discount. But for some greedy reason they seem to think they can get away with upping the rate for the Canada Games.

Being in the hotel industry myself has me wondering why any hotel would block off rooms without them being guaranteed by anyone or group? We have a strict policy when it comes to blocking off rooms. If they aren’t guaranteed with a credit card within 7 days of check in? Their room is cancelled. Simple as that. I bet a lot more northern BC residents would have made the trip if there were hotel rooms available. And I’m sure business is slow because the corporate clientele that PG attracts on a daily basis is non existent over the next 2 weeks. No way I would have agreed to block off rooms without reservations attached to them.

Weren’t we being told about a year ago that it was essential to build a new hotel over by the Exhibition grounds in part because there otherwise wouldn’t be enough rooms for the Games?

Sheraton 4 points rooms went from $120 to $220
Treasure Cove $149 to $230
Signature Sandman $129 to $239

Gee I wonder why the athletes decided on renting homes or travel from VAnderhoof or Quesnel? Just imagine a hockey team needing 15 rooms for 5 nights? I can understand a 20-30% increase. But a 60-80% increase? C’mon now. As a monthly visitor to PG. That just irks me a little too much. I just want to come down to watch some good hockey. This isn’t the Olympics. No need to take advantage of Canadian amateur athletes or northern BC residents.

Considering it is the businesses that are the ones making money on this Grand event? If sergiomomesso is correct, the rates could have stayed the same, hotels full and restaurants busy??
The average person gains nothing but inconvenience from the games in addition to the tax from the city to revamp the Kin arena for it.
Lets face it, how many of those visitors will come back here for a vacation??
The few fee parking spots behind the Coliseum are cut off, so bylaw services will make a bit on any errant parking offense, but our municipal employees were provided alternative parking to keep them off the streets.

There are a number that will say that this is a terrible way to think, but City Hall just costs us more & more each year and I for one have no “Esprit de corp” for the City of Prince George and the Winter Games!

I can’t believe that any business in Prince George would gouge their customers. But on the other hand, Hmmmmmmm.

This happened at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Owelympics as well. They had plans to bring in a cruise ship to act as a floating hotel, because hotel space was suppose to be in high demand. They couldn’t get enough people to reserve rooms so the whole idea was scraped.

IMO, the Hoteliers missed the boat on these Canada Winter Games. They should have marketed to the surrounding communities selling packages like 2 nights stay, with CWG tickets to popular events, maybe including dinning at a restaurant in the package as well, all for one cost.

It is unfortunate to hear about the substantial price hikes from some hotels in P.G. In the end it won’t matter how friendly we are a Games Ambassadors to these visitors, if local businesses pick their pockets at the same time.

X2 Palopu!

If is true that they raised the room rates by that much all I can say is this: What a great welcome for the out of town participants!

If they have empty rooms, it is their own fault!

Got to make hay while the sun shines.

I hope the places that raised the price of their rooms have lots of them sit empty. We are supposed to be hosting the games, not gouging the attendees.

One of my colleagues from another Province tried to secure a hotel room in PG to watch his son in the games and he couldn’t because they were all booked, every last one of them. This was a couple of months prior to the games starting.

I advised him to check out rooms in Quesnel or Vanderhoof, simply because nothing in PG was available to reserve. I’m not sure where he found a place, but I know he was looking into renting a house.

It’s really too bad that the room allocations weren’t better organized as I think there was probably allot of lost revenue from people who went elsewhere OR who didn’t bother to come because they were told that nothing was available when they were making plans.

Be it gas prices, hotel prices during events, food providers or pretty much anything else that is needed seasonally in this city gouge gouge gouge. It’s a pity these so called “business people” are such idiots when it comes to business logic.

We had bets just how much they lied about the potential revenue the games would bring in.

Wow professional? If you had any on the ground knowledge of what you were talking about you would realize you are off base. For example what restaurants have jacked their prices. PG101 Your on the mark,government organizations are always clueless when it comes to business.

Even though these games generally are a loss for small business they are a success. I just wish in PG we could do things right for a change when it comes to business. We confuss multinational business with small far to often.

Headline should be… Hoteliers caught with hand in cookie jar.. Greed cost them renting out their rooms.

230$ for a hotel room? That’s almost as much as dinner for 2 at Earls.

PG101, aren’t you exagerating a bit? I figure you can have a full dinner at Earl’s without skimping, including a couple bottles of beer, for about $60 apiece, $120 for two.

Does no one understand the concept of supply and demand? Sure the perceived demand didn’t materialize, but if you have a limited quantity of a product or service, and demand is high, then the price goes up.

Hotels are not in business to provide lodging, they are in business to MAKE MONEY. Those who understand this go out and start successful businesses. Those who can’t wrap their minds around such simple concepts, end up here, complaining about EVERYTHING.

Little birdie… Everyone in business knows you don’t charge $1000 a night and hope to rent out 2 rooms, you put them all at $125 and rent everyone.. Then there is more to buy from pop machines, restaurants, etc. If it’s a good value all those people will tell their friends and in turn you get more business from word of mouth.

Like a previous poster said about someone from Alberta not being able to get a room because they were all blocked off for athletes. The families coming to support their kids are the ones that will be contributing to the local economy. And yet many of them didn’t come because there were apparently no rooms available. And now they are empty because they want almost twice as much as they usually go for. And yes I do understand supply and demand but this isn’t 2010 Olympic Games we are hosting. I spoke to someone from Signature Sandman today and they lost a 20 room 5 day booking because the group got a better deal in Quesnel. Over half the cost was saved. And they still wouldn’t rent me a room at a usual rate for this weekend.

businesses downtown are resorting to Facebook to ask there regulars to come in. They said due to peoples concerns of no parking and being overly crowded there slower than they thought they would be

sergionmomesso, do I understand correctly that the Signature Sandman is having trouble filling its rooms but still wants to charge an increased rate?

The Libs will take care of them don’t worry!

Highways around town look slower than usual as well, and not as much of a rush hour from what I can see. Probably a net flow out of the region for the games with the spring break and all.

I think the organizers did a poor job all around in the promotion… leaving tv promotion up in the air, bad scheduling information and planning, bad attendance promotion, and even the fireworks starting at hap hazard times rather than a strict clock work type of event people can plan for. Out of town media I think could have been organized better with packages including things to see and promote in the city, and how the city could help facilitate that (CWG chair was supposed to be an expert in this area?).

P Val, I won’t pretend to know more than the hotel management at the Coast, Ramada, Sandman, Sheraton, and Treasure Cove combined. IMO, they know a little more about their business than either of us.

Is it possible that they misjudged the demand? Of course, but unless Isadore Sharp happens to be commenter here, I don’t think anyone is qualified to armchair quarterback this one.

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