Some Hoteliers Hot Under the Collar
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.