Eleven months from now my oldest son will be graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington. Yay -- a pay raise coming. Of course, I want to go there so I called the Courtyard over a year in advance. It turns out that their calendar wasn't yet available. It has just recently come available and here are the rates. $589 for a king size bed and $599 for two doubles. Ok, it gets worse. In order to get these outrageous rates you have to buy three nights with advance purchase, and no refunds. OMG! Are my expectations limited or is this just outrageous?
SOP. Hotels know when there are events that will create a huge demand for rooms. They adjust prices accordingly. Just like prices go up for New Years Eve. Supply and Demand.
Check rates at hotels 30 or 40 miles out of town. That might be far enough away to get a lower rate.
Do you have enough points to book a room instead of paying for it? I find that this is where using the points are the most beneficial when room rates are high. If you don't have enough points, you may want to open a Marriott credit card to get the upfront bonus points & use the card to pay for most things, as long as you can pay off your balances when due to avoid interest fees.
This is typical for all hotels around large universities at graduation time and it can be just as bad for homecoming. Try to get a hotel room in Boston during homecoming at any of the larger universities each fall. Hotels book solid all the way into Rhode Island and raise their rates accordingly.
While I don't have any children old enough to achieve this yet, I have stayed at this property, its OK, nothing special....and others have pointed out that the hotel knows when the events occur and they do surge pricing. I can tell you that between Bloomington and Indianapolis there isn't much in the way of hotels and no Marriott properties. There are hotels near the Indianapolis airport, and its about a 40 minutes drive from Indy Airport to Bloomington. I am sure you can save allot of money staying near the airport (there is a Residence Inn, Courtyard and Fairfield all near the airport) and driving to Bloomington (if you don't mind driving). There are also some Marriott hotels in Columbus Indiana which is about 10 miles closer than Indy Airport properties. If you have AAA they may have even better rates. Once you get to that 30 miles away, the rates should be more reasonable and you don't need to buy 3 nights in advance. Just my suggestion, but having the need to travel to Bloomington over the last 20 years at various times of the year. I have learned the tricks of the pricing and don't mind a 30-45 minute drive to save money. Hope you find what you want, but your issue is a sully and demand issue and seems to occur at many properties that have location specific events (like the Daytona 500, Indy 500, Olympics, etc.)
Outrageous? Yes, but supply/demand drive up the prices. Most properties will do this when there is a major event in town. Same for beach front hotels. Off season, the room you book for $100/night will go for 6, 7 times that amount in peak season. I once almost fell off my chair when a FFI had rates over $700!!! For a rinky-dinky FFI!
As a lifetime Platinum and current Platinum Premier, I understand that rates go up during events. The most outrageous part of this opportunity is the minimum of three nights purchase. I ONLY HAVE TO BE THERE FOR ONE NIGHT.
I will be driving an additional 30 miles, which isn't so bad. Thank you all for helping me vent.