Monday, January 17, 2005

Jacksonville Super Bowl XXXIX Hotel Room Fiasco Pt 5

I have not had a great time with this matter of hotels. I didn't here from the Best Western people today, but that could be because they're investigating this matter -- as they said they would do. It's also Martin Luther King's birthday holiday, ....but hey, I did talk to the Best Western people on Sunday, huh? Hmm...

This will be resolved in some way. I was contacted by a reporter for the Florida Times-Union not on this problem, but on my remarks that the economic impact of the Super Bowl is under-estimated. The reporter's passing my hotel problem story to a person in their business section.

Maybe I'll have a public voice about this stuff, if only to get a room. But there's a real problem down there in Jax. For example, I finally used the website at for more than just maps. They've got a website for hotels and a hotline. Used the website but the closest hotel I located at a $150 price was in Georgia. Yep, South GA is about an hour's drive. But that's a whole hour.

When I called the hotline, I discovered that the guy on the other end of the line was just using the same website, because when he told me to go to the Jacksonville website, I said "I'm already there," and he said "That's what I'm using." Geez.

Oh, so you would think that the hotline guy was located in Jacksonville, and could tell me something about the area, like where to get Chicago-style pizza,right? Nah. He was in Chicago. Geez. If this were The Apprentice, who would The Donald fire?

After fishing around the Internet, I thought I found a room at the Florida Inn on Amelia Island, and at $169 a night as reported on their website. Check out their website by clicking on the word LINK. Then type in the dates of Feb 3rd to arrive and Feb 7th to get out of Dodge, as they said in Gunsmoke.

Notice that their are rooms at $169, right. Right? Yeah. So, I called them, with a smile. They person did report the room as available and at that rate!!!

But then they fax out this room form for me to fill out (fine), and the rates on the paper are from $600 for the same room, up to $900. And that's per night. Per night. Per night. Should I repeat this?

So, I called the Inn, and the person on the phone agreed that the prices were too high, but she didn't set them. She agreed that the price was set at a "scam level." I'm not kidding. She also told me that the Inn elected not to sign up with the Host Committee.

I'm not sure if that was a good move or a bad one.

I still need a room.