Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Jacksonville Super Bowl XXXIX Hotel Room Fiasco - Pt 7

OK. For a recap, how did this hotel room problem start? Well, it goes all the way back to the year 2000, when Jacksonville reported that they signed up cruise ships to add 3,500 rooms to their bloc of 10,000 rooms under NFL contract. Well, as you can see if you read this blog and my series on this problem, Jacksonville gave the NFL the cruise ships, period plus another 3,500 rooms, not 10,000 rooms. In other words Jacksonville came up with only -- let's see -- about 7,000 rooms.

Oakland had about that many under contract, not including a letter from Ann Le Clair, who was the Executive Director of the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Well, that letter pledged an additional 12,500 rooms, so we would have been able to give the NFL their rooms, not including the 30,000 rooms in San Francisco, and the 40,000 rooms in the Bay Area, all within one-hour's drive of The Oakland Coliseum.

Want evidence of Jacksonville's promise? Click here : Press Release Oh, in the release, Jacksonville officials claim that they have over 17,000 rooms. Geez.

The question is what will the NFL do after this? You can be sure that Jacksonville's getting a game will be a problem in the future, but the bottom line is tha the Jax executives signed binding NFL contracts promissing rooms. So, I'll bet the league's pissed. What am I writing, I know they are.

The other big problem is the undoubtely large number of instances of hotel room booking fraud. I think that the law should change to prohibit those who are not registered hotel travel agents from booking rooms, and that of those registered, they and the hotel manager are required to report all transactions to the parent company, even if the parent company does not own the property.

Then, that the parent company is responsible for the resolution of all potentially frauduent transactions. This will cause them to police their properties better.

Jacksonville Super Bowl Hotel Room Fiasco - Pt 6

Well, I finally got a hotel about 50 miles (!) out from Jacksonville, and yes in Jekyl Island, GA. That reported, it sounds like a nice resort. But this whole deal is not over just because I have a room.

I got an e-mail from a friend who has an exhibit at the NFL Experience, so he has more Super Bowl experience than I do. This is what he wrote:

"Hi Zennie,
I relate to your issues. When I first started my negotiations with the NFL this year, they told me that I would be responsible for securing my own rooms because there is a huge room issue for this year’s game. I told them that I would increase my fees to reflect the change in policy. The next conversation, they had only 2 rooms secured for the 3 of us, and that they would pick up the tab, as always. The problem with these rooms is that they are more than 30 minutes away from the NFL Experience, so I also had to rent cars for my staff."

So that's proof there's a real problem. Oh, and Best Western? They called to tell me what I already know, that my name was not on a reservation. What I was trying to determine is if the ticket broker actually had a room in the first place, and also get a room for myself.

I've got a room, but I'm going to bring this whole matter to the attention of whoever will listen in Congress. This is ridiculous, and I'm not going to stop until hoterliers are discouraged from inviting fraudulent practices.