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Tampa and Charlotte hotels raise rates for political conventions

August 12, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Spencer Platt / Getty Images (k6a8qgnc/600 )

Democrats and Republicans hope their next nominating conventions will set the stage for a big victory in November.

But the hotels at the cities hosting the conventions can already claim victory.

Occupancy rates and nightly hotel rates have shot up in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27 to 30 and in Charlotte, N.C., which is hosting the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 3 to 6.

As of this week, 87% of Tampa’s hotel rooms are booked for the Republican convention while 89% of the rooms in Charlotte are booked for the Democratic convention, according to TravelClick, a New York company that provides e-commerce products and services to the hotel industry.

Even better news for hotel owners, the average hotel rate in Tampa is already up 143% for the convention week. In the same period last year, the average room rate in the city was about $101 per night, according to TravelClick.

In Charlotte, rates for the convention week are up 109% compared with the same time last year when rooms rented for an average of $106 per night, the company said.

Most conventions don’t spur such a dramatic rate increase, said Tim Hart, executive vice president of enterprise solutions at TravelClick. The only event that might drive such an increase, he said, is a Super Bowl.

“It's pretty extreme, the amount of business that these conventions bring into the market in such a short period of time,” he said.

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