Tampa hotels hope to reach reservation before pandemic during Super Bowl

Some apartments on Airbnb cost thousands of dollars for the weekend.

TAMPA, Fla .– With less than two weeks to the Super Bowl, hotels are booking. Even with limited fans, tens of thousands of people will be heading to Tampa to attend or around the event.

“They just want to be here. They want to be a part of it,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.

The company tracks hotel stays and other metrics for large events. They hope the Super Bowl will bring safe hotel stays back to pre-pandemic levels.

“I would love to see some occupation in the 90s – 80s to 90s, in this week leading up to the Super Bowl and Super Bowl, so we can beat last January,” Corrada said.

Last January, hotel occupancy rate stood at 73%, the highest ever recorded in January.

Today, the hotel occupancy rate is 53%. Much lower, especially as one of the most important events of the year is fast approaching.

In the past, when Tampa hosted the Super Bowl, hotels were booked and visitors were forced to look elsewhere.

“In the past, we didn’t have enough rooms in Hillsborough County to accommodate all of the visitors who come with a Super Bowl. So we’ve seen people book rooms all the way to Orlando,” Corrada said.

But, hotels are definitely starting to book as match day approaches.

“I’ve noticed that the stock of hotels is really low and people want to come but can’t really find a nice place to stay,” said Emily Pariseau. She is a travel consultant and lives in an apartment in Tampa.

When she saw the demand increase, she decided to try to accommodate her apartment.

“My roommate and I both have family in town, so we have another place to stay. And we kind of looked around and thought, we have a nice apartment, maybe people would like to stay here.

What she found out was that people would be willing to pay a lot of money to use her apartment for the weekend.

“We were shocked. We put [our apartment] on Airbnb for less than 12 hours and I got an offer of thousands of dollars that we never imagined in a million years.

The couple decided to decline the offer so they could make sure they had all the cleaning supplies and items needed to accommodate people. They will reappear soon, when the demand is likely to be even higher.

“And I think we will wait until Monday morning, we will put it back in place, if we have a big offer, we will take it and if not, we will forget it,” said Pariseau.

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