Hotel prices climb, rooms fill up as Final Four approaches

Visitors expected to book 40,000 hotel rooms for championship weekend

SAN ANTONIO – It’s March Madness, alright. An estimated 93,000 basketball fans are expected to come to town to hoop it up, and they’ll need a place for a timeout. That means hotels will be filling up in the Alamo City.

“If you haven’t gotten your room downtown for the Final Four, you may be out of luck,” said Richard Oliver, director of partner and community relations with Visit San Antonio. “Those hotels filled up pretty fast.”

The largest hotels, just a walk away from the Alamodome, which include the Grand Hyatt and Rivercenter Marriott, are booked solid. If you or your out-of-town guests find a room in or near downtown, a quick online search reveals you can expect to pay between $400 and $1,000 a night. And that’s before the taxes and fees.

Most visitors are expected to stay at least four nights.

“People come in a week early sometimes to catch that fever,” Oliver said.

Budget hotels are filling up fast, too. The Motel 6 at Market Square showed one availability for the Final Four stretch, and it was listed online at $185 per night. That’s three times the typical rack rate there.

Visitors are expected to book 40,000 hotel rooms for the championship weekend, translating more than $53 million in economic impact on the hotel industry, according to a study by economist Steve Nivin with St. Mary’s University.

With visitors expected to dine, shop and party in the Alamo City, the tourism industry is counting on a big win of its own.

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