NEWS

Grey Cup gouging? Hotel room prices higher this weekend

11/25/2014 08:52 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST
Upwards of 40,000 out-of-town visitors are expected to descend on the Vancouver area for the Grey Cup game and various related parties this weekend, and some of them will be paying seemingly inflated prices for the experience.

According to a search CBC News performed Monday on travel website Expedia, the average price for a hotel room calculated from among 86 downtown Vancouver hotels is $261 a night during Grey Cup weekend.

For the same period one week later, that average price drops to $137 a night.

SFU Associate Professor Jeremy Snyder, who has studied the ethics of price gouging, told CBC News that while Stampeders and Ti-Cats fans may disagree, the fact that football isn't actually a life-and-death matter makes the over-inflated prices just irritating, as opposed to morally unacceptable.

"I understand not being happy with it, but it's a luxury. It's something that people don't need to do, and so people are going to have to pay a higher price for that."

Walt Judas, vice president of marketing for Tourism Vancouver, said the event is expected to generate anywhere from $30 million to $40 million in visitor spending.

"There's all kind of activity leading up to the game that generates a significant amount for the community. The direct visitor spend is typically around the event itself and this year's Grey Cup will be no exception. Restaurants will be busy, the cabs will be busy, there will be some retail activity, all of the festivals that are going on," he said.

As for hotel room bargain hunters—they may just have to look a little farther afield.

"You may not stay in the exact location you want to, but there's a hotel for anyone in the Metro Vancouver region," he said.

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