Hotels demand astronomical prices during solar eclipse
Published Monday, August 14, 2017 6:33PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:06AM PDT
As the minutes tick away as we countdown to the total solar eclipse, so do the number of rooms available to rent.
However, you can still get one if you want to pay. As supply is dropping, prices are skyrocketing.
When we checked for hotel rooms in Lincoln City, Ore., we could still find some room available if you are willing to pay up to $1900 a night. That was the overnight rate for an ocean view room at the Best Western Plus Lincoln Sands. While over at the Rodeway Inn and Suites you could still get a standard room with king bed for $1271 per night. So is it price gouging or the free market hard at work?
“I would say grab a tent,” joked Lyle Truden, manager of the Flight Center on Howe Street in downtown Vancouver.
“I wouldn’t pay that much I don’t think but some certainly some people do.”
Truden says it’s usually that way with big events, whether it’s the Olympics or Pride week.
However, things got a bit ugly for some who had booked well in advance in order to secure a better room rate. There have been several complaints about price gouging and consumers having their reservations canceled or being asked to pay more.
Arlene Jenkins booked her room nearly three years in advance at a hotel in Idaho Falls, Idaho at $140 a night. She says someone called her last week asking her to pay more.
“He started questioning us and telling us that our rate was way too low for this event and he wanted to raise our rates.”
We called the Le Ritz Hotel and Suites to ask about it but got no response. Although we did learn they had a room available for the eclipse weekend, it was a two night minimum stay at $600 a night. So far Jenkins’ reservation has not been canceled and is expecting her reserved rate to be honored.
It’s not just hotels that are raising their rates for eclipse weekend. If you want to fly into Portland for the weekend, flights are more than double the usual rate and you may have trouble finding a rental car when you land. Hertz has admitted to overbooking for the Portland area and has had to cancel some reservations.
When it comes to looking at the eclipse, be careful about what you wear to protect your eyes. Amazon is offering refunds to consumers who may have purchased counterfeit or fake solar eclipse sunglasses.
Emails are being sent out to consumers to warn them about it. You need to make sure your eclipse sunglasses have the manufacturer stamp and ISO certification 12312-2. Yet, even some fakes could have been stamped so put them on to make sure you can’t see anything in front of you. They should block out all light like welders glasses.
Click here for an approved list of solar eclipse sunglass manufacturers. In Vancouver the Telus Science Centre was selling eclipse sunglasses as well as London Drugs stores. We've also learned Toys R Us has some stocked as well as Best Buy. However, demand is so high some stores may now be sold out. You may want to call ahead.