Reception Ideas

under-booked hotel block...crazy attrition rates...HELP!!!!

We booked a total of 30 rooms over a Friday and Saturday (8/15 and 8/16) assuming that among our 70+ out of town guests, plus the wedding party, that we would be able to fill it. However, our guests are setting up DDs and staying with family and doing all they can to avoid staying in a hotel.  We have less than 1 week to secure the block for the discounted rate and only 8 rooms are booked. We're reaching out to everyone we can to get a reservation, but with little luck so far. People are willing to make 1 1/2 hour drives home to avoid a hotel (rate is reasonable, hotel is the gorgeous Hyatt Regency). I love my smart, frugal guests but right now my fiance and I could end up paying about $7500 for these unused rooms...I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this would be a problem...please help 

Re: under-booked hotel block...crazy attrition rates...HELP!!!!

  • The only thing I can suggest is that you start offering to pay for half the stay if people are willing to reserve a room. It's still going to cost you but it's better than $7500.
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  • ccoleeman said:
    We booked a total of 30 rooms over a Friday and Saturday (8/15 and 8/16) assuming that among our 70+ out of town guests, plus the wedding party, that we would be able to fill it. However, our guests are setting up DDs and staying with family and doing all they can to avoid staying in a hotel.  We have less than 1 week to secure the block for the discounted rate and only 8 rooms are booked. We're reaching out to everyone we can to get a reservation, but with little luck so far. People are willing to make 1 1/2 hour drives home to avoid a hotel (rate is reasonable, hotel is the gorgeous Hyatt Regency). I love my smart, frugal guests but right now my fiance and I could end up paying about $7500 for these unused rooms...I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this would be a problem...please help 
    release the block of rooms, pay the difference from the discount to the full rate for those who have booked.  

    They get the room at the rate they booked, you don't have to pay astronomical fees.
    Hummingbird125RebeccaB88Ven&Radiobahamabride2015
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
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    ccoleeman said:
    We booked a total of 30 rooms over a Friday and Saturday (8/15 and 8/16) assuming that among our 70+ out of town guests, plus the wedding party, that we would be able to fill it. However, our guests are setting up DDs and staying with family and doing all they can to avoid staying in a hotel.  We have less than 1 week to secure the block for the discounted rate and only 8 rooms are booked. We're reaching out to everyone we can to get a reservation, but with little luck so far. People are willing to make 1 1/2 hour drives home to avoid a hotel (rate is reasonable, hotel is the gorgeous Hyatt Regency). I love my smart, frugal guests but right now my fiance and I could end up paying about $7500 for these unused rooms...I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this would be a problem...please help 

    So 22 unbooked rooms will cost you $7500?  That's $340 per stay (Fri and Sat), or $170 per night.  Are you sure that's "reasonable" for your guests?  I know I wouldn't shell out $340 to stay 2 days, though I probably wouldn't stay 2 nights to begin with unless I had to fly out to your wedding.  And I would probably drive 1.5 hours home too to save $170, unless you were close family and everyone was staying.
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  • scribe95 said:
    In my world a hotel block isn't a commitment and at a certain point it is open. But I understand that sometimes people actually promise they will be booked and put themselves on the hook for the cost? Wow. Not smart. You got yourself in this mess. Stop harassing your guests to spend money to help you out.
    That is the policy at some hotels because they are holding rooms for an event that they could have otherwise booked.  

    That is the reason we did not do a hotel block.  We had a few guests that only stay at specific hotels because they are part of their rewards program or like certain amenities they offer.  It would have to have been one heck of a deal to get them to change their routine. 
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out.
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    mysticl said:
    scribe95 said:
    In my world a hotel block isn't a commitment and at a certain point it is open. But I understand that sometimes people actually promise they will be booked and put themselves on the hook for the cost? Wow. Not smart. You got yourself in this mess. Stop harassing your guests to spend money to help you out.
    That is the policy at some hotels because they are holding rooms for an event that they could have otherwise booked.  

    That is the reason we did not do a hotel block.  We had a few guests that only stay at specific hotels because they are part of their rewards program or like certain amenities they offer.  It would have to have been one heck of a deal to get them to change their routine. 
    We had one hotel insist on attrition... so we didn't book there. Block expires on 8/22 for 9/13 wedding and anything that hasn't been reserved gets released, no charge to us.

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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
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    ccoleeman said:
    We booked a total of 30 rooms over a Friday and Saturday (8/15 and 8/16) assuming that among our 70+ out of town guests, plus the wedding party, that we would be able to fill it. However, our guests are setting up DDs and staying with family and doing all they can to avoid staying in a hotel.  We have less than 1 week to secure the block for the discounted rate and only 8 rooms are booked. We're reaching out to everyone we can to get a reservation, but with little luck so far. People are willing to make 1 1/2 hour drives home to avoid a hotel (rate is reasonable, hotel is the gorgeous Hyatt Regency). I love my smart, frugal guests but right now my fiance and I could end up paying about $7500 for these unused rooms...I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this would be a problem...please help 
    So what happens in a week? If you have to pay for the rooms regardless the hotel should allow guests to register up until that day. Is the $7500 not the full price to book the other 22 rooms for the 2 nights? If it is full price I would book them myself bc there is no way I'm paying for rooms only to have the hotel release them and make double money on the room.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • We did the same thing as @lolo883. We decided if people didn't want to book a hotel that should be up to them and we shouldn't have to pay for unused rooms. So for our 9/27 wedding people can get the reserved "block rate" until 9/14 if at that point the rooms aren't used they are then released.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    stop harassing your guests. You made the deal, not them. Don't wait a week. Call up your sales manager and see what your options are. Just because it's in the contract you have to pay, they might be willing to work with you. Especially if there is an event they might be able to use the blocked rooms.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz
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    The only thing you can do is call up the hotel and see if they can work with you.  Do NOT beg your guests.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination
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    $170 per night is NOT reasonable. It's high end. My budget would be half of that, and I'd only stay one night. I'd absolutely drive two hours back home to avoid paying that rate.

    I would never have booked a hotel block that required me to pay for unused rooms either. That was your fault. You could have picked another hotel.

    Sorry, this is all on you. Either call the hotel and figure out a plan, or suck it up and pay the $7500. And for God's sake, stop harassing your guests to book rooms. They don't have to unless you're paying for it. And if you have to pay the $7500 anyway, you might as well treat your guests to rooms. (No, you can't ask them to reimburse you.)
  • $170 per night is NOT reasonable. It's high end. My budget would be half of that, and I'd only stay one night. I'd absolutely drive two hours back home to avoid paying that rate.
    I guess it depends on where you live. That is extremely reasonable around me. I was REALLY hoping to be able to find rooms for my guests for around $200/night or less, but had no such luck. There's a big conference in town that weekend that jacked up the prices. The cheapest I could get was around $250...most others were over $400/night. However, I'm not requiring anyone to stay there--if we don't book the rooms get released. If people want to stay elsewhere that's fine with us...but to find a cheaper rate they're likely going to go outside the city where they'll either also need to rent a car, or their taxi fare will cost a small fortune and basically make up the difference. 
    jules3964japrincess24
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    MandyMost said:
    $170 per night is NOT reasonable. It's high end. My budget would be half of that, and I'd only stay one night. I'd absolutely drive two hours back home to avoid paying that rate.
    I guess it depends on where you live. That is extremely reasonable around me. I was REALLY hoping to be able to find rooms for my guests for around $200/night or less, but had no such luck. There's a big conference in town that weekend that jacked up the prices. The cheapest I could get was around $250...most others were over $400/night. However, I'm not requiring anyone to stay there--if we don't book the rooms get released. If people want to stay elsewhere that's fine with us...but to find a cheaper rate they're likely going to go outside the city where they'll either also need to rent a car, or their taxi fare will cost a small fortune and basically make up the difference. \


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    Nope, costs are all relative.  Sure location might have something to do with it, but so do finances and people's general comfort levels.

    Friends of ours got a great rate of $200 per night block at the Fontainebleau in South Beach during high season. It's a great and reasonable rate for Fontainebleau. I don't deny that.  However, it was still more than I wanted to spend so we found a place for half that cost only a few blocks away.  Was it as nice? No.  But we only slept there anyway.  The day we left we had to leave at 4am anyway. We didn't see the need in spending that much for a hotel room for that particular trip.       

    Now on my HM I had no problem spending 4 figures per night for a room.   

    OP said most people were within 2 hours of the place.  To get me to rent a room that close it would have to be less than $125.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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