hotel blocks

How early is it neccessary to book a block of rooms for your out of town guests?  For those of you who have had your wedding, did you have any good or bad experiences w/ any hotel.  We have a lot of out of town guests, many of which have never been to omaha so they may make a mini vacation out of it and I want them all to have a good experience.  We're looking for a downtown hotel b/c our reception will be downtown.  Thanks

Re: hotel blocks

  • edited December 2011
    We booked the hotel in time to send the dates out- so about 8 months ahead of time. We used the Hilton Garden Inn downtown and had a great experience working with Linda there. We had about 35 rooms booked and everything went perfect as far as I know. They have a shuttle that will drive people to the airport, and anywhere else within 5 miles as well. Rate was $109/night.
  • jasarahjasarah member
    Knottie Warrior 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'd do it sooner rather than later.  That would be something I don't think you could do too early, IMO.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    You can get rooms at the Hampton Inn by Qwest cheaper than anywhere else. It's brand new and a part of the Hilton company so the free shuttle will take you downtown. We just used it for my cousin's bachelorette and they upgraded us to a huge suite for free!
  • cerissacerissa member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I know I am late posting to this, but I am up late and bored and cruising posts and wanted to answer this in the event it helps someone else that may see it. I work in the hotel industry and have for most of my life and I can tell you this. Some hotels are not able to do blocks more than a year out from the current date and some can. The reason why some won't/can't are because their reservation system won't go further out than 365 days out from the current date, they don't know what rates will be at that time if you are trying to book more than a year out because they don't forecast that way and they also don't know what business potential there will be that far out. That meaning, city wide events that are brought to Omaha to where rooms might be selling for a premium. So keep in mind that though you might be thinking, 'I only need 30 rooms''s probably at 40 other brides have called for that weekend looking to hold 20 -100 rooms that the hotel can't afford to gamble on. That being said, don't wait too long. Get on line to the Omaha Convention and Visitor's Bureau and see what events are going on in Omaha the weekend of your wedding. If it's something huge like Berkshire weekend, the odds of getting a block anywhere are slim and if you do the rates will be at a premium price. Ditto for CWS. Downtown hotels can be more of an issue with city wide events if the event is happening at the Qwest. You don't want to wait too long either because hotels can sell out quickly to large groups booking events within a hotel. My advice is when you know the date, start calling the hotels you are interested in and they will let you know if they are able to book your block or if you are too far out. If they can book it, the go forward to contract with them so that you have the accommodations taken care of. Many brides want to book a variety of hotels at different price points for their guests, but keep in mind that it is best to keep your group at one location. This is especially true if these people are coming in early to attend other wedding event on goings that you have scheduled on your wedding weekend. It makes it easier for them to interact with each other, hang out in rooms at the end of the night together, car pool, etc. The one thing you don't want to have happen is 95% to book into one of your hotel selections and one person/couple to book the cheaper hotel and be the only one in that hotel. Just some friendly advice. :) Have a great wedding!
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