UPDATE: Local Hotel Charges $600 Per Night
The general manager for the Best Western Hotel on Riva Road she put that price in to stop people from trying to rent rooms.
UPDATE (Monday, 6:30 p.m.)—With Friday's storm knocking out power for residents in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, many people turned to hotels to beat the heat.
After a tree fell on a house on Monticello Avenue on Friday, the home's tenant was taken to the Westin by her neighbor Phil Richmond.
Colleen Huther, general manager for the Annapolis Waterfont Marriott said, “Every Marriott in DC, Baltimore and Annapolis is sold out.”
She's had people from as far away as Virginia driving up to take rooms.
On Sunday night, a rate appeared online for the Best Western on Riva Road of $600 per night—nearly twice the price of the Waterfront Marriott.
It was also almost five times the price of the Holiday Inn, which is also on Riva Road. The Best Western and Holiday Inn both have 2.5 stars on Hotels.com.
A Best Western in Westminster, MD, cost $77.39 Sunday afternoon, and a room in Rockville, MD, was advertised at $119.99 per night.
The Best Western’s General Manager Shannon Jensen said she did set the hotel’s price at $600, but it was not her intention to sell any rooms at the rate.
“The hotel sold out of rooms so quickly that we could not reach our third party sites via telephone to close out our remaining inventory allotment,” Jensen wrote in an email. “In order to keep any more rooms from being sold, we did the only thing we could do on our end and changed the rate. This was done to keep anyone from making reservations, not to monopolize on our neighbors misfortune.”
Hotels.com spokeswoman Taylor Cole said that no rooms were sold at the $600 price.
The third-party booking website offers hotels the ability to change pricing and availability in two ways: One is via an extranet system that updates pricing and availability instantly, and the other is through a 24-hour hotline.
During normal circumstances both methods allow a person to change the price and/or the availability, Cole said.
Since Jensen said she could not get through to Hotels.com’s hotline, Annapolis Patch asked Cole if it would be possible for a person to only be able to access part of the extranet system. Essentially, could a hotel manager be able to change the price, but not the availability when they were logged on?
Cole said she didn’t know. She said a power outage could possibly have caused the manager not to be able to do what she needed to do. But Cole said, “You may have to ask her [Jensen] exactly what happened.”
Patch reached out to Jensen again via email, but has not received a response at this time.