Mike Brock <brockm@...>
Tom Olsen writes:
"Over the past several years, a number of the attendees tried booking for the meet through the 800 number only to be told that there were no rooms available and that they would have to book at the higher rate.
This is an old trick with many hotel central reservations people. Unfortunately, the 800 people never talk to the hotel people and just overbook to fill up the rooms at the higher rates."
I can only speak for Hilton 800 operators and their relationship to the hotel. At Cocoa Beach we will book about 100 rooms for Friday and 100 for Sat with lessor numbers for other nights. When the number of rooms for a given night is exceeded, the 800 operator cannot extend the room block and, therefore, cannot give the event's room rate. Only the hotel room guru can do that and...typically [ for some reason ]...the problem occurs on the 2 weekends before the meet at which time the hotel room guru is not at work. I CAN, however, change any room rate to our meet's rate...even on the day of the meet. Hence, I always tell attendees that, if they cannot get the advertised room rate, take whatever is offered [ a single room...not a suite ] even if $1000, let me know and I'll change it to our rate. The only case in which a room will not be available is if all rooms are sold. I might note that this situation occurs every yr. You might ask...why not just take a 125 room block? The reason is that we really don't know how many rooms we'll need and the hotel cannot sell any of those rooms so they prefer to not tie up the rooms. AS the date of the meet approaches we'll ramp up the number blocked by from 10-20 rooms a couple of times.
I only know of one or two cases in which rooms were available in our block and they were not offered to an attendee. In both cases, I tested the waters myself and had no problem booking a room...almost. I believe the problem was due to the attendee using an incorrect name of the event OR the 800 operastor simply not getting the proper list of events.
Mike Brock...FWIW dept.