As if it couldn't get any worse, we took a peek at the prices for some of the hotels in the area the other day, just in case Santa happened to leave us a wad of cash in our stocking (he didn't). We were absolutely disgusted to see that the Best Western in West Orange is asking for $1,000 a night for a room that typically costs $100/night. Sorry to single you out Best Western -- we know others are doing this, too -- but then again we're not really sorry. Ten times the normal rate? We know price gouging for events is "nothing new," but at what point does it become offensive?
At the risk of sounding a bit naive, we will go on record to say we are pretty disappointed with how the hotel industry has approached big events in recent years (such as the World Cup, for example). We have no problem with properties who responsibly adjust their prices to demand, but if a $1000/night room at the Best Western isn't enough to convince you that things have gotten out of hand, then we guess the hotel industry has officially brainwashed the consumer into submission. Purchasing a room at that rate is basically telling the hotel industry that they call the shots -- which is absolutely not the case.
Best Western's position and role in the industry has been to serve as a budget hotel for travelers. With this pricing decision, it has completely turned its back on its client base, abandoning its traditional approach in an attempt to make a few extra bucks.
[Photo: Best Western]