Hotels bank on great revenue for the RNC

Posted at 7:29 PM, Mar 16, 2016

With the Republican National Convention just five months away, new hotels across Northeast Ohio are opening up and banking on great revenue. That’s as an estimated 50,000 are expected for the event.

“Just to put it in perspective, that one week is equal to an entire month of revenue,” said Todd Lentz, general manager of the Hyatt Place Hotel at Crocker Park in Westlake.

Lentz said their nightly rate for the RNC will be at least 100 percent more than their normal rate. They have contracted out all of their rooms to the convention’s host committee, which in turn will help place visitors at hotels.

“But some [hotels] are going for much higher, and we didn’t feel right price gouging,” added Lentz.

“We don’t feel it’s the right thing to price gouge,” said Scott Schmelzer, general manager of the Drury Hotel, which is opening up downtown at the end of April.

Schmelzer would not discuss the price of Drury’s rooms for the event but said they are also booked solid, with help from the host committee. That included the booking of their presidential suite, which was once a library when the building was used for the city’s Board of Education.

“This [hotel] has a certain character to it, and people are interested to see what it’s all about,” he added.

The RNC Host Committee has contracted out more than 16,000 hotel rooms for the convention, according to Jennifer Kramer of Destination Cleveland, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau. 95 percent of the contracted rooms are within 35 miles of downtown.

Convention staff will place delegates, interest groups and media in the hotels.

The Residence Inn in Avon, The Hotel at Oberlin and the Hyatt Place at Legacy Village, all of which are under construction, said they are booked up for the convention as well.

The convention will take place July 18-21.