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Manchester's Hotels: Smelling Of Roses

200% price hikes on some hotel room rates for Stone Roses' gigs

Published on November 7th 2011.

Manchester's Hotels: Smelling Of Roses

RECENTLY CONFIDENTIAL was intrigued by a quote from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. This was concerning the economic benefit of the 2012 Stone Roses' gigs to the city.

In the mid-market, Jurys Inn wanted £280 for the stay, compared to the £95 it was quoting in a week's time. 

Brian Sloan, chief economist at the Chamber, told the MEN: “Hotels will have 100 per cent occupancy and although it’s difficult to know for sure, I’d say we will be looking at least £23m.”

That sounds a bit imprecise for an economist (or maybe that’s always how they talk). But £23m amounts to around £100 spend per person, over and above the £55 ticket price they've already paid.

So how have Manchester hotels reacted to this potential windfall?


They slammed up the prices.

We asked more than twenty city centre hotels, anonymously, how much it would cost on the Saturday night of the Roses’ gigs - 30 June, 2012 - for a double room. We then compared that figure with quotes we got for the weekend of 12 November this year.

Remember we got these figures ringing up as regular punters, not as a media group. We wanted to get the reply that the average punter would get, one without any excuses that might have been made to us as writers.

So this is what we found. 

If you want to stay five-star to watch the Heaton Park resurrection, you'll need to find £429 to take a room only (probably because they’ve only got suites left) at the Lowry Hotel - we were quoted £152 to 12 November. The Radisson was offering a rate of £227 - a smaller increase on the average weekend rate of £184.

Staying at the top end, The Midland Hotel was asking for £339, despite a room being available for £160 next weekend; and the Macdonald Hotel, which only had twin rooms, was asking for £195 - almost twice its average weekend rate of £107.

The Palace Hotel had bumped its rate up from an average of £85 to £216 for the gig, and The Crowne Plaza on Shudehill is already fully-booked and so didn’t have a price.

In the mid-market, Jurys Inn wanted £280 for the stay, compared to the £95 it was quoting in a week's time. Wow.

The Britannia on Portland Street was looking for £325 for a two night minimum stay, way above usual deals which can dip as low as £59 per night.

The Stone RosesThree of The Stone Roses contemplate where to stay in June. Maybe one with a hairdressers

The Thistle on Portland Street quoted us £189 for the Stone Roses 2012 gig period, instead of its usual £81.

Boutique hotels such as The Great John Street Hotel was charging £270, compared to its average rate of £106 and Abode only have deluxe rooms available, which will set Roses fans back £215 - but that's only a fiver more than they normally go for.

At the budget end of the market, Sacha's Hotel was asking for £149 - although it often asks £129 on an average weekend. Through the week, it sells rooms for as little as £39.

The Travelodge on Blackfriars is fully booked and the hotel on Great Ancoats Street was quoting £75, about the same as its usual rate. The Upper Brook Street version wanted £119 on Roses' night.

The Premier Inn on Oxford Road was asking £141, against the £67 it wanted on Saturday. Not surprisingly, the Premier Inn Heaton Park was already fully booked. The Renaissance Hotel on Blackfriars pushed its average weekend rate up from £139 to £180.

That's that.

It's clear each hotel seems to have taken its own individual stance. 

Still some of the leaps in tariffs came as a shock, such as Jurys Inn lifting its prices from £90 to £280.

It also shows how Brian Sloan of the Chamber can guess at a £23m injection into the local economy emanating from a group of old fogies rocking it hard in Heaton Park. It makes you wonder if he isn’t being a bit cautious.

But are hikes of more than 100 per cent or even 200 per cent justified?

London hoteliers have been criticised for potentially pricing out regular tourists during the 2012 Olympics with ridiculous price increases during the Games. Indeed official figures now predict a fall in numbers of London tourists visiting the city during the big running, jumping, throwing festival.

Stephen Miles, the General Manager of The Radisson Edwardian, doesn’t think price rises during times of high demand are wrong at all.

“Every business will try to yield to its maximum in every walk of life and not just in the hotel trade. Peak occasions need to be maximised. This happens in Manchester not just for the Stone Roses either, it’s the same with United home matches, with European games, the Take That concerts. We have to maximise revenues where we can.,” he says.

“The hotel trade, in particular, in the UK outside London is all about peaks and troughs,” he continues. “We have to take advantage of popular occasions to make up for shortfalls elsewhere in the year. Remember in Manchester you can great deals on many nights of the year.”

Put like that it’s hard to disagree with him.

The automatic shock horror media approach here should have been 'how dare they' with loads of exclamation marks and the oft-repeated cliche of 'rip-off Britain'.

But we thought about it again. Excluding one or two examples of excess here, isn't it entirely sensible of hotels to get the most they can from the Roses' windfall. 

Supply and demand after all.

Have you ever had a bratwurst from the Christmas Markets? Are they really worth £3.50 or £4? Probably not, but still the crowds come. Meanwhile overpricing in the outlets in the MEN Arena has become an art form. 

In fact given the economic benefits, especially to hotels, maybe the Manchester Hotel Association should be looking to encourage other major Manchester bands to get back together.

Get The Smiths up on stage again with the original line-up and there would be no rooms left at any inn anywhere in the North West.

PS We’re letting out the Confidential office floor to Stone Roses fans next June. It’ll be £50 per night for 2.5 metres square with free water but guests will have to bring their own bedding. The boardroom table will be available for £75 but with free water. The Confidential drinks cabinet will not be unlocked for the occasion. 

Boardroom And Browns 032Yours for £75 on 30 June next year

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15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Andrea McCabeNovember 7th 2011.

Regardless of the Stone Roses concert next summer would be more expensive than next weekend - no United or City games, before the true Christmas rush, no big event at the MEN and, crucially, hoteliers would be looking at their occupancy rates and looking to shift unsold stock at competitive prices. Compare that to almost any weekend in ten months time and it'll work out cheaper. Until nearer the time that is.

A hotelierNovember 7th 2011.

Andrea, that's plain wrong. June is a quiet time in Manchester without the footy, the University and conferences. It's far more expensive on the weekend in autumn than in summer.

Craig Bartliff shared this on Facebook on November 7th 2011.
ChorltongalNovember 7th 2011.

Depends if its a MIF year or not. This year saw excellent June occupancies due to a combination of Take That and MIF. No Take That or MIF next year means we are lucky that the Stones are filling the void as otherwise it would be like August... AKA sh!te and no revenue / occupancy bonus for me!! (another hotelier)

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

a lot of those rooms will be booked and cancelled over and over and the price will drop near the time.If people had to pay a full non refundable price things would be more normal

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

Imagine the cost of hotels if a decent band came to town! You know a band with a half a voice between them.

James SpencerNovember 7th 2011.

will there be free E?

James SpencerNovember 7th 2011.

Will there be free 'E'?

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

What did they charge the Tories? Are these prices why Letwin stayed at Sports City? (I hope he was careful with the his ministerial papers.)

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

What is the cost of 'packages' with accommodation? These are just rack rent prices.

grangeNovember 8th 2011.

These price hikes are exploitation and likely to disuade people from visiting manchester in the future. Why do people have to be so greedy ? The council should take action against these parasites as they are hurting the local economy.

Helen Ramsbottom shared this on Facebook on November 9th 2011.
Lauren LewisNovember 9th 2011.

Im not sure what I am more appalled at:
£429 for The Lowry or The Premier Inn on Oxford Road asking for £141 instead of £67!

If we think about it what fan of the Roses is going to want to blow £429 for one night at a hotel anyway?!

Darla HoltzclawJanuary 18th 2012.

Would any nice Manchester folk want to rent out a room? My husband and I are coming from Austin, TX USA for the June 30th show. We would also gladly swap accommodations in Austin for SXSW or Austin Film Festival.

Darla Holtzclaw shared this on Facebook on January 18th 2012.
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