Saturday, August 1, 2009

Squeeze on motels for big weekend

Always enjoy reading about a pending accommodation crisis;-)

xcellent news that New Plymouth have lined up some quality events that will bring in plenty of guests, however it is always disappointing when there is a clash.

Competing events will always be a perennial problem when promoters work in isolation with international schedules to try and secure a time within the window of warmer weather patterns alongside well meaning local event organisers.

We were amused with the forthright comments of Taranaki Motel Association president (and new MANZ Board member), Deborah Tawa that publicly compared the advantages of one event that gave accommodation providers five nights' accommodation with another that "might only get one."

She went on to say: "I would be guessing that most motels will not accept a single night booking because they would be mad to."

While we agree and understand the comments made from a business point of view (see our post HERE), we wonder if the general public will have the same empathy?

Taranaki Daily News

Car nuts and Cliff fans will create an accommodation crisis in New Plymouth in February.

Some motels are already booked up for Americarna, on from February 24 to 27, and the rest have few rooms to spare.

Sir Cliff Richard and The Shadows are performing on February 27 at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands, the last day of Americarna.

With hundreds of people expected in Taranaki for Americarna and organisers for Sir Cliff's show expecting about 15,000 at the concert many from out-of-town the region will be bursting at the seams.

Americarna director John Rae says accommodation is a major concern.

"A lot of motels are already fully booked with people coming to Americarna," he says.

"What about all the Cliff Richard fans? Where are they all going to stay?"

Mr Rae says its gut-wrenching and a shame for those coming to Americarna and may not be able to get a motel because of Sir Cliff's concert.

Taranaki Motel Association president Deborah Tawa says the region is not full yet but it's getting there.

"The other thing that probably needs to be considered is Americarna gets us five nights' accommodation and with Cliff Richard you might only get one," Mrs Tawa says.

A lot of motels may have a three-night minimum stay during that week, she says.

"I would be guessing that most motels will not accept a single night booking because they would be mad to.

"All the motels I have spoken to all the bookings are for at least four nights so why would you just take a Saturday night?

"That is where it's going to fall over."

Mrs Tawa says while it is great Sir Cliff is coming to town, New Plymouth is going to be busy and struggling to cope with so many people coming in.

But the New Plymouth District Council's general manager customer services Cathy Thurston says the lack of accommodation is a good problem to have.

She says with the lead-up to the rugby World Cup in 2011 the council sees it as an opportunity to build up a greater stock of accommodation.

"We will be putting ads up at the i-Site and asking people to register if they have accommodation," Ms Thurston says.

"We are asking people if they would be happy to have people in their houses to stay which is also the goal during the rugby World Cup."

Mr Rae says he is gutted the council is running such a huge concert during Americarna.

"Americarna is one of the top major events that generate revenue for the region and this year having to contend with Billy Connolly and then Crusty Demons and now they have Cliff Richard on the last night of Americarna it's gutting," he says.

Ms Thurston says the council has no control over the dates promoters want to bring acts to the region.

"The only thing we could have done is say no," she says.

"We let John know that this [Sir Cliff's concert] was a possibility and we also advised the promoter of what events are on at that time.

"They gave us the opportunity to take the concert and we took it, because we think that it would be very good for New Plymouth and the Bowl."

Source: Click HERE

PS: The only Cliff Richard we could find that is vaguely bearable:

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