Area hotels, motels see high demand for race weekend
FINGER LAKES--It is no surprise that race weekend brings thousands of visitors to the area, so when it comes to finding a place to stay, hotels, motels and inns tend to fill up quickly. With the added demand, room prices will usually rise as well, with some rates surpassing $300 or $400. However, while many places are sold out for race weekend, it is still possible to find a handful of available rooms on short notice.
The REVIEW&EXPRESS called the hotels, motels and inns within the area that had 90 or more reviews on TripAdvisor.com to see what rooms they had available for Saturday night, Aug. 8, before the race Sunday, Aug. 9. These lodgings were located within the Watkins Glen, Penn Yan, Hammondsport, Bath, Elmira, Geneva, Horseheads and Corning areas.
Of the 25 total hotels, motels and inns that were called Friday afternoon, Aug. 7, there were some 31 rooms still available for Saturday night.
In Watkins Glen, the Harbor Hotel was sold out for Saturday night along with the Glen Motor Inn. Torie Smith with the Harbor Hotel said they sell out every year, with room prices being more than $400. She added as people check out Sunday, they often ask to be put on the list again for next year as well.
Linda Franzese of the Glen Motor Inn said their standard room rates are $168 per night for a three night minimum. She added they usually serve the same customers year to year, with many of them saying they want to come back next year when they leave. She added while things sometimes change, they are usually sold out by the spring.
Angeline Franzese of the Villager Motel said they had one suite available for Saturday night due to a cancellation, adding it is usually a complete sellout. She mentioned things tend to sell out quicker than they did in the old days. Franzese noted those still looking for rooms can check in with the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce for accommodations, adding inns that are sold out will also try to help customers find a place to stay.
The Esperanza Mansion in Keuka Park had nine rooms still available Friday--five in the mansion and four at the inn. One employee who did not wish to be named said the rates for these rooms ranged from $185 to $250. She speculated since Esperanza has a focus on weddings, the rooms are most likely available due to the weekend's wedding being local, although the rooms have been sold out in years past.
Meanwhile, the Penn Yan Best Western was sold out for Saturday night. Olivia Trafalski said they are usually sold out every year, with standard double room rates being $209.99. She said the rooms sell out pretty fast, adding there may even be some reservations for next year's race weekend already.
Ron Leonard of the Keuka Lakeside Inn in Hammondsport said they also sell out every year, with a standard double room going for $140 a night. He added while there is a waiting list and many repeat guests, he noted it is not entirely due to the race at Watkins Glen.
"I would say less than half are here for the race," Leonard said.
The Bath area had more rooms available than some of the other areas. The Days Inn of Bath and Hammondsport had nine rooms available for $135 plus tax. However, they were all in smoking designations. The Super 8 in Bath only had two rooms available for $125. The Bath Microtel was sold out for Saturday evening at a rate of $150.
The pickings were slimmer in Horseheads, as the Hilton Garden Inn of Elmira and Corning was sold out along with the Candlewood Suites. Prices ranged from $170 at Candlewood to $240 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Of the six hotels called in Geneva, there were only two rooms available for Saturday night. One was located at the Geneva Days Inn for $131, while the other as at the Geneva Ramada for $209.99, which had just opened up due to a cancellation. The Hampton Inn, Microtel, America's Best Value and Geneva on the Lake were all sold out.
In Elmira, both the Elmira Holiday Inn and Fairfield Inn and Suites were down to their last available room by Friday afternoon. The Holiday Inn had two double beds for $225, while Fairfield had one king bed and a pullout couch for $344. The Country Inn and Suites in Elmira was sold out along with the Hampton Inn of Elmira and Horseheads.
Of the four hotels contacted in Corning, there were six rooms still available for Saturday night, all of which were located at the Staybridge Suites for upwards of $209. The Corning Radisson, Comfort Inn and Fairfield Inn were all booked, with rates ranging from $189 to $384.
Even though many of the above hotels and motels on TripAdvisor (with at least 90 reviews) had sell-outs for Saturday, keep in mind our area also has many fine bed and breakfasts along with smaller, independent inns that can also have vacancies.