Rooms remain available at campus hotels despite the arrival of the pope.
The Inn at Penn, the Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Sheraton still have rooms left over for the papal weekend, despite projections that up to 2 million Catholics will be traveling to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families and papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Management at the Inn at Penn and the Sheraton Hotel were not immediately available for comment.
The Associated Press reported in November that all hotels 10 miles from downtown Philadelphia had sold out. However, there are still several vacancies left near campus and around Philadelphia.
“I am very surprised,” College junior Rhiannon Miller said about hotel room availability.
Miller noted that she had seen a lot of interest for the papal visit, and people seemed interested in getting rooms in advance. Perhaps a factor in the room vacancies are alternatives to traditional hotels.
“I know people who rented their houses on airbnb for a lot of money,” she said.
Price also does not seem to be an issue because people are willing to spend a lot of money to stay near downtown on Penn’s campus. In fact, both The Inn at Penn and the Sheraton featured reduced rates for their weekend stays — potentially because of lower-than-expected turnout — with rooms with king sized beds for around $200.
In the larger Philadelphia area, many hotels featured reduced rates; one even went so far as to charge $10 a night during the papal visit.
However, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that more than 90 percent of the 11,200 hotel rooms in Center City are booked for the week of the Pope’s visit, according to Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association Ed Grose. He added that prices hover around $400.Comments powered by Disqus
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