Peter sat down with Charlie Rose and Gayle King on CBS This Morning to share what’s happening in advance of the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. With sky-high hotel rates and tens of thousands attendees expected (not to mention hurricane threats in Florida), the chances of getting a relaxed vacation in either city right now is unlikely. Check out the video below and read on for more tips on how to avoid the crowds, plus some one-tank trips that will get you out of the cities and into lesser-known areas.
Tampa is expecting more than 50,000 attendees, while Charlotte is expecting at least 35,000. According to hotel and rate tracker TravelClick, during the convention August 27-30, hotel rates in Tampa are up about 132 percent, and occupancy will be as high as 90 percent. Between September 4-6 in Charlotte, hotel rates will be up 122 percent, and occupancy will shoot up as high as 99 percent.
But here’s where it gets interesting: According to TravelClick, as of Friday, August 31, when the RNC is over, hotel occupancy is expected to drop to about 36.8 percent in Tampa. In Charlotte, post-convention occupancy will be around 38.3 percent.
One the conventions are over, hotels are going right into shoulder-season pricing. We’re talking about rates around $119 a night at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk and $109 a night at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Book by September 7 for stays through September 30, 2012 and all Marriott hotels in Tampa will discount rates by 25 percent on bookings three nights or more. Downtown Charlotte hotels will drop their rates after the DNC—for example, you’ll be able to get a room from $110 a night at the Charlotte Marriott, and $160 a night at the Charlotte Hilton.