As alumni flock to Tallahassee for this week’s Homecoming festivities, some hotels are requiring guests to book two-night minimum stays.
Just off campus, the Hampton Inn and Suites Capitol University on Railroad Avenue requires its guests to book a minimum of two nights. Hampton’s general manager, Bo Schmitz, said this policy isn’t new and is used to maximize profits company-wide.
“Well, we’ve (Hampton) had the policy implemented since we’ve opened back in March of 2018. But this policy has been something that’s been standard in the hotel business,” said Schmitz. “Hotels started utilizing this model to increase revenue.”
Based on Robert Wilson’s “Minimum Length-of-Stay Requirements as Part of Hotel Revenue Management Systems: Are They Legal?,” revenue management systems utilize a hotel’s minimum length-of-stay requirements to increase a company’s revenue by forcing guests to stay more than one night.
The minimum length-of-stay policy is not a popular opinion among consumers, though. FAMU alumni Jason Eugene is aware of the impact it could have on fans and explained what measures fans will go to to not abide by such policies.
“It affects them as far as their decisions on where they want to stay,” said Eugene. “I have a lot of people that would rather come in town to check out the game, but then once they want to stay in the hotel they have to pay the ‘X’ amount of money.”
Not all hotels have the two-night minimum requirement, however. Wyndham Garden on Apalachee Parkway does not require a minimum night stay. Senior interdisciplinary studies major Britney Cloud works the front desk at Wyndham Garden and explained that guests may book as many nights as they want.
“We (Wyndham) do not require a minimum night stay. Guests can stay for one night, two nights, etc.,” said Cloud.
In 2018, Leon County studied the economic impact visitors and have on the local economy and reported that it was approximately $900 million a year, according to the county’s Office of Economic Vitality. FAMU and FSU fans contribute to this number when they pay to stay at local hotels.
Overnight stays at hotels can be pricey and a taxing ordeal for travelers, especially when they require you to stay for more nights than you might want. A two-night stay at Hampton (on Thomasville Road) for a single bedroom would cost around $330 ($145/night) vs. a two-night stay at Wyndham’s where it’s around $200 ($99/night).
FAMU and FSU visitors alike can become negatively impacted by hotel minimum night requirements not only during homecoming, but throughout the football season.