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Airbnb Claims ‘Price Gouging’ by Detroit Hotels During NCAA Games This Weekend | Deadline Detroit

Deadline Detroit contacted the two named sites, both part of the Marrioitt group, for a chance to discuss rate changes during peak booking periods.

Sales and marketing directors Scott Stinebaugh of the Westin on Washington Boulevard and Judy Booth at the riverfront Marriott didn’t return voice messages left early Wednesday afternoon. A communications team member at corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Md., emails this statement:

“Marriott and its portfolio of brands base guest room pricing during major events on overall market demand for specific dates.  Marriott does not raise rates beyond what is acceptable for the event and time frame.”

In other words, a dynamic pricing approach aimed at filling the most beds at the highest rates guests are willing to pay.

Surge pricing is hardly limited to hotels. Airline seats, sports tickets and ride service rates also fluctuate with demand.

The NCAA event’s other four designated downtown hotels are DoubleTree Suites, Crowne Plaza Detroit, Detroit Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.

Ben Breit, a Chicago-based representative for Airbnb, uses the March Madness tournament as a chance to tout the platform’s value for travelers and Detroit hosts. About 930 guests coming for the tournament will mean roughly $88,000 in income for hosts renting rooms, apartments, lofts and homes, he projects.

Local Airbnb accommodations still available Wednesday afternoon range from a room in a Russell Woods home for $25 per night to a 10-bed “historic home” for $170 per night.

“Listing prices, which are set by the hosts themselves, have remained consistent,” Breit writes. “Compared to the weekend of March 23-24, the price this weekend for a typical full home listing has gone up only 10 percent, while the price for a typical extra room listing has stayed exactly the same.”

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Airbnb Claims ‘Price Gouging’ by Detroit Hotels During NCAA Games This Weekend –  Deadline Detroit.