The Economy is Affecting Hotels in Strange and Curious Ways

Travel Blog  •  Alexander Basek  •  02.23.09 | 4:51 PM ET

Photo by MrLunch via Flickr (Creative Commons)

How curious? People are going to Philadelphia—on purpose! (I keed, I keed. Please don’t throw any D batteries at me) According to the AP cities like Portland, Oregon, Philly and Palm Springs have growing tourism numbers—Portland even has hotel rates that are rising—as visitors take short-hop trips instead of visiting more far-flung destinations. Some of the visits are buoyed by cheap domestic airfares as well. 

It’s an interesting phenomenon on two fronts. First, I hope that this is the end of people not going anywhere for vacation; people are leaving home during their time off, even if it’s to visit a place that’s nearby and famous for drug rehab or Cheez Whiz. Second, for hotels, a spate of satellite-style properties is likely in the cards. The Ace is already open in Palm Springs, for example, and rates at the Nines in Portland are at Crazy Eddie levels. As long as we don’t see any hotels with cheesesteak-themed spa treatments, I fully support this trend. 

Alexander Basek is a food and travel writer based in New York City. He is the Best Deals reporter for Travel + Leisure. His writing has also appeared in the New York Post, Time Out New York, and Fodor's.

3 Comments for The Economy is Affecting Hotels in Strange and Curious Ways

Chris 02.23.09 | 10:33 PM ET

Hotels are seeing a jump in rates, are they?  Seems like that’s a good place to start looking for work…so that I can save up money to go on a vacation of my own!  Everybody wins!

Ivona 02.24.09 | 9:47 AM ET

For some people travel is a way of life and it does not necessarily include 5 star hotels and vacations on the far away beaches. There are so many other ways to experience different cultures and enrich ones life. The best one is to try and observe people, interact, stay in hostels or find contacts and stay at people’s homes if possible, go to the national cuisine restaurants and visit markets, stadiums, theaters etc, try and really feel the pulse of the country you are visiting. Some places can really surprise you, you can find the most friendly people in the countries you heard nothing but bad things about. So brake that chain of prejudice, and go see the places from the bottom of your list, you will be amazed by all you’ve been missing. There is a book that talks allot about these kind of things, it is a travel journal of an Iranian American entrepreneur traveling in Balkans, called The Age of Nepotism. I warmly recommend it, and also the site

Jenna Schnuer 02.24.09 | 1:18 PM ET

Don’t worry Philly. Alexander may not understand your charms but World Hum’s Flyover America blog has your back. ;-) Oh for a Philly pretzel RIGHT NOW.

On a more serious note, I love that the Kathy Griffins of cities are taking a star turn. I hope it keeps up long after (if?) the economy ever takes an upturn.

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