The options for Super Bowl fans who don’t yet have a place to stay are quickly narrowing to suburban motels, last-minute Airbnb home rentals or perhaps a charitable Minnesotan’s couch.
The 42,000 hotel rooms in the Twin Cities have been gobbled up by travelers with some rooms still available across the metro for those willing to pay hundreds more than the normal rate further out from the Super Bowl action.
“It’s pretty much impossible to find a hotel room this weekend,” said Ted Leines, founder and chief executive of Eden Prairie-based Leines Hotel Advisors.
The average room rate for Super Bowl weekend — including those booked long in advance — will likely be about triple or quadruple what it is normally, said Carter Wilson, a vice president at Tennessee-based STR, an analytics firm that regularly analyzes Super Bowl hotel data.
“I expect pretty fantastic things for Minneapolis,” Wilson said, possibly an occupancy rate around 90 percent.
With time ticking, prices for Airbnb home and room rentals are also on the rise. The average per-night price for an Airbnb stay in the Twin Cities over the next four nights is $286, nearly four times what is typical here.
About 5,500 homeowners are offering a place to stay via Airbnb, far more than the company expected. “The community has stepped up,” Chris Lehane, an Airbnb executive, said Wednesday.
About 19,000 rooms in the Twin Cities were contracted in advance by the NFL and groups related to the league.
“Anything that was left over from that in the market, the hotels can sell however they want,” said Kristen Montag, spokeswoman for convention and visitors bureau Meet Minneapolis.
Calls to hotels in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul over the last several days found few to no vacancies. Checks of consumer booking sites like Priceline.com, Booking.com and Orbitz.com also offered slim pickings. On Monday, a number of suburban hotels were charging $500 more for Super Bowl weekend but rates fell a bit by Wednesday.
The AmericInn in Shakopee was charging $799 a night last week, before lowering its rate to $566 and then $459. “Rates have always gone up and down based on demand,” said Jeff Canfield, the hotel’s manager.
As of Tuesday night, there were a handful of rooms available at the Snelling Motel in south Minneapolis if people were willing to pay a higher price.
According to Booking.com, from Thursday with a Monday checkout, the hotel would cost $2,800 in total. On Wednesday, the four-night rate had dipped to about $1,600 for the last remaining room. Next week, a room over the Thursday-to-Monday period will cost about $400.
Leines said he knows a hotel operator with a 250-room hotel in the Bloomington area who is going to make over $500,000 just over the Super Bowl weekend alone.
“The people that come in … expect to pay several hundreds of dollars per room,” he said.
The Hewing Hotel, which opened a mile or so from the stadium in late 2016, is sold out Thursday through Monday. “We were almost completely sold out before the hotel officially opened,” said Pablo Molinari, the hotel’s general manager.
Nearby Radisson hotels have seen similar demand. The Radisson Blu, on 7th Street near Nicollet Mall, was booked by a client that hired carpenters to redesign its ballroom.