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July 05, 2010


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Wow!!! Insanity is right! When three of us went to the Chicagoland Indy race two seasons ago, we stayed the night before the race at a Super 8 less than ten miles away for something around eighty bucks, as I recall. Reasonable, I thought.

Spanky R.

Hotel prices during the Indy 500 have come WAY down. No longer does anyone have to stay in West Lafayette or Terre Haute to pay reasonable rates. The reason is two-fold -- crowds are down and capacity is up. Please don't pipe rate jacking as an excuse. It's just not valid if you know how to book rooms and are willing to drive more than 10 minutes.

Seriously, book on the outskirts of Indy if price is a concern. Only places you need to really worry about price are downtown and the west side. That leaves all other directions open. I usually suggest that visitors look at the business-class hotels on the north side (and I ALWAYS send peeps there for IMS major events). In addition, there were plenty of last minute bookings over Memorial Day weekend available through hotwire and price line during the Indy 500. I know, I checked.

Regarding other venues, the only places I've had trouble are venues in BFE, such as KY, IA, and WGI. Gotta stay >45 minutes away to get decent rooms at decent rates.

Chicagoland was never a problem, but then I would sooner drive 30 minutes to stay at a Marriott Courtyard for $80 than drive 10 minutes to stay at a Super 8 for the same price.

Andy Bernstein

Homestead 2009, $90 and 15 minutes from trackside, no reservation. There was lots of room for lots of company. Forum experts told me everything was booked.

John Close is not Foytian either, as it pertains to all things IRL.

Bern E. Eckelstone

If the prices aren't sky high for everything, its not a real racing series.

Its all about greenbacks, baby!

H. B. Donnelly

I've done a couple of Bristol weekends myself (the sheer lowest-common-denominator entertainment value is tough to beat), and my family and I stayed in a bed and breakfast in Wytheville, VA -- about the same distance to Bristol as Lafayette to Indianapolis.

Spanky, I agree with you to a point -- I'd sooner drive from Bloomington to Sparta and back in one day than even bother with the convenience of a hotel. Still, that article made a good point: when you could stay at a resort in the Caribbean or have a 5-day cruise for the price of a hotel in Nowhere, Tennessee, and a sitdown with 160,000 drunks on a muggy night, it's really no contest. The same is starting to take hold for the 500 on a holiday weekend where, when some people look at their checkbooks, it's a bit easier to just stay home. As you say, though...nothing wrong with staying in Bloomington or Terre Haute or Lafayette, assuming you have transportation.

Leigh O'Gorman

Excellent piece there and - sadly - very true; however if some business' see an advantage to be taken, they will take it.


The rule here in America is, the price of something is only too high if nobody will pay it. So if people are silly enough to buy $500 hotel nights in Bristol, can't blame the Days Inn or whatever for taking their money. I hope people just start refusing to pay and taking their cash to Cancun or whatever. While we're on the subject (sort of), WHY is there no IMS activity (very little, anyway) on Saturday's before the 500. I'd be more likely to come for the weekend and pay the price if Carb Day stuff was Saturday. Never made any sense to me that Saturday was a dead zone aside from the 30-minute driver meeting and autograph session.


Just be glad they moved Carb day to Friday a few years back; it use to always be on Thursday. Regarding no track activity on Saturday, I think a main reason is the parade downtown, which I highly recommend if you've never been.


This reminds me of one of Yogi Berra's famous sayings: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

If the price for Bristol hotel rooms was too high, and no one was buying, presumably the hotel operators would realize this and lower the price. They haven't done so. So I guess someone must be buying, which suggests the rooms are not overpriced.

Instead, the hotel operators are charging what the market will bear, thereby ensuring that the hotel rooms go to those willing to pay the most for them. Where's the problem with that?

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