Dear Ms. Levitz, GPTMC and WHYY:
Twice over the past two days, I’ve heard Meryl Levitz speak on news radio about the apparent disinterest on the part of Super Bowl fans in staying in Philadelphia’s hotels over Super Bowl weekend. She seems to feel that somehow our city’s hotels have let us down by not offering special hotel packages to draw people here. To me, this makes no sense.
For one thing, most people who can afford to attend the Super Bowl likely can afford to stay in the hotels and other lodgings available near MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands. If someone decides today to go to the game, she’ll spend more than $2,000, for instance on StubHub, and she probably isn’t looking for a hotel bargain. She wants to stay as near to the game as possible, and she can afford it. And if she wants to stay in a city, she’s going to stay right across the Hudson, in New York City.
And if NYC it too expensive, right now she can book a Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, N.J., barely 25 miles from the game, for $203/night. So what would induce her to drive an extra 75 miles — each way! — to stay in Philadelphia?
But it seems to me that the real issue is this: why didn’t the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) bring the Super Bowl here? Your missions are to represent and market our region’s hotels, restaurants, culture, retail and other attractions, which abound. Once the NFL decided to play this year’s game in a cold-weather location, in an outdoor stadium, Philly and the Linc should have been the hands-down winning combination. We have a lot more to offer than the Meadowlands — such as easy transportation into and out of the stadium area, nearby fabulous cultural offerings, a city full of great restaurants a short subway ride from the game, and a universe of great hotels for fans to choose from, within goalpost distance of the game.
So, instead of implying in your radio chats that our city’s hotels somehow missed the kickoff, I think the GPTMC and PCVB need to look much closer to home and figure out how they fumbled the ball.
Sincerely, Beth SloanPhiladelphia, PA