Will Steep Hotel Prices Turn Away Nashville Visitors?

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jun 30, 2016

As the city booms, tourists are flocking to Nashville. ranked Nashville as the 14th most expensive city for hotels in 2015, but a lot has changed in a year.

"It's a great town," said visitor Mike Achim.

"We really enjoyed the (Country) Music Hall of Fame," said Linda Robinson.

But the Visitors Corporation wonders if the metaphorical music will stop if people and businesses are priced out of visiting.

"Last month three clients tried to stay in the Sheraton downtown and they quoted 500 dollars a night and it was not a week that was anything going on. The client was appalled," said Terri Clements with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, while speaking to the Planning Commission in May.

Those clients were potential conventions for the Music City Center. With only 200 hotels in a city that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, the problem is a simple one of supply and demand, especially with regards to higher-end hotels.

"It is beyond the pale that a limited service hotel is charging more than the Waldorf Astoria," Clements told the Commission while advocating for a proposed 5-star hotel on the riverfront.

A quick check of reveals prices for next weekend in Nashville range from around $250 up to $400 for a decent room. Meantime in Buckhead, a hotspot in Atlanta, you can pay well under $200 for similarly reviewed hotels.

"I was looking at other places (to stay) and it was about 300 dollars," Achim said about his Nashville trip, "250, 300, 280 anywhere in that range." He booked six months in advance to pay under $200.

Robinson said she hunted around until she found a package travel deal that included a hotel stay.

"I wouldn't come if we had to pay that (price), I wouldn't come here, we would've gone to new York instead," she said.

Luckily, the problem may eventually fix itself. But not any time soon.

A reported 2,000 rooms are currently under construction and many more are proposed. The Pinnacle Advisory Group says that if all the proposed projects go through Nashville could eventually increase its upscale hotel room count by 45 percent.

They're hotels that can't come fast enough, for those who want to continue to bring more people and conventions to the city.