VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Thinking about attending the 2020 Something In The Water Festival?
Booking a hotel room in Virginia Beach should be easier and less costly than last year, according to local industry officials.
Finding an affordable hotel room for the inaugural event was difficult and pricey for a lot of people. Hotels had every limited availability and the rooms that were available came with a hefty price tag for the most part.
Russell Lyons, the president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association, says SITW 2019 was an unusual situation for hotels. Before the festival was even discussed, 40 to 50 percent of rooms were booked. This was a result of other large conventions and events happening that same weekend, such as the popular tattoo festival in Norfolk.
“This created an unusually high degree of compression and drove up rates in the market,” explain Lyons. “To my knowledge the vast majority of hotels are reserving their inventory that weekend for festival attendees in 2020, so there should be plenty of rooms to go around.”
For 2019, 35,000 people attended the festival. For 2020, that number could almost double.
There are roughly 11,500 hotel rooms in Virginia Beach.
Although prices are expected to be better than 2019, rates will still be higher than a normal spring weekend.
“The price is always going to be a function of demand,” explained John Uhrin with Burlage Management. “This event has been great in terms of bringing that additional demand, and so of course you’re going to see prices be higher.”
“I think that the prices will work themselves out,” added Jimmy Capps, owner of The Breakers hotel at the Oceanfront. “We’ll have more in the supply chain for this year coming up. I think you have to realize that supply and demand kick in for festivals and other large events.”
Some hotels are accepting bookings now, and others say they’re waiting for the lineup to be announced.
The Virginia Beach Hotel Association has some tips and things to be aware of when booking,
- Always book direct with the hotel through their brand site. You will find the best rate there. Online travel agencies are often nonrefundable.
- Make sure to pay attention to cancellation policies. Sometimes the lowest rate advertised requires a full deposit and is nonrefundable. It’s a great way to save a little if your travel plans are set in stone, but if you think plans might change, do not book a nonrefundable rate.
- Hotels often put “restrictions” on their bookings early on, like minimum length of stays, etc. Restrictions tend to loosen as the date gets closer. If you are flexible with your arrival and departure dates, you might find some good deals!
- Don’t panic! Hotels open and close their inventory and change their booking parameters frequently. There were rooms available to book at moderate rates the day of the festival this past SITW. Don’t feel pressured into a rate that is too high for you. Be patient, search for rooms frequently, and it will work out just fine!