Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MSM ready to hate Denver

Or at least to be highly pissed off while they're here for the Democratic National Convention. You know what that means:

Some say Denver is risking a barrage of grumpy press reports during the Democratic National Convention if it can't find more hotel rooms for the folks who buy ink by the barrel.

With more than four months until the August convention, some of the country's biggest news outlets have yet to secure temporary barracks for the armies they're sending to cover the conclusion of this year's dramatic presidential primary. . . .

Prime downtown hotel rooms have become a precious commodity. And it has created tension between media companies and the DNCC, which has locked up 17,000 hotel rooms across the region for state delegations, party dignitaries, media representatives and others. . . .

What has media outlets worried is that the organizing committee recently encouraged them to start looking for additional rooms on the open market, outside the reserved stock.

Theoretically, there are another 25,000 hotel rooms in the six-county metro area. However, as of this week, many hotels reported being booked solid for convention week, and even some low-budget facilities were advertising New York-style prices.

For example, the travel site Expedia.com listed the modest Budget Host Inn near Six Flags Elitch Gardens, which currently costs $65 per night, for $429 per night the last week of August. A hotel manager did not dispute the figure but said reservations are not accepted this far in advance. Besides, she said, owners had not decided whether to be open or proceed with a planned renovation that week.

Are you nuts? I'd be open if the place was on fire. Maybe offer a smoke-inhalation discount. Reporters are tough, I hear. From reporters. Or maybe not:
Some predict that if journalists get upset about conditions, long commutes or other issues, their woes could contribute to an unwelcomed storyline during Denver's coming-out party on the national stage.

"Reporters are the worst. They're just notoriously self-centered when it comes to their hotel accommodations," said Carl Hulse, veteran correspondent for The New York Times and a member of the Standing Committee of Correspondents.

If there are housing troubles, "It could potentially reflect on Denver's ability to handle such a great event," Hulse said. "If people don't have rooms, they're going to ask the question: 'Should the convention have been here in the first place?'"
Angry, petulant, spoiled reporters meet angry, petulant, spoiled anarcho-doofi, and Denver reaps the good pub.

Update: Look closely at the Big Bunny Motel sign and you'll see it used to read BUGS Bunny Motel. No idea why they changed it. Picture from the fascinating Super Signage.

Update II: Damn, I believe ol' Carl Hulse of the New York Times just made a threat.

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