It’s not just the Holiday Inn Midtown where prices are low, here’s The Hudson on the same night for $102 and the Park Lane for $159. And that’s not even looking very hard or for opaque rates.
You can do better on Hotwire of course and use the Better Bidding hotel list to decipher which hotel you’re getting in advance.
There’s been overbuilding in the New York city market. Business travel isn’t back in full swing yet, we aren’t talking peak season. The highest end hotels are still expensive but certain within the range of properties that are more or less interchangeable in the city there are some real deals compared to pricing in the recent past to be had.
I’m a bit jaundiced of course because I remember when you could Priceline the Grand Hyatt (admittedly, two renovations ago) for the high $70s. But that’s also when you could book the Le Meridien San Francisco (then a Park Hyatt) for the $40s, Priceline bookings counted towards elite status and were given status recognition, and people used to Priceline San Francisco hotels to live in as a way to save on rent in that city (and get daily housekeeping and lounge access).
So this isn’t exactly the bottom for the hotel industry that 2002 and 2009 were! The overall direction will be driven by the economy, but watch what happens to rates going forward because they’ll give us some idea of at least where regional economics are going.