Rooms in Cleveland hard to come by as RNC nears

Rooms in Cleveland hard to come by as RNC nears

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Aloft Hotel in the Flats is all decked out in red, white, and blue to welcome guests in town for the Republican National Convention.

"It's a huge event, and I've never seen anything like it," said general manager Bill Reed.

Reed, who has been in the hotel business for nearly 15 years, said he's been planning for the convention for a couple of years now, even before Cleveland was selected to host the RNC. Like many hotels in the Cleveland area, 90 percent of the rooms were blocked off for delegates and media two years ago.

He said some RNC guests checked into his hotel several weeks ago.

"It's the demand. Once they're booked you literally have people calling just wanting rooms so badly and there's nothing you can do," said Reed.

The demand is so high that some hotels are requiring guests to sign a special contract stating they won't extend their stay running into the RNC in an effort to ensure there are enough rooms for those attending the event.

Reed said that's not happening at his hotel, but he said if a guest is already booked for next week and cancels, they won't be able to get a refund.

"Normally when you're managing you can plan some cancellations or no shows, but ... everyone's coming," said Reed.

Reed said at least a dozen people are on a waiting list hoping there's a cancellation. He said even after the convention is over, crews will continue to stay at his hotel for weeks, getting The Q back to normal.

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