In major cities, vacancy lights flashing

Vacancy at a hotel

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: If you can afford a vacation right now - you can probably do it in style for a reasonable price. Hotels are offering some ridiculous deals right now. Here's Jill Barshay.


Jill Barshay: Planning to visit New York any time soon? Midtown hotels that usually go for $300 a night have cut their rates on some nights to $100. And the bargains don't stop there.

Bjorn Hanson is a professor at New York University specializing in the hospitality industry. He says a drop in tourism and business travel has hotels scrambling to attract guests.

Bjorn Hanson: The more surprising numbers are those hotels that maybe last year were charging $1,200 a night on a busy night, and now are charging $200 a night. This looks like it might be the worst January that we can find in the history of the hotel industry.

Vacancy lights are flashing in almost every city in the nation. In Miami, for instance, nearly half of all hotel rooms sit empty.

And it's not just because people are staying home. The last real estate boom launched construction on scores of new hotels that are now finished and open for service.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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