Galway Festival hotel rates skyrocket as racegoers feel pain in accommodation | Horse racing news

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Galway Festival: Demand expected to be high for seven-day spectacular from July 25

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

By Mark Boylan

A shortage of accommodation in town for the Galway Festival has been described as ‘disappointing’ by the racecourse’s general manager, Michael Moloney, who said racegoers had to contend with ‘expensive’ rates if they hadn’t yet booked a room for the seven-day show.

According to leading hotel comparison site Booking.com, there are only three hotels in Galway City available for those wishing to book a room for two adults on Wednesday July 27 and Thursday July 28 such a booking costing €769 (£663). ) at the four-star Salthill Hotel and €867 at the four-star Dean Hotel.

The three-star Flannery’s Hotel is quoted at €1,088 for a room offering two single beds and a double bed on the same two nights.

Not all hotels will offer their full availability to Booking.com, but the site is a barometer of the level of demand for the popular holiday. As of midday Friday, between 91 and 98 percent of hotels listed on Booking.com had been booked in the first six nights of the week-long meeting.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Galway Festival crowds were limited to 1,000 per day in 2021

Galway Festival crowds were limited to 1,000 per day in 2021

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

As of Friday noon, only four options are offered on the site for two adults wishing to book a city hotel on Thursday. These range from €352 to €429 for one night, while a double room with an extra single bed on the same night at the Flannery Hotel costs €459.

Over 130,000 people attended Ballybrit when it last met at full capacity in 2019.

“Unfortunately accommodation is certainly limited in Galway, as it is across the country,” Moloney said.

“Galway has been full for two or three months and is fairly full throughout the summer. I know from speaking to some hotels that their Monday and Tuesday nights in Galway are full. They would usually never be at this stage, but unfortunately for racing fans who haven’t booked yet, they are.”

He added: “Prices are high at this point, but you’re talking about the last two rooms. I know from speaking with contractors who will come on site that those who booked in advance got a good price. C was reasonable compared to what they would have paid in the past.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Michael Moloney: "We can only do what is in our control, and unfortunately hosting is out of our control"

Michael Moloney: “We can only do what is in our control, and unfortunately hosting is out of our control”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

“The last remaining rooms are expensive. This is disappointing as we try to deliver value on the track. We can only do what is within our control, and unfortunately accommodation is out of our control.”

Moloney said bride and groom traveling to the festival with overseas runners will not be affected by the shortage as they will be accommodated near the track in off-site apartments.

He also offered a potential reason for the increase in hotel bookings. “That’s just my perspective, but I think what might be the biggest change is with Airbnb,” he said.

“They released a statement in 2018 or 2019 to say they had 30,000 nights in Galway for race week. Many of those accommodation options may not be available this year as they may have turned in long-term rentals or are being used for other purposes.”

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