3OYS: Super Bowl hotel rates penalize couple's wedding

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- "He led me down there, through all the flowers, and that's where he proposed to me," Amanda Williams said.

She and Tim Smith have a big day ahead of them.

"Very excited. Very excited. It's been a long time that we've been planning this wedding and we finally got everything together," Williams said.

And one of the final details was finding a place for all of their out-of-town guests to stay. Since they're getting married at the Arizona Grand Resort, it seemed like the logical option. So, they contacted the resort for a room rate.

"When we first set the dates, it was $289 a night," Smith said.

That price sounded sounded fine, but they decided to get a more accurate head count of how many rooms they would actually need before making reservations. However, when they called the Arizona Grand Resort a few months later to book their rooms, the price had gone up.

"The second time it was $949 a night with a three-night minimum," Smith said.

They couldn't believe what they were hearing. How could rooms go from $289 a night to more than $900 a night?

They asked for the manager to call them back, but they say that conversation was even more surprising.

"Their prices had gone up from $949 for a three-night minimum to $1,200 with a four-night minimum," Smith said. "Because of the Super Bowl.”

One of the biggest events to come to Arizona is at the same time Williams and Smith are getting married.

“I don't think this is right at all," Smith said. "I can see charging people an added surcharge or, you know, even a little bit more, but to go two, three, four, five times the amount and -- that's what's happening."

3 On Your Side has tried contacting the Arizona Grand Resort to see if maybe the hotel could do something for the couple, but no one called us back. So, we contacted the Super Bowl Host Committee and spoke with Jay Perry.

"The room rates are set so they're reasonable," she explained. "It's still at a premium because this is a big event, but it's reasonable."

But is $1,200 a night with a four-night minimum reasonable?

"Each hotel submits and commits really a large percentage of their rooms, but there are still rooms outside of the hotel room block, and so the hotel then sets what they think is a fair market rate based on the demand," Perry said.

Williams and Smith say they have no idea where their wedding guests will stay now, but they do know this: the wedding is still on.

"It will happen one way or the other. If I have to bring cots in, I will bring cots in. I will do whatever we have to do," Smith said.