Rochester area hotels, like the Vikings, are finding the upcoming Super Bowl is a super bust for business.
There might be a few Philadelphia or New England fans who will pass over one of the more than 40,000 Twin Cities hotel rooms — many of them premium-priced for the big weekend — to check into a Rochester hotel. However, the Med City is just a bit too far away to make the lower room price attract a big Super Bowl crowd.
"We'll probably have a handful of rooms here, but we aren't expecting a ton of traffic," said Brad Jones, the president of Experience Minnesota's Rochester. That's the recently re-named Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau.
However, some football fans still might be scrambling to make plans yet this week. Jones said his team will be monitoring to see if there are any spikes in demand.
One side effect of the Twin Cities having the Super Bowl and its hotel rooms costing five to ten times more than usual is that some folks want to be as far away from it as possible.
That's how Rochester picked up the Minnesota Veterinary Medicine convention. It was slated to be held in the Twin Cities near Super Bowl weekend, but the decision was made that the Med City would be a better spot for the gathering.
Plus government workers, ones that are "essential," staying in the Twin Cities are finding the cost of a room higher than their reimbursement rates. So Rochester is seeing some of those folks getting rooms here, according to Jones.
What about Airbnb rooms, which are growing in popularity in the Med City? Jones estimates there are about 200 Airbnb locations available in the Rochester area.
Even the Superhosts, Airbnb's most active and best review hosts, are not seeing much Super Bowl action, with many of the nicest Rochester spots still available for the weekend of Feb. 4.