HOTELIERS in Edinburgh have been accused of charging “excessive” prices to Madonna fans after investigations by The Scotsman found rooms being touted online for up to £400.
There is still widespread availability at hotels across the city this weekend, despite the multi-million pound spin-off expected from the star’s concert at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The event itself has failed to sell out and hundreds of tickets have been given away free. Touts who had hoped to cash in on demand for Madonna’s first concert in Scotland have been forced to cut prices below face value to try to recoup their cash.
Despite the lacklustre response, some hotels have doubled the price of a room for Saturday night, with Jurys Inn, Le Monde and the George Hotel among the most expensive.
The Edinburgh Hotels Association insists operators are entitled to charge what they feel they can sell a room at, based on the level of demand. But the body has admitted some hotels are charging “silly” prices.
The Jurys Inn, in the Old Town, is charging £350 for a double room on Saturday, compared with just £80 the previous night. Le Monde’s price of £400 for Saturday compared with £225 for tomorrow night.
A room at the Balmoral on the night of the concert is £285, £85 more expensive than the Friday, while the Radisson on the Royal Mile is charging £275 for Saturday night, compared with £166 on Friday.
Other dramatically increased prices on Saturday include the Grassmarket Hotel, at £220, the Corstorphine Lodge Hotel, which is charging £200, and the West End Hotel, which is asking for £180 a room.
Colin Paton, chairman of the Edinburgh Hotels Association, said: “I don’t see the concert making that much of a difference in Edinburgh, as the city is pretty much full every weekend.
“However, some of these prices are excessive. I don’t see any point in charging anything like that, as you’re not going to sell a room at a price as high as that. The customer is not that stupid.”
Calum Macnee, general manager of Edinburgh-based tour firm Rabbies, said: “We prefer it when these big events are not on, as the cost of accommodation is much more consistent.”
Graham Birse, director of policy at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “I don’t think Edinburgh is any different with this kind of thing.
“We have seen what hotels in London thought they could make during the Olympics, but there is an element of buyer beware with this and people are prepared to shop around.”
As at Hyde Park, London, thousands of Madonna’s Scottish fans have balked at paying up to £137.50 to see the Murrayfield show, leaving tickets available on promoter Livenation’s website as well as at agencies, including Seatwave, which are selling tickets for as little as £36.
Fans who forked out to see Madonna at Murrayfield have been left furious, after hundreds of tickets were given away free on Ticketmaster’s website.
The company insisted a web link for competition winners had been circulated on the internet without its permission.
ROOM SERVICE: WHO CHARGED WHAT
Price for a double room in Edinburgh on Saturday:
• Le Monde: £400
• Jurys Inn: £350
• George Hotel: £329
• Balmoral Hotel: £285
• Radisson: £275
• Howard: £265
• Grassmarket Hotel: £220
• Albany Hotel: £216
• Corstorphine Lodge Hotel: £200
• West End Hotel: £180
• Old Waverley Hotel: £180
• Best Western: £169
• Thistle Hotel: £160
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east