Yorkshire hotels accused of cashing in on Tour de France Grand Départ

Prices hiked by up to 300 percent for opening weekend

by John Stevenson   August 20, 2013  

Leeds Headrow and Town Hall (credit Welcome to Yorkshire www.yorkshire.com)

Thinking of catching the Tour de France when it comes to Yorkshire next year? If you’re not camping or couch-surfing you better have deep pockets, because hotels on the routes are hiking prices right up for the weekend of the Grand Depart.

You’d better be quick too, as hotel spaces are already getting scarce, according to a report from financial website This is Money.

According to the site, prices have been hiked by up to 300 percent. Examples found by This Is Money include:

  • The Holiday Inn in Garforth Leeds, five miles from the central Leeds start line, is charging £412 for two nights over the start weekend, but just £140 the following weekend.
  • Two nights in the Double Tree by Hilton in Leeds will cost £488 during the Tour and £268 the weekend after.
  • A weekend at the Lawrance in Harrogate, close to the opening stage’s finish line, will cost £799.98 for a one bedroom apartment, but just £290.00 a week later.

Hotel operators in Sheffield and York have also upped their prices.

A spokesperson for tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire said: “It is peak season and a premium sporting event so we would expect accommodation providers to charge accordingly but we have been advising them not to use the event to make quick profit which could have a detrimental impact on repeat bookings who think Yorkshire is overly expensive.

“We haven’t had a complaint about pricing yet.”

According to Welcome to Yorkshire, areas near start and finish lines might be filling up, but 98 percent of Yorkshire is less than an hour away from the route, so cycling fans should be able to find places to stay.

Welcome to Yorkshire is also providing guidance for Yorkshire residents wishing to set up a temporary campsite or bed and breakfast over the event, he said.

However, not everyone is cashing in. In the story’s comments, Peter from the Prospect House B&B in Pateley Bridge says he has been taking bookings “at the usual price - please do not tar people with the same brush!”

The 2014 Tour de France will start in Leeds on Sunday July 5 with a stage that pops into the Yorkshire Dales and finishes in Harrogate. The following day riders set off from York and head into the Pennines for the hilliest of the three stages that ends in Sheffield. They then transfer to Cambridge for the start of stage three, which will finish in London on The Mall.

For lots more about the Tour de France Grand Départ see LeTour Yorkshire.

19 user comments

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This is a non story really, because if you look in France, Italy, Spain or anywhere that is part of the Giro, TdF and Vuelta, you'll find exactly the same.

While it might seem like a rip off, I say, make the money while you can, there will always be someone with enough money to spend on a hotel room.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9289 posts]
20th August 2013 - 12:19

23 Likes

As they say oop north "where there's muck there's brass" !

posted by arfa [625 posts]
20th August 2013 - 12:22

24 Likes

I believe the effect is called "supply & demand".
Obviously a slow news day at road.cc towers.

posted by jarderich [91 posts]
20th August 2013 - 12:53

17 Likes

And? That's revenue management. They'll be fully booked even with those prices.

posted by tmz [3 posts]
20th August 2013 - 13:25

24 Likes

interestingly campsite charges were the same when i followed TdF in EU, and probably for Yorkshire too, i find it strange that because its made of bricks and mortar they can change what they like per night whenever they feel like it....

posted by a_to_the_j [110 posts]
20th August 2013 - 13:32

24 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
This is a non story really, because if you look in France, Italy, Spain or anywhere that is part of the Giro, TdF and Vuelta, you'll find exactly the same.

While it might seem like a rip off, I say, make the money while you can, there will always be someone with enough money to spend on a hotel room.

I've been to the Tour a few times in different parts of France and other countries, always staying in hotels and I've never experienced them jacking up their prices just cos the Tour is in town.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4199 posts]
20th August 2013 - 15:59

21 Likes

not just b&b / hotels - a mate of mine was looking at camping near Harrogate for the TDF and the site was asking £60 per night per pitch, which seems a little on the steep side. A few friends and I booked into a site near Pateley Bridge a few months back and we paid the normal rate (£20 pppn) so not everyone is on the make.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1061 posts]
20th August 2013 - 17:16

16 Likes

AirBnB and Wimdu tend to have good prices near areas that are booked up for events. Since it is regular people setting prices they aren't really out to maximise profits.

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
20th August 2013 - 18:19

20 Likes

Look at hotel prices when the likes of the London Marathon is on. We have a knack in this country of not just upping the price a bit but ripping off big style. I know the rooms will be filled but deep down at these prices hope they are all empty.

Chadders x

chadders's picture

posted by chadders [78 posts]
20th August 2013 - 18:21

20 Likes

That's nothing. A farmer with land on Holme Moss is allowing people to camp in his field, which has no tap let alone toilets etc for.... wait for it....£150 per tent per night, minimum 2 nights stay. This was confirmed to me on Sunday by the landlord at The Fleece in Holme on Sunday.

posted by headfirst [83 posts]
20th August 2013 - 22:01

17 Likes

"98 percent of Yorkshire is less than an hour away from the route" I suspect that's by car and not when loads of roads are closed for the tour.

You're better off staying in Peterborough and using the train for all three England stages. Brompton bikes for hire at the station and the green wheel routes to ride. Sorry Yorkshire, you screwed it up.

posted by a.jumper [802 posts]
21st August 2013 - 9:13

17 Likes

Shouldn't that be Fleeced!!

Chadders x

chadders's picture

posted by chadders [78 posts]
21st August 2013 - 9:27

16 Likes

a.jumper wrote:
"98 percent of Yorkshire is less than an hour away from the route" I suspect that's by car and not when loads of roads are closed for the tour.

You're better off staying in Peterborough and using the train for all three England stages. Brompton bikes for hire at the station and the green wheel routes to ride. Sorry Yorkshire, you screwed it up.

How exactly has Yorkshire screwed up an event that hasn't happened yet? The nature of the race means it covers a lot of ground therefore not being as convenient to view as something taking place in one spot. If you can't to deal with the reality of the event by planning accordingly then don't try. Besides, who in their right mind wants to stay in Peterborough for 3 nights?

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1061 posts]
21st August 2013 - 13:13

23 Likes

joemmo wrote:
How exactly has Yorkshire screwed up an event that hasn't happened yet?

How about you read the article: "Prices hiked by up to 300 percent for opening weekend"

According to Late Rooms's call centre, some hotels are even refusing to take bookings, withholding rooms until prices raise high enough.

joemmo wrote:
The nature of the race means it covers a lot of ground therefore not being as convenient to view as something taking place in one spot. If you can't to deal with the reality of the event by planning accordingly then don't try.

I can: I've picked my base and I'll travel from that to view the race at several points. I'm just extremely sceptical of the "98 percent of Yorkshire is less than an hour away" claim: that may be true if you drive from door to route on a day when the race isn't on, but there's no way that's going to happen during the event.
joemmo wrote:
Besides, who in their right mind wants to stay in Peterborough for 3 nights?

Peterborough's lovely now if you're not in a car. I take it you've not been there lately, or maybe you've only seen it from the pretty ugly dual carriageways while driving through. http://www.visitpeterborough.com/information/

posted by a.jumper [802 posts]
21st August 2013 - 15:43

25 Likes

The joys of the free market mean that individuals and establishments can do what they want and only market forces i.e. customers, are going to decide if that is going to work. There is no 'Yorkshire' you can blame for this, neither the county or town councils, residents or the tourist board can control pricing so suggesting there is some kind of collective responsibility for individual profiteering is misleading.

I think most people would recognise the 98% claim as a bit of marketing hype and not take it at face value. Travel to the course is going to be severely restricted so anyone with a bit of foresight is going to make plans around that, as you and I clearly have.

You're right about Peterborough though, I haven't stayed there for 20 years and am sure it's more considerably delightful than it was.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1061 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 9:54

20 Likes

joemmo wrote:
There is no 'Yorkshire' you can blame for this, neither the county or town councils, residents or the tourist board can control pricing so suggesting there is some kind of collective responsibility for individual profiteering is misleading.

I think most people would recognise the 98% claim as a bit of marketing hype and not take it at face value.


The tourist board's members and the large chains can control pricing to a degree and they have failed to do so, leading to rampant price inflation which the wider free market will correct, to the probable detriment of the Yorkshire economy, as people pay for non-Yorkshire accommodation, pay non-Yorkshire travel operators to take them to the race and even buy meals near their accommodation, outside Yorkshire.

Worse, Yorkshire could indeed get an "expensive" or "price-gouging" label which will stick. All Yorkshire businesses should be very cross with their hoteliers if they screw this up for them.

The 98% claim is marketing hype and with 300% price hikes, it seems like "Welcome to Yorkshire" is also just hype...

posted by a.jumper [802 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 11:09

24 Likes

To think this wouldn't happen anywhere in the country is, I'm afraid, delusional.

With road biking being the new golf, I'm sure there are more than enough high flyers to fill overpriced hotel rooms with underridden exotic bikes.

I lost out on olympics tickets / london prepares events / ride london entry in the past 12 months. I found le tour accommodation at unchanged prices nr Pateley Bridge. Both stages easily ridden to from there.

A lovely area, great people, loads to do, I for one am dead chuffed to see a major sporting event out of the clutches of the capital (at least for two days).

(I'm not from Yorkshire by the way)

posted by Hoester [67 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 12:58

22 Likes

I once heard Yorkshire people are tight with their money...lol

posted by yenrod [105 posts]
22nd August 2013 - 16:12

17 Likes

I'll be watching it a few miles from where I live in Devon. If I can get the time off work!

Don't know if local hotels are hiking the price..

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [297 posts]
23rd August 2013 - 19:21

17 Likes