Prices hiked by up to 300 percent for opening weekend

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.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.