Hotel prices skyrocket as America's Cup drags on

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 17:05 25/09/2013

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Some New Zealanders in San Francisco have been caught out as they have stayed to see the America's Cup final play out.

And it's been a double-whammy from Oracle that has caught many of them out.

It's not just Oracle's rapidly improving boat that has dragged out the final to a record 19th day to make life difficult, it's also Larry Ellison's Oracle Open World convention.

With more than 40,000 tech-heads flooding the city, hotel rooms are at an absolute premium.

Some room rates have gone from US$200 (NZ$243) to almost US$600 a night in the better hotels.

Aucklanders Richard Watkins and his wife Wendy have been in San Francisco since the eve of the final and said they had made a decision some days ago that "we are going to be here till the end".

"It's cost us but it's been such a fantastic experience and we don't want to miss out on a chance to see history," Richard Watkins said.

They had been forced to move out their original hotel and downgrade to one that was actually costing them more, but they had taken that hit in the wallet "on the chin".

He conceded that history might fall to Oracle but they hadn't given up on Team New Zealand.

"The first week here was unbelievable ... there was such a Kiwi vibe," he said.

"That has turned as Oracle have got better. The number of New Zealanders has got a little less and the locals have increased as Oracle have got better and better.

"There's still a lot of humour around and I reckon the final day is just going to be unbelievable. It's going to be great to say we were here no matter what happens."

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- Fairfax Media

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