Flights to Green Bay sold out, hotel demand and rentals surge ahead of Packers playoff game

A tuber of snow has a view of Lambeau Field as it begins the descent from Ariens Hill in the Titletown district.

GREEN BAY — Hotel prices are up, short-term rentals are going fast and flights are so full the airport has asked airlines for bigger planes.

It turns out the Green Bay Packers aren’t the only ones who can compose a blitz.

Fans, too, when it comes to seeing the Green Bay Packers take on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game on Saturday night.

Demand for flights, hotel rooms and vacation rentals had already started to increase long before the Packers knew who they would face in this weekend’s game. They surged after the 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to book their trip to Lambeau.

Flights to Green Bay are nearly full

Fans can expect to find short-term rentals and hotel rooms expensive and disappear quickly, as do game tickets. Flights to Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport ahead of Saturday’s game were already nearly sold out on Tuesday with limited seats available on flights arriving Thursday or Friday and flights departing Sunday and Monday filling up quickly. On Tuesday, a return flight from San Francisco to Green Bay, arriving Friday and departing Sunday, costs $1,500 on Expedia.

Airport manager Marty Piette asked airlines to increase capacity to and from Green Bay for the weekend, but advised travelers to reserve their seats as soon as possible.

“Hopefully as we go through the week we’ll see more frequency or capacity, but it could be Wednesday or Thursday before we see that,” Piette said. He added that airlines are “aware of the challenge” but staff and planes may not be available at such short notice.

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A typical home game can add $15 million in expenses to the local economy. This includes money spent in bars, restaurants, shops and other businesses, as well as indirect impacts that arise from additional media exposure.

Hotel room prices skyrocket for playoff game

About 6% of available hotel rooms were unoccupied on Packers game days in 2021, but few, if any, are expected to be available by the end of the week, said Brad Toll, president and CEO of Discover Green Bay, the region’s tourism marketing. agency.

“Property managers are very good at what they do,” Toll said. “They know how to maximize the opportunity that a playoff game provides.”

Hotel prices have risen in line with demand. A normal two-night stay for two adults on a non-game weekend would cost between $100 and $240, not including taxes and fees. For this weekend, two-night stays range from $600 to over $1,500.

Discover Green Bay decorated its Welcome Center in green and gold to welcome visiting fans. The center at 789 Armed Forces Drive, Ashwaubenon will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday. The center will host a “tailgate” party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday that will include popular tailgate games, a tour of the green and gold-adorned “Lambeaulance” and giveaways.

Short-term rental property owners who list homes or guest rooms on sites like Airbnb and VRBO said interest in booking a home or guest room for this weekend -end had started weeks ago. Eric Sander, a Green Bay native now living outside the area, said his two-bedroom home on Wirtz Avenue, just over a mile from Lambeau Field, was booked “before they officially have a game”.

“Someone booked it six weeks ago,” Sander said. “The (NFC) championship game has also been booked for a few weeks.”

Airbnb vacation rentals are also resuming

Airbnb reported that searches for rentals in the Green Bay area available for this weekend more than tripled from the past six-month average. VRBO on Tuesday afternoon said only 24% of rental properties in Green Bay remained available.

Prices are up too. Airdna, a vacation rental data site that analyzes market activity, says the average booking price in Green Bay in December was $512. He also notes that 55% of rentals require a two-night stay.

Eric Sander is vacuuming a bedroom in his short-term rental home ahead of guests for Saturday's Green Bay Packers playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Eric Sander is vacuuming a bedroom in his short-term rental home ahead of guests for Saturday’s Green Bay Packers playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sander spent Tuesday cleaning and disinfecting the property in accordance with Airbnb health and safety guidelines. He’s experimented with game-day prices since he started renting the house nine months ago and found the best weekend spot at the Packers’ house is $400 to $600 a night. He said prices increased for game weekends, but the market as a whole remained stable.

“We’ve been wildly successful throughout the year,” he said. “Green Bay has turned out to be a better vacation rental market than expected. It’s just been consistent.”

Tips for fans looking to get to the area or looking for a hotel room

Check hotel and airline websites: Hotels often pay a commission on rooms booked through travel sites, so they may not list all unsold rooms on an Expedia-like site. Toll said a look at individual motel or hotel websites might reveal unsold rooms.

Like hotels, Piette said airlines don’t always list all of their available seats on travel sites. Be sure to check airline sites to see if there are any available fares and try using the chat feature to see if you might be able to find available seats faster.

Check nearby airports: If you don’t want to risk adding bigger jets or another flight, you can check out Appleton International Airport, about 35 minutes southeast of Lambeau Field. A fare search between San Francisco and Appleton shows the cheapest flight arriving Friday and departing Monday that does not involve a stopover starting at $800 to $900 plus taxes and fees.

There will also be many more seats available on flights to or from Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport, but that would mean arranging a bus or rental car for the two-hour trip to the Milwaukee area. Green Bay.

Expand your search area: The Appleton, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Oshkosh metro areas are all within a 60-minute drive of Lambeau Field, and accommodation prices will drop with distance from Green Bay.

On Booking.com, a three-night hotel stay for two in Appleton would cost between $500 and $1,200 plus taxes and fees. Oshkosh, 50 to 60 minutes away by car, offers three-night stays for $400 to $650. Manitowoc, a 45-minute drive away, offers three-night stays for $300 to $450. And Sheboygan, just over an hour away, has ads between $200 and $600.

Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @GBstreetwise.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay hotels, fast flight booking ahead of Packers vs. 49ers game

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