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Marian Days celebration drives up hotel and motel rates - KOAM TV 7

Marian Days celebration drives up hotel and motel rates

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A Joplin man is upset over a rate increase at the motel where he's staying.  But is it price gouging, or simply a case of supply and demand?

Increasing rates on a regular basis is common for motels and hotels.  Many of them do it during weekends.

But we met a man today who says more consideration should be given towards his and many others circumstance.

Ken White is an Arizona native who came to Joplin to help rebuild the city and also to reach for a personal goal.

"Just basically to start over in life," says White.

White and has family in the area, but wants to be independent as much as possible.

He says he's stayed at Joplin's Sunrise Inn for the past three weeks.  He says he has some income as a carpenter.

"I can afford to stay at this particular hotel," White tells us.

He was paying what the hotel's outside sign shows, about $200 a week, until "they sent me a notice, or put one on my door last week.  It says as of the first, we won't be doing weekly rentals."

The price per night went from about $40 to $70.  The increase is due to the annual Marian Days celebration in nearby Carthage.  The celebration attracts thousands from across the world.  Some camp but others book hotel rooms.

White moved out and packed his belongings into his van.

The rates of a Best Western in Carthage went up from about $90 a night to $125 because of Marian Days and they tell us they're sold out through Friday.

The manager of the Best Western says extra labor and supplies is required with the large group.

Other motel managers in the area say it just comes down to price and demand.

White wishes there would be an exception to the whole equation, at least for this year.

"There's quite a bit of workers in town," White says.  "You just don't do that to people."

Workers at Missouri's Attorney General Office tells us they typically get involved with suspected cases of price gouging when the incident centers around a natural disaster.  An example of this, is up charging water during a drought.

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