Super Bowl visitors spilling into Hudson
When the Superbowl came to the nearby Twin Cities in 1992, nearly every hotel, motel and bed and breakfast room was booked the week leading up to the big game. These days, hotels aren't the only ones opening their doors to the crowd of fans.
Hudson had about 20 Airbnbs up for rent in the weeks ahead of the game, with several specifying rental for Super Bowl weekend. About half of those were still available the Monday before Super Bowl. Prices ranged from $150 a night to more than $7,000.
Katie Nelson has her 2-bedroom Hudson home listed for rent for the Super Bowl. Nelson saw other listings for places in Hudson, and decided to take the opportunity to post her own house on Airbnb.
"I'm aware that in the Cities that even a lot of the hotels were pretty much already booked out," Nelson said.
She was initially surprised when she heard last summer that people would be posting their homes, but she said she now sees the need with hotels booked.
"It is so close and we have a lot of great restaurants and things to do downtown," Nelson said.
Nelson plans to stay with family in town if her place is rented.
Even with the new choices with rentals by owner, Hudson hotels are still seeing a lot of guests for the weekend.
Hampton Inn and Suites was completely sold out as of Wednesday, Jan. 24.
"Up until this Sunday when the teams were finally decided we only had about 15 rooms left already," said General Manager Wade Scribner.
The hotel was expecting to sell out, Scribner said, and didn't run any extra promotions for the weekend.
"We kind of knew that the Cities would be sold out months in advance, so we basically kind of waited," he said.
The Royal Inn still had some rooms available as of Thursday, Jan. 24. Manager Saj Bhakta expected they would sell out for the weekend of the Super Bowl, and probably that Thursday as well.
"Most of the activity started this weekend," Bhakta said.
As the Super Bowl approached, Bhakta spoke with hotel owners and managers in Houston, the site of last year's game, to see what he might expect.
"What they told me was hotels that were about half an hour away from the stadium they eventually got the regular rate," he said.
Hudson Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Mary Weller said the chamber will gauge the impact of the Super Bowl on Hudson by overnight stays.
"Some hotels are full, some are not," she said in a Friday, Jan. 26 interview.
While visitors come for this weekend, Weller's focus is to promote Hudson 365 days a year.
"We want people to come here every day all year," Weller said.
Rather than creating a local event that would have had to compete with Super Bowl events, Weller decided to focus on showing off what Hudson always has to offer.
"We want people to know there's things to do once they're here," Weller said. "The carpet that is rolled out is the same carpet that is rolled out whenever people come."
Weller said she is looking forward to the Super Bowl and its impact, which the area hasn't seen in 26 years.
"It's doesn't happen every year," Weller said. "We're always excited to see what new people come."