AC Hotel Miami Midtown is ready for some football.
The 153-key hotel opened its doors less than a week ago, and with mere days until the Big Game, it is fully booked from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, the four days that encompass Super Bowl LIV weekend.
Pre-booking at the hotel, at 3400 Biscayne Boulevard, started in the $300 range before the AFC and NFC championship games on Jan. 19 that crowned the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, said the hotel’s sales director Nelson Garcia.
“We had a strategy based on pricing from the previous three Super Bowls,” Garcia said. “Based on market demand in the past week, we ended up with some rooms going over $1,000 a night. One of those days is oversold by two rooms.”
Now that Super Bowl LIV week has finally arrived, hoteliers like AC Hotel Midtown Miami’s owner Aztec Group are capitalizing on frenzied demand for lodging created by the more than 200,000 people coming to South Florida for the big game and accompanying festivities.
Boaz Ashbel, an Aztec Group managing director in charge of hospitality acquisitions, said Super Bowl weekend rates at its AC Hotel, which is a Marriott brand, reflects what most other hotels in Miami’s urban core are charging.
“We have a property on Brickell that requires a three-night minimum starting at $800 [per night] and goes up to $1,800 a night,” Ashbel said. “It is fair to assume that folks who are trying to book this week will be paying at least $1,000 a night.”
In recent weeks, hotel industry analysts and South Florida tourism boosters have touted record-breaking figures for average daily rates and revenue per available room. In early December, analytics firm STR released a custom forecast predicting that Super Bowl LIV-related hotel bookings will generate an average daily room rate of between $520 and $540, and revenue per available room between $473 and $508 for the Miami market.
Those figures will surpass daily average rates and revenue generated by the cities that hosted the previous nine Super Bowl games. William Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the Super Bowl is arriving at a time when South Florida tourism is in the midst of a boom.
“The week ending Jan. 18, the occupancy rate was 85 percent, up from 80 percent last year,” Talbert said. “The average room rate is $244, up 5 percent from the previous year.”
Since 2010, the last time South Florida hosted a Super Bowl, the region has added more than 10,000 hotel rooms. And the advent of short-term rental platforms like Airbnb has made the lodging marketplace more competitive, Talbert noted. “Ten years ago, consumers had fewer choices,” he said. “Today, the consumer will decide if the rates are too high.”
According to Booking.com, 190 out of 314 hotels in Miami-Dade County are charging $220 or more a room per night as of early Monday afternoon. The most affordable hotel with at least a four-star rating is the Nuvo Suites Hotel at 1750 Northwest 107th Avenue in Doral, which is nearly 10 miles away from downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park, where the NFL is hosting its annual Super Bowl Live Fan Fest. Nuvo Suites, which is also nearly 10 miles away from Hard Rock Stadium, the site of the big game, is offering a 360-square-foot room with a king bed for $368 a night.
Closer to the action at Bayfront Park, the price-per-night for luxury hotels jumps exponentially. For instance, the most affordable rooms at East, Miami, the hotel at Swire Properties’ Brickell City Centre, are junior residential suites totaling 750 square feet. Booking.com shows there are five left at $1,099 a room per night. That doesn’t include taxes and other ancillary charges.
Meanwhile the lowest-priced four-night stay at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Miami at 1435 Brickell Avenue is $3,750 a night for a deluxe double room with a city view. For nearly $1,000 more a night, Super Bowl big spenders can book a four-night stay at a four-bedroom suite at the Setai Miami Beach at 2001 Collins Avenue.
Some luxury properties have blocked off rooms for special events or entertainment companies that sell packages that include Super Bowl tickets, accomodations and other big ticket perks to corporate high-rollers in town for the big game.
For instance, downtown Miami’s 24-hour nightclub E11even is advertising a $1.1 million package anchored by 11 Super Bowl tickets to watch the game in Hard Rock Stadium’s 72 Club premium seating area, plus the VIP owner’s table at the nightclub for four nights and 11 rooms for four nights at The Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Gino LoPinto, an E11even operating partner, said the nightclub has received four legitimate inquiries about its big game week package, including one from a large insurance underwriting company owner in Kansas City. LoPinto added that E11even blocked off more than 40 of the 129 rooms in The Gabriel for Super Bowl-related packages.
“It is more conducive for the corporate clients,” LoPinto said. “For Super Bowl, you get a lot of requests for bigger groups. We have a great VIP clientele, and having hotel rooms available is a nice add-in for table packages.”