by: Jenna Deery Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - While CIAA commissioner still hasn't decided whether Charlotte will be next year's host city for the tournament, the city's hotels are combating a problem that is making them look bad.
Industry experts compare it to ticket scalping but instead people are scalping rooms to some of Charlotte's most popular hotels.
It's not a problem this city wants to have when a $40 million economic impact is on the line for next year.
Many fans find Charlotte an ideal host city because of its amenities, most of which are conveniently located in Uptown but some fans told Channel 9 the convenience comes at a cost.
"Their biggest complaint is every year there has been like 20 to 30 percent increases in room rates for the same room," said Fred Whitted.
He said he has friends who have fallen into the trap of room block raiders. Sid Smith with the Charlotte Area Hotel Association said raiders will team up and buy blocks of rooms then target tournament fans to sell them at a higher price.
"They have call lists. They have an email list and they will represent themselves as representing that hotel," said Smith. "The problem is, the average fan or the average citizen doesn't know the difference."
There is very little hotels can do about it besides putting limitations on how many rooms one person can reserve. There isn't much the city can do either.
"It's really bad for the image of the town because if you are being gouged for a room, what else are you being gouged for?" said Whitted.
Smith said it's up to the customer to protect themselves. He suggests customers call the hotel before booking a room with a third party to make sure they aren't paying more than they should be.
For more on the CIAA tournament, visit: http://www.gocarolinas.com/news/entertainment/ciaa-charlotte/ndSYm/