Monday, December 22, 2014

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Fans look for F1 lodging options

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TWC News: Fans look for F1 lodging options
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At the British Grand Prix most fans stayed at hotels in nearby cities.

For those who wanted to stay closer to the action, an on-site portable hotel was offered for more than $200 per night. Also, at Silverstone, tens of thousands of people opted for something less formal. Campgrounds fill the fields surrounding the circuit.

Some of the more elaborate camps are very similar to what you might find tailgating before a University of Texas home game.

"We enjoyed having a barbecue, sitting, eating and drinking with friends," Formula One Fan Lisa Brown said. "Everybody's very, very friendly because they're all here for one thing,"

Brown’s husband went to the race, but she and her friend opted to stay back and watch it on television.

Campsites won't be permitted, at least for the first year of the U.S. Grand Prix. Therefore, fans traveling to Austin will need to consider other arrangements.

"I think a lot of people now need to look at where the two existing shuttle stops are and plan around there," Austin Race Hotels spokesperson Danielle Crespo said.

Crespo started her travel website more than a year ago to help race fans unfamiliar with Austin and the surrounding area. A quick search shows Austin-area hotels are going to be expensive on race weekend, in many cases double the asking price of ACL Festival weekend.

But it’s not just Austin seeing an increase in the cost of a hotel room. Some hotels in Lockhart are going for about $500 a night during the week of the U.S. Grand Prix. The high prices have race fans and property owners looking for other options.

"If you're ready to just rent it out, as-is, it's absolutely not too late. I'm actually getting more inquiries for houses right now than I'm getting listings, which is great," Crespo said.

High demand and high prices could mean Formula One's impact will be felt throughout Central Texas. Practice and Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix begins Nov. 16. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP