LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) –
Crowds of up to 150,000 people usually attend Oktoberfest USA in La Crosse.
All those visitors also require a place to sleep during the event.
The cancellation of the fest has also brought the cancellation of reservations for hotels all over the Coulee Region.
Every year hotels in La Crosse are booked out for Oktoberfest weekend.
Fairfield Inn in downtown La Crosse says rates can get as high as $500 for one night which helps financially ease into the winter months.
However, with no fest this year reservations were canceled and guests aren’t checking in.
Fairfield says the usually high room rate is instead around $140 and it may be forced to lower it even more.
It’s not just hotels that are close to the grounds in La Crosse that are suffering the financial impact, but also hotels as far as Sparta and even Tomah who are usually sold out this weekend.
“We are right off the interstate, so we’re approximately 15-20 miles from the fest grounds and we do get a lot of people because of course all the hotels in La Crosse are normally booked too and so they start coming this way,” said Carrie Folberg, the Sparta Country Inn and Suites general manager.
About half of the hotel’s 60-rooms were booked when the fest was canceled.
It won’t see a packed parking lot Friday night as only 32 percent of rooms are booked now.
This isn’t the first time the pandemic has impacted reservations.
“We struggled and stayed open even though when this first started, we probably had two rooms occupied out of the sixty that we have,” Folberg explained.
Folberg says the hotel has seen a slight increase in guests staying overnight while exploring the bike trail.
However, other usual fall events also won’t be bringing in tourists this year.
“It’s kind of a let down– everyone looks forward to your Butterfest, your Cranfest and Oktoberfest and now it seems like there’s virtually nothing that will really bring them out except the bike trail,” added Folberg.
The general manager looks forward to welcoming back guests next year for Oktoberfest.
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