Carlsbad hotel rooms in great demand

Posted at: 07/31/2013 6:48 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Two words of advice if you’re looking for a hotel room in Carlsbad: Book early.  Carlsbad Caverns gets almost half a million visitors a year. Add in the oil and gas boom and you have a lot of people looking for a place to stay.

It’s no secret the economy in Carlsbad is thriving, but the oil and gas industry is nudging into the tourism industry.

"We have 220 rooms and a large percentage of them are affiliated with the oil and gas," said Bobby Forrest, Manager of Best Western hotel.

Since Carlsbad has grown into an oilfield community, it may be hard to find a place to stay. And if you find a room, it will cost you.

Oil workers are booking up the hotel rooms and driving up the prices.

“We’ve gone up a little bit. Any of the oil field communities, if you’re staying in them, you’re going to pay more for a room," said Forrest.

If you want to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Carlsbad, it’s going to cost you $229 a night.  Forrest said if you’re going to stay in town, plan ahead.

"If you’re traveling to any of the oilfield communities, you need to be sure to get there in time to be sure you can get a room," said Forrest.

"Sometimes it’s not just hard to find someplace, the rates have gone up. It’s kind of that supply and demand.  When you've got a demand for things, the cost of things do go up," said Robert P. Defer, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce CEO.

It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a problem.

"When you see both of those come together, you’re going to see a lot of growth and it's fast and furious, and it's also wonderful.  But with that goes growing pains," said Defer.

Another effect of the oil and gas boom in Carlsbad is businesses that pay less than oil field wages are having trouble finding workers.