Despite contracts, Republican National Convention officials tell hotels they want cheaper rooms, higher fees
A crowd of hotel managers gathered in the ballroom of the Wyndam Tampa Westshore on Wednesday expecting a routine update on plans for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Instead, a new convention contractor delivered a shock: Hotels are expected to throw out year-old room contracts with the convention's Republican organizers and sign new agreements with lower room rates.
"There were a couple hundred folks in the room slightly gasping,'' said Ron Alicandro, general manager of the Westin Tampa Bay. "We've all got signed contracts. None of us can understand it.'' Pinellas hoteliers got the same message at a meeting Thursday in St. Petersburg.