Big business for small hotels as Champs begins
Small hotels across Kingston and St Andrew are in for big business during the five-day period encompassing the annual staging of the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys & Girls' Athletics Championships, which begins today at the National Stadium.
Schools choosing double-occupancy rooms are asked to fork out $26,980 per night at Christar Villas, while others such as Medallion Hall, located along Lady Musgrave Road, have special packages for schools wishing to book lodgings.
"As of today, we are at full occupancy, and this is the norm when Champs rolls around. It is a good time of year for us," said the hotel's banqueting manager, Callee Bailey-Williams.
She listed four schools that have confirmed reservations there, including a 22-member contingent from Morant Bay High booking rooms for its athletes, coaches and technical staff. St Hilda's booked rooms for their nine-member squad along with coaches, Montego Bay High has taken seven. Greater Portmore High School is the fourth school booked to stay at the hotel.
"Morant Bay has stayed here for the past seven years and we look forward to hosting them. This year, we have a number of schools and we are happy to again to be providing hospitality to our future stars," Bailey-Williams said.
LAST YEAR'S STAGING
Last year, the defending boys' champions Calabar High took over the 58-room Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston, with one in every two guests being either an athlete or someone associated with the team. While Calabar will be staying elsewhere this year, business is still good the closer it gets to Champs, with rooms said to be going fast.
"This time around, the hotel is to be the home away from home for St Mary High. We hosted Calabar last year, but even so, we are looking at all our rooms taken up," stated Cherene Murdock, a front desk agent.
Alhambra Inn, just a stone's throw from the National Stadium, is experiencing its usual high occupancy for Champs, while Christar Villas Hotel is also seeing full occupancy, with four schools taking up their "special package", according to manager Donna Stennett-Tappin.