On lodging at the Fair

Getting a place to stay at the fair has been a complicated process. But after a period of charges and countercharges among hoteliers and reservationists , efforts are being made to resolve the situation. As the fair opened, reservations for hotels and motels were being handled by Knoxvisit, an organization that does convention booking for Knoxville, supported by hotel taxes. Amid charges of incompetence, Knoxvisit went back to the convention business last month, while Lodging Services, a Chamber of Commerce operation and the umbrella administrator of all the lodging contractors, asked R. M. Moore, a real estate firm, to take over hotel and motel leasing, in addition to the supplemental housing it was already offering.

For a while, operators who answered my calls to the information number weren't putting me through to the hotel/motel line, but suggesting other forms of lodging. According to Steve Land, a member of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and director of Lodging Services, this was because the hotel and motel telephone lines have been inadequate to handle all the incoming calls. R.M. Moore officials said they were merely ironing out kinks in the Knoxvisit system.

But a Knoxvisit official said the only problem with the system was the volume of calls. And hotel and motel owners complained that there was a conflict of interest, with the real estate firm shunting business away from them and to real estate interests in town. R.M. Moore denied this, saying it did not own any property in the system.

At any rate, last week operators I reached did mention hotels and motels among places to stay in Knoxville. We assume they will continue to do so.

According to Lodging Service Operators, Hotel and motel rooms are going for from $60 to $150 a night, double occupancy. But the operator also had some rooms at a lower price, and one observer noted that there seems to be a small price war going on among motels which didn't get the business they expected.

Apartments and Condos, administered by World Property Management, separate from R. M. Moore, are available for $15 to $385 a night. Dormitory rooms are $ 36 to $66. Single-family homes go for $45 to $395.

Southern Hospitality, another contractor under the aegis of Lodging Services, books bed-and-breakfast arrangements at $23 to $52 a night.

Campgrounds are $12 to $30 a night.

The information number is (615) 971-1000.

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