Skip to Main Content

Challenges: Price Gouging at the Hotels

News article about Olympic housing.

Visitors to the Games were able to apply for housing at the time that they purchased their tickets. Anticipating opportunities to earn a profit, investors bought land and homes to rent to visitors who were expected to pour into the area. Some motels and hotels raised their rates or included stipulations such as length of stay and occupancy requirements designed to maximize profits. Olympic officials addressed this issue head-on with an anti-gouging campaign to encourage hotel and motel owners to "hold the line" on prices. Participating hotels were allowed to fly a special flag outside their establishment to notify potential guests they were keeping their prices reasonable. The first to support this effort was Charles W. Mapes, Jr., president of the Mapes hotel.