ODESSA,Texas (ABC Big 2 / FOX 24) – There is confusion on whether local hotels are price gouging during this freeze. ABC Big 2 and FOX 24 spoke to an Odessa man who said he is being price gouged by a hotel.
Steven Morris and his family are staying at a Midland hotel instead of at their Odessa home, and they’re not happy about it. Morris said he has to extend their stay since the power is still out at home, but it’s coming with a price.
“We were told that we couldn’t extend it,” Morris said. ” We argued with them about that, finally they said yes, but they are raising the rate to $140 a night for the remainder of the days.”
And Morris said he’s not the only one.
“Another gentleman told me he paid $156 dollars a night.” Morris said. “The pricing has been all over the place, it’s not been consistent, so I believe they are trying to gouge a person on an individual basis.”
State law prohibits any type of price gouging, but social media posts have showed local hotels charging rooms for as much as $1,000 a night. Odessa Mayor Javier Joven said third party reservations may be responsible.
“I think that they attach it to local hotels and they wind up getting hit and getting criticized.” Joven said. ” I called some of those hotels myself and they said it’s not the case they’re not charging $1000 for a room.”
But in Morris’s case, Mayor Joven says a $40 price jump is normal.
“The thing is that supply and demand if you see a $50 to$ 60 dollar increase that’s going to be normal,” Joven said. “Anybody is going to say that its price gouging simply because they are paying a higher price them they were when they got checked out.”
As for Morris, he’s not happy spending the extra money, but he say’s it’s worth it to keep his family safe during these frigged temperatures.
“We’re going to pay it,” Morris said. “It’s my wife and I and our two pets so realistically we can’t stay in our house. “