A championship year for Boston hotels

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October 23, 2013, 8:18 pm
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(NECN: Peter Howe, Boston) - From fluttering blue flags with pairs of red socks to formal bellmen in Red Sox jerseys, many Boston hotels are catching the spirit of the World Series.

None, though, quite like the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square – a Big Papi homer across the Turnpike from Fenway – which just transformed its front desk area into a large replica of the legendary left field Green Monster scoreboard.

"We found four students from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, which is right next to the hotel in Kenmore Square," hotel general manager Adam Sperling said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "They came, overnight last night, and transformed our wall into an hommage to the Green Monster."

There are also front-desk displays of baseballs, ballpark snacks, replicas of the retired numbers of Sox legends like Carl Yazstrzemski and Ted Williams and plaques explaining who they were, plus Sox pennants and banners in the stairs coming up.

But at the front desk, it’s strictly neutral.

"We have a mix of Red Sox and Cardinal fans, and we're excited to host them all," Sperling said.

It’s a smart stance as Boston gets ready to welcome somewhere between $5.7 million and $6.3 million per game in net new out-of-town visitor spending, according to the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. According to Patrick B. Moscaritolo, CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, it’s hotels and restaurants and bars, of course, and hordes of national and international media, but the bureau’s calculations extend all the way down to "taxicabs, the T, other transportation companies, corporate entertaining that all goes on during the world series -- and even the state tax collector gets a share of it, almost $40,000 of that number" in income taxes for the Cardinals’ and Sox’ two guaranteed workdays in Boston for games 1 and 2.

It’s not just a couple of good October days, though. After this year in which we've seen a lot of the Back Bay shut down for a week after the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings, after the federal government shutdown put a crimp on tourism in New England, this World Series could in fact help boost the area hotel industry to its best year since 1999: More than 6.3 million hotel room-nights sold in Boston and Cambridge.

"We're really on track if everything goes well the months of November and December," Moscaritolo said. "We're on a roll."

"After the Marathon bombing," Moscaritolo added, "there was an incredible outpouring of people from around the country who wanted to be here, and we saw that reflected in the numbers from July and in August. We had two of the best summer months we've ever had, and it's pretty much rolled forward" through a gorgeous fall, weather-perfect Head of the Charles, and now, the World Series. "It's kind of as if everything lined up in the right way," Moscaritolo said.

"Clearly this was a great boost that was unexpected," Sperling added. "Just like the Red Sox season, quite frankly."

With videographer John E. Stuart and video editor Lauren Kleciak

Tags: Boston, Boston Red Sox, Peter Howe, World Series 2013, Boston hotels
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