Philadelphia

Philly Hotels, Marketers Caught Off Guard by Pope Ticketing

Philly's hotel industry was as surprised as most others with Wednesday's news that the good seats for Papal events on the Parkway will go to ticket holders, not the general public.

"Changing the game this close to the event is just not fair," said Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.

Grose was anxiously awaiting some answer from the World Meeting of Families Thursday afternoon in front of the Archdiocese building in Center City.

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Grose said hotels were getting cancellations after Wednesday's announcement, but wasn't sure if they were people moving from one hotel to a better one or no longer coming in to town for the pope's visit to Philadelphia.

"I'm going to listen with an open mind," Grose said. "But I have to say, it's becoming more and more of a challenge to sell this event."

One-third of the city's hotel rooms are available, three weeks before Pope Week in Philly.

"There's a sense of urgency, but not panic," Grose said.

A lot of people are working very hard to put on a great event, said Grose.

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