Pope Panic Means Prime Hotel Vacancies in Center City

Despite the recent talk of people sleeping on floors, couches and maybe even camping when the pope comes to Philly — you can still get a hotel room right in the center of the city.

“It just amazes me that people are looking in this panic mode instead of investigating what’s actually available,” said Jaimi Gordon, public relations director for The Loews Hotel at 12th and Market Streets, where more than 100 rooms are available for the weekend of Pope Francis’ visit.

An online check Monday of other Center City hotels showed at least 7 with rooms available for the full weekend — checking in on Friday, Sept. 25 and leaving Monday, Sept. 28.

“I think people automatically have assumed that everything that’s desirable is sold out,” said Gordon. “If you’re hearing the mayor is realistically considering letting people camp out in parks, then people are probably thinking, ‘Oh my God, where am I going to stay? I might have to camp in a tent!’”

If high-end comfort sounds better than camping, be prepared to pay. The lowest rate we found for a room that weekend was $305 a night at the Monaco hotel on Chestnut Street through

Rooms at The Loews start at $599 a night for the pope weekend. And you’ll have to book a minimum of three nights, so count on spending about $1,800 before taxes for double occupancy.

“But the uptick for everything is you’ll at least be able to see the papal procession go through the city,” said Gordon. “And it’s a fantastic walk. You can be at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in minutes.”

Pope Francis makes his first public appearance in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon at Independence Mall where he’s expected to give a speech on immigration. The next two opportunities to see him are both on the parkway — Saturday evening, Sept. 26 for the Festival of Families, then again Sunday afternoon for his Papal Mass. His visit is expected to attract between one and two million people.

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