State investigating nine hotels over eclipse bookings

Complaints claim reservations dumped to hike rates

Oregon DOJ investigates hotels for...

BEND, Ore. - There's less than five months to go until the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse turns out the lights over much of Central Oregon, and hotel rates are extremely high. But were some early room renters dumped by some hotels seeking to make premium dollars?

According to Expedia, one night at the Days Inn in Bend during the eclipse weekend will set you back $1,600. And on Kayak, a night at the Rainbow Motel will cost you $999.

These prices might be shocking, but what's even more shocking is what some hotels are being accused of doing.

Customers are accusing some Oregon hotels of canceling reservations made for the eclipse weekend, then re-booking other customers at a much higher rate.

One complaint came from Jeffery McPherson of San Ramon, California.

He wrote on the site TripAdvisor that his reservation at the Motel 6 in Madras was canceled three months after he made it

"...the rate was high ($275 a night), but the hotel is ideally located for the solar eclipse, so i was fine with paying the rate. i just got a call from Amanda at the motel saying they are overbooked and they have canceled my reservation," he wrote.

But according to the Motel 6 in Madras, there was a mistake within the reservation system during a rebranding process that allowed 13 rooms to be booked through Expedia that had already been filled. 

A similar complaint was filed on TripAdvisor against Prineville's Stafford Inn

"...had a room booked for the eclipse on August 21, 2017, and the manager emailed to say they were cancelling it because of new ownership. this is not true because the new owners took over in 2014, not just now. now they are offering up the room for $600 a night instead of the $160 it was confirmed for."
NewsChannel 21 reached out to the Stafford Inn, but they said they couldn't comment on the issue.

The Oregon Department of Justice Investigating complaints against nine hotels, if it finds that a hotel did violate the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, the hotel could be hit with a fine of up to $25,000.

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