In one forum of meeting professionals, a hotelier likened per diems to “price fixing.” If off-season rates in Aspen are $75, but the published per diem is $160/night, what incentive do hotels have in giving government groups the same rates the public enjoys if the government is willing to pay more?
The response was even more interesting: Why would a government group even consider meeting in Aspen? Wouldn’t it be a better use of taxpayer dollars to meet somewhere else?
To which the hotelier replied that shouldn’t be the issue. If a destination offers the best value, he said, that should outweigh fears of perception. He pointed out that one government group his Aspen/Snowmass property lost elected to spend $5,000 more to meet in Denver.