Apr 25, 2022 - Things to Do

NWA hotels heat up for September events

Nightly hotel rates for Format Festival
Data: Axios research; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

If you prefer watching golf over music, you'll end up paying more for a hotel room in September, an Axios Northwest Arkansas analysis shows.

Driving the news: Last week, organizers announced the three-day Format festival will be held in Bentonville from Sept. 23-25, overlapping with the Walmart NW Arkansas LPGA Championship in Rogers.

  • As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend the Format festival.
  • Attendance at the LPGA event is estimated to hit up to 20,0000 people.

The big picture: Event promoters usually strike deals with hoteliers to get preferred rates for dates of an event.

  • Most rates booked through the Format's website are better than what can be found online, but not all.

By the numbers: Bentonville's Holiday Inn Express will run $179 per night if your friends come to the Format festival, and $238 per night for those who want to see the LPGA.

  • Yes, but: Those booking a room at the Avid in Rogers will save $21 a night if they make their reservations off the Format's website.
  • The lowest average price per night from Sept. 22-26 is nearly $152.

NWA has about 10,000 hotel rooms available on any given night, Kalene Griffith, president and CEO of Visit Bentonville, told Axios. That doesn't include Airbnb or Vrbo, which are booking out quickly through Format's website.

  • Griffith estimates there are about 800 Airbnb and Vrbo properties in Bentonville and Bella Vista, but she didn't have a count from the companies.

The intrigue: Courtyard by Marriott in Bentonville is already sold out for the weekend and rooms at 21c Hotel are reserved for Format attendees.

  • The 21c package runs $2,800 per person. This includes a $300 pass to the festival and four nights at the quirky arts hotel.
  • A one-night stay at 21c in the summer runs about $300 per night, according to Priceline.com.

Glamping is also an option — starting at $1,000, plus a $300 fee — for those seeking the full festival experience but with flushable toilets and shower access. The price of the pass isn't included in camp packages.

  • Pitching your own tent isn't an option.
  • Organizers are working on what to do with RV campers, Griffith told us.

Of note: The first week in October looks to be a boon for NWA tourism. The Alabama Crimson Tide will play the Razorbacks on Oct. 1, the weekend following the Format festival, and Bikes Blues and BBQ is set to kick off for the first time since 2019 on Oct. 5.


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