I hope everyone is running well.
It took longer than desired, but the final hotel listing is posted on the web site. I hesitate to call it the "final listing", but until I start the final course review in April I don't see making any improvements to the list. 65 nights will be spent in Wyndham Motels - primarily Super 8 - if you decide to stay in the hotels on the list.
How long does it take to make reservations? If you are not already a Wyndham Travel rewards member I recommend you go to wyndhamrewards.com and click on Join to become a Wyndham Rewards member. This makes it easy and quick to make many hotel reservations at one time and also allows you to earn free nights by accruing Wyndham reward points. For anyone who prefers to stay at Holiday Inns, I also have another hotel listing that lists all the Holiday Inn Express hotels on the route - please email me if you would like that list which replaces 18 nights at Wyndham motels with 18 nights at a Holiday Inn Express motel. I note that my crew is directing me to reserve rooms at a Holiday Inn Express when appropriate. I also note that I have made most of my needed reservations for the run.
1) There is a column in the Hotel Listing spreadsheet that can be used to record your reservation number - definitely important to have your hotel reservations organized.
2) Total cost for the hotel stays is about $6772. Your costs could be slightly different due to some hotels charging less for one bed vice two and I reserved two beds most nights.
3) I recommend that you do not make the non-refundable Advance Purchase reservations that can be made for most Wyndham Motels. Instead I recommend that you make refundable reservations that have cancel by dates. The cancel by dates are already included in the spreadsheet for your convenience. I note that after finishing the first week of the run, in an effort to save money a runner could - if desired - make Advance Purchase reservations at upcoming run hotels 2-4 weeks in advance for the lower cost and then canceling the higher priced refundable reservations at the particular hotels.
4) Staying at Wyndham motels for 65 should earn you 3-4 free nights stay at Wyndham motels which is one reason to stay at Wyndham motels if at all possible during the run. Additional free hotel stays can also be earned if Wyndham makes any promotions next summer. Obviously, free hotel stays reduce the run costs.
5) Should hotel reservations be made so far in advance? In the spreadsheet I noted several local hotels did not want me to make a reservation so far in advance. However, I don't think anyone wants to drive more than needed to get to and from hotels each day. The run goes through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota in early July - prime tourist season. If you only want to make four days of hotel reservations early my recommendation would be to make the hotel reservations for Deadwood, Hill City, and Hot Springs (2 nights) now vice waiting. This is from July 1st to July 4th, days 33-36 of the run. You can always cancel these reservations without much effort if you decide not to do the run. Other nights of interest:
Day 67 (August 4th) - lots of hotels in the Akron/Canton, OH area already have the "check alternate dates" message and are presumably full. I believe the World Golf Championship in Akron is held that weekend. The Strasburg, OH Super 8 works well for the run, but this hotel could also fill over time.
Day 74 (August 11th) - Hancock, MD has two hotels - an America's Best Value Inn that is booked full and the Super 8 which has upped its rate for this Saturday night - my rate being $132.10. This is a nice hotel (I stayed there this summer), but if you would prefer to save some money you might simply make a two-night reservation at the Super 8 in Hagerstown, MD (August 11-12) vice the one night stay there on August 12th as shown in the Hotel Listing. You will end up driving 21 more miles to and 21 miles from the run than if you stayed in Hancock, but again you will save money. There just aren't many hotel options in this area.
Day 47: (July 15th) Denison, IA has six motels and the Days Inn is full this Sunday night. The Denison Super 8 has vacancies and is the recommended motel - unknown if it will fill.
6) Joliet, IL and Hagerstown, MD both have two Super 8s. The recommended Super 8 for nights 57 and 75 can be determined by the phone number on the spreadsheet.
7) A lower cost option (and a little less driving) for a hotel for days 28 and 29 is the Ashland, MT Western 8 Motel - phone number 406-784-2400. I note there are not many restaurant options in Ashland.
8) Day 40 ends right at the Valentine, NE Comfort Inn on the Cowboy Trail. I can't resist this fact and will stay at the Comfort Inn (stayed there this summer and the hotel was nice) but the recommended hotel is the Super 8 since it is less expensive.
9) Day 42 ends right at the six room Stuart Village Inn in Stuart, NE. Phone number is 402-924-3133 if you would like to stay there vice in Oneill, NE that night at the Super 8.
10) Only one "local" motel provided me with a reservation number. Two "locals" provided me with a "name" as a reservation number. Call the local motels to make reservations.
Long post - but important. Email if any questions.