Accommodation hard to find for jazz festival
BOB and Frances Sparkes, from Camden in NSW, almost had to book a room in Casino to attend the Australian Jazz Convention being held in Lismore.
Many music lovers coming to the city for the convention had to book accommodation a year in advance.
“We looked on the net early in the year and there was just nothing available in Lismore,” Mr Sparkes said.
“We thought we'd have to hire a car and come into town every day for the festival.
“But we looked on the net again last month and found a motel room in Lismore. I guess some people might have cancelled their trips.”
Anne Blagrove and Kerry Wood, from Adelaide, booked their rooms in February.
“We knew it was going to be pretty busy in Lismore at this time of year,” Ms Wood said.
Brisbane resident Col Amos, who is attending his 23rd festival, said room prices kept going up.
“In January my mate booked and got his room for $79 a night,” he said.
“I booked a week later and it was $115. The next week it had gone up again to $135. You've got to get in really early.”
Lismore City Council events organiser John Bancroft said the jazz festival's success meant there were not many rooms available in town.
“I've heard that accommodation is tight at the moment, but staff at the visitors' centre are doing what they can to get people into rooms,” he said.
“We've got about 400 out-of-towners, but the big news is we've sold 100 day passes.”
The Australian Jazz Convention finishes tomorrow, but the Tropical Fruits New Year bash is also expected to draw a big crowd.
Owner Ian Gibson said his Lismore City Motor Inn and Karinga Motel were booked out on Wednesday.
“It's very good, considering Lismore is not a traditional tourist town. It's the events that bring people here,” he said.
Alex Palmer, from the Lismore Bounty Motel, said they were also booked out.
“We've got a long waiting list as well,” she said.