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Last Minute July 4th Hotel Rooms

So you’re expecting out of town guests for the busy July 4th weekend; and you’d prefer they stay at one of the area’s hotels.

But rooms are going fast.

WGNO New Reporter Darian Trotter reports on your dwindling options.

July Fourth weekend is fast approaching and the city of New Orleans is a destination for holiday travelers.

It’s also the weekend when an estimated 500-thousand visitors will flock to the city for the Essence Music Festival.

“It’s New Orleans,” resident Michaelyn LaMark said. “We’re the city that parties.”

“Thousands of people come to the city to spend money and enjoy the city, which is great for all of us,” Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Director of Communications & Marketing, Lauren Cason said.

Hotels are about a week away from July 4th check-ins, but the rush on rooms started long ago.

Occupancy is projected to be in the high 90’s range.

Many hotels have already sold out.

That means some locals will be forced to open their doors to out of town guests.

But what can you do, if you really would rather not?

We’ve done some last minute checking. What few rooms are left are at a premium.

At last check the Roosevelt Hotel quoted $900 a night with a three night minimum. The only rooms left at the Marriott were close to $500; and the Sheraton had only a few rooms left in the $300 range.

“That’s ridiculous. “It’s high; I wouldn’t pay it,” LaMark said.

We checked for last minute deals online. From hotels.com to Priceline all discount sites show rooms ranging from $125 dollars to $850.

Nearly all of the areas bed and breakfast rooms are booked solid; from the Marigny to Mandeville.

But you’re in luck if your guests are willing to travel.

“I would do exactly what I said, try to find something in the surrounding areas and then stay there and then drive towards the city at night,” LaMark said.

Experts say don’t give up.

“You know, you never know who might cancel or when things might come available,” Cason said.

That’s right, plans change and some who booked rooms early will end up cancelling.

That’s when you’ll find those last minute deals online.

“I mean try your luck,” LeMark said.

Experts suggest a search for cancellations starting Thursday and continue until the middle of next week.

The festival produces a $170-million dollar economic impact.