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At the convention and visitors bureau, an operator informed the Press that the NFL had gobbled up every hotel in the city. Then the operator suggested calling the host committee.
Henderson acknowledged that there is a lack of communication but said the committee and the visitors bureau are working hard to solve it.
"There is confusion right now because we are trying to tell everybody, 'Don't sell anything yet we're all going to fill up, everybody's going to get taken care of,' but we do need some time," he said. "It's just that it doesn't look good right now, in this premature moment."
Ultimately, Henderson and Tollett said, asking hotels to block rooms and work through the upcoming reservation hot line will protect visitors from price gouging.
"I wish I could tell everyone that there are 48,000 hotel rooms in Houston -- don't go make a deal with someone," Tollett said. He recommended calling the visitors bureau, but conceded that the only message they'd get is "to hold on till September, and then we will find you accommodations at a reasonable rate."
That's not good enough for Honiball and his fellow travelers.
"You've got 16 people who want to go to Houston, and the rooms are being held for corporate sponsors who may or may not decide to go," he said.
He's located the resort where the group wants to play a couple of rounds of golf. Honiball has selected a limousine service and a charter boat company for a deep-sea fishing trip. The problem is that those vendors want deposits now, but his group is afraid to pay since they don't know if they'll wind up in Baytown or Brazoria.
"We found everything but [a hotel]," he said. "And it's the one thing that holds up reserving everything else."