Weekend discounts, deals apply in Silicon Valley's 'capital'

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hotels in the capital of Silicon Valley, as San Jose calls itself, are offering deep discounts Friday through Sunday nights, when their occupancies are at their lowest.

As can be expected for a city whose fortunes are tied to the high-technology world, hotels are often full midweek, but on weekends business travel falls off.

Leisure travelers to California traditionally shun San Jose and head to the more popular destinations of San Francisco, Monterey and other areas in the northern part of the state.

The Tech Museum of Innovations is included in the visitors bureau's package. But with San Francisco hotel rates rising and the city sold out for certain convention periods, San Jose is making an attempt to draw weekend travelers with low hotel rates.

The San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau recently expanded its in-house reservations office, arranging weekend travel packages that can shave 50% off regular midweek rates at local hotels.

The rates handily beat the weekend prices at hotels at the city's more famous northern neighbor, San Francisco. For example, weekend room rates at San Jose's downtown Fairmont Hotel start at $89 per night.

Comparable rooms at luxury hotels in San Francisco and Monterey cost $189, said Leonard Hoops, the bureau's senior vice president of marketing communications.

"There are significant savings in San Jose on the weekends, and [the bureau] provides the best available rates," he said.

The bureau's packages are noncommissionable; however, agents and tour operators can sell them with a net price.

"We've found that travel agents are using the service, adding either a flat service fee or marking up the hotel rates that we offer," Hoops said.

The packages, available only through the bureau's toll-free number, include a hotel room and tickets to attractions, performing arts or sporting events.

The packages include admission to one of the following: the Tech Museum of Innovation; the Children's Discovery Museum; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum; the History Museums of San Jose, or the Winchester Mystery House.

The performing arts packages include tickets to one of the following: the San Jose Cleveland Ballet; the San Jose Symphony; the San Jose Repertory Theatre; the American Musical Theatre of San Jose, or the San Jose Children's Museum Theater.

The sports packages include tickets to one of the following professional teams' games: the San Jose Sharks (ice hockey); the San Jose Earthquakes (soccer), or the San Jose SaberCats (arena football).

The packages include the following hotels for $69 to $79 per night on weekends: Crowne Plaza, Radisson Plaza, Airport Inn International, Hanford Hotel, Double Tree, Hyatt San Jose, Hyatt Sainte Claire and Wyndham.

Three luxury hotels in downtown San Jose offer rooms at $80 to $99 per night on the weekends: the Fairmont, the Hilton & Towers and the Hotel De Anza.

Rates are subject to availability, but rooms usually are available, Hoops said.

"The only time when they may not be available is when a major convention is booked in San Jose," he said.

San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau
Phone: (888) SAN-JOSE
Web: www.sanjose.org.

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