AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's an indicator of the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix's economic impact on Austin. Hotel rooms are still available for the upcoming race weekend.
Hotels for Hope is the nonprofit organization doing the hotel booking for Circuit of The Americas. They say most people traveling to Austin for F1 weekend already have their rooms.
"I mean, at this point in time, people have their reservations booked," said Neil Goldman of Hotels for Hope. "They're just finalizing their plans. They're getting ready to board their flights."
That still leaves a number of hotel rooms empty across the city.
"There are some hotels trying to fill those last-minute gaps right now, with some last-minute inventory," added Goldman.
But, the empty hotel rooms paint a much different picture than the economic impact report initially presented to the state comptroller.
In that presentation , the study estimated that 96,000 fans traveling to Austin for F1 would need hotel rooms. It also estimates 2.6 people per room, meaning roughly 37,000 hotel rooms needed, some of which were in San Antonio.
On the conservative side, the report estimates four-night stays, meaning roughly 148,000 hotel nights. As of the Tuesday of race week, Hotels for Hope had only booked 26,000, leaving quite a gap. Several hotels are lowering rates and minimum night stays to fill the void.
Still, organizers are confident it will be a landmark event.
"There are three events that can define a city," said Goldman. "The Olympics, the World Cup and Formula One racing. And, we have one of those events in Austin."
There's little doubt about the level of worldwide exposure the U.S. Grand Prix will bring to Austin, but hotel availability says the fans may be more local than initially thought.
Some state tax dollars will go to Circuit of The Americas as a part of bringing Formula One to Austin. That amount of money is based off the economic impact projections of the crowds, not the actual number.
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The U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin next year will be held Nov. 2 and F1 weekend will not coincide with a UT Longhorns home football game.