Government Rate and Teachers

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Old May 7, 19, 2:12 pm
  #46  
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If the hotel wants to permit the government rate to be used only for official business, the rate rules need to say that (or to require that it be booked through a government travel agent, etc.).
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Old May 7, 19, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There is no such thing as "the government rate." Rather there is a government rate as defined by the property. The rate terms should say "federal" when they mean "federal" and will say something such as "any government agency" or will specifically say "federal, state, county, or local" when they mean that, If it is hard to figure out from the rate definition, call the property.
I believe this is the best categorization of "government rate".
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Old May 7, 19, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
I believe this is the best categorization of "government rate".
If you try to call and ask, like with every other Starriott issue, different people will give different answers (and you'll have no proof of what was said). The rate rules should be the definitive statement of everything in the contract about whether one is eligible for a government rate or not.
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Old May 8, 19, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
A friend of mine works for a property & mentioned that some gov't employees are using the gov't rate for leisure travel. Fair enough if it's not prohibited. But he said they're seeing people book the gov't rate for multiple rooms (think in town for a softball tournament or a festival or a wedding, for example) under gov't rate & only 1 person has gov't ID. OTOH the MAR system let them book that many rooms; OTOH it's obvious it's not for gov't travel. They've been honoring it since the MAR system let them book it, but the property isn't happy because there are times when the room rates are significantly higher during those timeframes & so they're losing revenue when it's obvious the rooms are not all occupied by gov't employees but the rooms were booked by a gov't employee at the reduced rate.

Cheers.
If the government rate is well below the prevailing rate for the room and the property expects to be able to sell all the rooms, then why is the property offering the rate at all?

Also, the corporate rules used to explicitly say that each employee can only book a single room, though that seems to be missing from the current iteration--I've routinely booked multiple rooms so I know the system doesn't block it, but in my case the other rooms were for colleagues who also had ID so there was no issue when we showed up at check in.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If the hotel wants to permit the government rate to be used only for official business, the rate rules need to say that (or to require that it be booked through a government travel agent, etc.).
That's exactly what Marriott says about it: "At most Marriott hotels the government rate is available to eligible guests regardless of whether they are traveling on business or pleasure. However, some hotels may only make the government per diem rate available to guests traveling on official business. Please check the hotel’s rate description for details. If the rate description states that the rate is only for guests traveling on official government business, please be prepared to present travel orders when checking in."
https://www.marriott.com/File%20Blocks/US/Deals/chart.htm

ETA:
Looks like max number of rooms is covered in the individual hotel's rate rules. This one (for a DC-area property) looks like the standard boilerplate:
-US Government (GOV) Per Diem rate:
- Rate is based on the current applicable Federal government
(govt) Per Diem rate, and subject to increase if the US General
Services Administration increases the applicable Federal govt
Per Diem rate before or on the guests arrival date.
- Please refer guests to www.gsa.gov for details.
- Available to US Federal govt and active duty military only.
- Limit of two rooms per night.
- Must show valid Federal Govt or Military ID at check-in.
- Valid ID consists of:
- Federal Govt issued Visa, MasterCard, American Express
or Federal Govt picture ID (CAC or Common Access Card)
- Military picture ID or govt/military Travel Orders
- Federally Funded Research Development Corp (FFRDC) ID
- Canadian Govt or Military issued ID or credit card
- Native American Tribal Government ID
- If no valid ID, rate will be increased to best available rate.
- Govt Contractors, including Contractors working on govt Cost
Reimbursable Contract, are not eligible for the US govt rate.
- For reduced per diem requirement on stays longer than 30
days, please check in advance whether the hotel will
accommodate such rates or not.
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Old May 14, 19, 7:02 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
There is no such thing as "the government rate." Rather there is a government rate as defined by the property. The rate terms should say "federal" when they mean "federal" and will say something such as "any government agency" or will specifically say "federal, state, county, or local" when they mean that, If it is hard to figure out from the rate definition, call the property.

Many properties also limit the number of rooms available at their form of a government rate and that rate is set within the allowable reimbursement for the locality. When people book rooms for a voleyball tournament, they are harming somebody who will either have to stay elsewhere or shell out some money of their own. That is why you will sometimes see people here react positively to FD clerks who enforce the rules.
While it is true that properties can define their own version of a government rate, it is not true to say that there is no such thing as "the government rate." GSA defines an official Federal government rate dependent upon the locality, and from my experience, a large majority of hotels use that rate as their government rate.
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