KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL Draft is bringing football fans to Kansas City from all over the nation and some of them might be pleasantly surprised to find out they can still get hotel rooms and short-term rentals in and around downtown, if they’ll pay a sometimes-hefty price for them.
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center is just a few hundred feet away from the NFL Draft stage where the first picks will be announced on April 27, and in the next few days, more rooms inside will be made available for visitors.
“By in large, our hotels are going to be primarily allocated to groups and different entities affiliated with what’s going on down in this area,” said The Westin and Sheraton Complex General Manager Chad Mohwinkle. “But there will be limited transient guests’ availability that will be opening up over the next couple of days.”
FOX4 checked into what’s available right now downtown for draft weekend and found a handful of options, some of which were a few hundred dollars more, per night, than usual.
Before guests have to look too far outside of town, another option is short-term rental properties like the roughly two-dozen that KC Stay operates.
“[The Draft has] definitely driven activity for the month of April at a higher rate than normal,” said KC Stay Owner Alex Glenn.
He says about 80% of his properties are booked at roughly 40% higher than they’d normally pull in per night. He expects all the properties to eventually fill up, banking on football fans making last minute plans to go to the draft, which doesn’t require tickets for much of the festivities.
Already, KC Stay is picking up on patterns that will help in the future. So many guests were looking just to go to the first night of the draft that KC Stay had to change it’s booking policies.
“We’ve had a lot of guests try to book one night and then we quickly shifted our model to have a two-night minimum,” Glenn said.
That’s a lesson he says they’ll take into other big events but especially to the World Cup in 2026.
Mohwinkle says getting these big events right is the key to getting similar money-makers back in the future.
“For years and years, I think there’s been certain locations that have had a disproportionate number of these events…I think part of that is because they executed them exceptionally well,” Mohwinkle said.
You can find information about how to get to the Draft and how to get around the events there here.