I wholeheartedly blame the Rio 20 UN summit for the cancellation of the UFC’s Silva vs Sonnen stadium plans, so it is with some vengeful enjoyment that I now report the summit is falling apart, partly because the UN can’t even agree on squat and partly because of accommodation issues we heard about leading up to UFC 147’s gimping:
Though the conference’s host city, Rio de Janeiro, is also slated to stage mega-events in the 2014 World Cup final match and the 2016 Olympics, its hotel infrastructure is still woefully lacking. With a total of 33,000 beds for the estimated 50,000-plus visitors expected to flood the city for the June 20-22 summit, the mayor has resorted to asking residents to leave town and rent out their apartments to delegates.
The spiraling cost of accommodations during the conference has prompted other cancellations. The European Parliament scrapped its entire 11-person delegation because of the breathtaking rise in hotel prices, which a spokesman said were 10 times initial estimates.
The average cost of a room in Rio during the conference has risen to $818 per night, according to a report this week by Agencia Brasil, the state-run news agency. And some hotels are taking advantage of the shortage of accommodations by requiring guests to book for an entire week, even if they intend to stay for just three or four nights.
This really seems like a strange problem for a tourist destination like Rio de Janeiro to be suffering from. Anyone have a few million bucks they wanna invest into building some dive motels? You’d think when they bulldozed favelas to make room for World Cup parking, they’d clear out a few thousand more families to make way for a Holiday Inn or twenty.