The Rent Every Room Story, Innisfree Hotels

Here at Innisfree Hotels, it’s really a big deal to rent 100 percent of your rooms.

Most brands consider occupancy full at 95 percent. But the way we see it, there’s very little effort involved in renting one more room.

Back in 2002, we had a Best Western in Perdido Key with a lobby and two blocks of guest rooms, 50 rooms each.

One had a roof that leaked badly – right over the top of Room 225.

The cost to fix it was $50,000. The hotel room in question only made $12,000 a year.

Simple economics were not in favor of the roof repair.

Still, it rained inside the room every time it rained outside the room.

I wanted to hit 100 percent occupancy, so I cut a piece of painter’s plastic to lay over the top of the television and credenza when it rained.

And you know what? That room sold every single night for two years.

There was a group of locals who knew they could have the room for cheap. If it started raining, all they had to do was cover the TV and credenza. I essentially made a poncho for the furniture, and it worked.

From the day I made that decision until 2004, Room 225 was rented every night. For $25.

At Innisfree, full is full.

We always have the theory that every room is worth something.

One problem we encounter is when desk clerks or GMs say they don’t want to rent it.

But it’s not up to us to determine whether room is rentable. It’s up to the guest.

Most of the time, you’ll find you can get rooms rented.

Even if it’s raining inside.

Bottom line: Rent every room. I challenge people to give me a reason they can’t.

The only acceptable excuse? The guest doesn’t want it.

(Or we’ve run out of painter’s plastic.)

– By Jason Nicholson

Vice President, Innisfree Hotels



In order to have a great future, we must celebrate and learn from our incredible past. The Innisfree Hotels story began in Topeka, Kansas. So when the folks who were around back then start a story with ‘Back in Topeka,’ we know it’s time to listen. These are tales of the challenges, of the laughter and tears that come with building a company like ours. That’s the sentiment behind this blog series, a chronicle of days gone by at Innisfree Hotels – and a map to get us where we’re going.