I have been trying to find a hotel online in Vancouver BC two weeks in advance (for July 17) and web sites are showing 85% of rooms are taken, leaving only rooms in the $240-$550 per night range, most of them out by the airport or in other remote places.

I checked the Vancouver BC events calendar, and all it shows is a charity regatta raising money for Easter Seals...

Six or so years ago and before there seemed to be abundant hotels in Vancouver BC, available for more like $50-80. I get that there may be inflation and variation but this seems extreme. So now that we have a supposed recession, the whole city is full of travellers and many are paying 2-6 times as much per night? What's going on?

Might it be useful to telephone hotels to book directly? Are the web sites charging finder's fees, so they only give some of their rooms to the sites?

closed as unclear what you're asking by gerrit, Maître Peseur, JoErNanO, Thorsten S., CGCampbell Jul 15 '15 at 14:45

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    Beds from 20 USD, rooms from 50. For the 17th of July: hotelscombined.com/Hotels/… – MastaBaba Jul 7 '15 at 18:41
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    Thanks @MastaBaba. That's a good site. Studying the results though, even there I only see one hotel shown that's below $220/night near the city, (it looks like a good find though - Budget Inn Patricia Hotel). They're mostly hostel beds. My real question of course is what on Earth has changed in the last several years, or is there something odd going on in Vancouver? – Dronz Jul 7 '15 at 19:25
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    Several of the hostels seem to provide single-occupancy rooms at reasonable enough prices. And, you know, beggars can't be choosers. Anyway, speculating on the reason the prices are high, is this not simply due to most hotels being full or nearly full, possibly because... it's the middle of high season? If you search for accommodation several months away, prices are much lower. – MastaBaba Jul 7 '15 at 19:38
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    I was trying to do s o for vancouver a couple of weeks ago, and it was almost impossible. Turns out it was the football (womens) world cup final. Perhaps there's another event on the 17th that may cause you problems. – Mark Mayo Jul 7 '15 at 23:15
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    While limited to one aspect of the economy, here is an article discussing how, over the preceding 5 years (2010-2015), home prices in Vancouver have skyrocketed. It is quite possible that other prices are rising to match, that what you are witnessing is not a coincidental event, and simply the economy and rising prices in the BC city itself. – CGCampbell Jul 15 '15 at 14:44