The view from your recession

Remember the durable goods monopolist?

While many of Southern California's luxury hotels are battling a severe
slump in business by offering extra services and more amenities, the Rancho Bernardo Inn is luring guests with the exact opposite — no frills and barely any basics.

Called the "Survivor Package," the hotel's deeply discounted promotion
lets patrons trim its standard $219-per-night rate on a sliding scale
of deprivation, lowering charges with each amenity stripped from the

The most basic version: a room for $19 with no bed, toilet paper,
towels, air-conditioning or "honor bar," and only a single light bulb
in the bathroom for safety. The next level up adds in a bed — sans
sheets — for $39 a night. For a bed plus toiletries and toilet paper,
the rate is $59.

Here is more information and for the pointer I thank Deron Bauman.


The Cato Institute has had their summer "Cato University" program at the Rancho Bernardo Inn for the last four years -- coincidence? I think not.

I'd say unfurnished apartment is right. $19 per night for what is, in essence, an efficiency would be quite competitive in a lot of markets. They are pricing for the long-term market - corporate employees on assignment, husbands booted out by their spouse, newcomers to town who are too busy to apartment-hunt, that sort of thing.

I think the hotel is in for a shock if they don't require minimum stays for the low rates. Their $219 per night clientele are not going to put up with the youth-hostel crowd that $19 rates for a bare floor will bring in. When someone is paying $219 per night, they are paying for exclusivity as much as creature comforts.

some shops nearby this inn could offer airbeds for a higher price.

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