Some of New York's posh hotels are offering Super Bowl room-and-ticket packages costing in the thousands. Across the border in northern New Jersey, some no-frills motels are charging 10 times their normal rates for the big game at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2. However, innkeepers along the Jersey Shore say they can save football fans from the pain of paying Super-duper rates by having them stay at their places - far enough away from the high cost and hustle and bustle of the New York market, but not too far away for relatively easy trips to the game.
"You will end up with an attractive place to stay out of the crowds, with an excellent hot breakfast and at a really attractive price," Emma Lapsansky, owner of Minerva's By The Sea, said of her five-room bed and breakfast in Barnegat Light, Ocean County.
Minerva's By The Sea is one of 16 New Jersey inns, most of them located along the shore in Monmouth and Ocean counties, that are trying to capitalize on Super Bowl weekend during what is usually the winter slowdown in the seaside resort towns.
The inns have created the website HuddleNJ.com to promote themselves as a friendlier and less-expensive Super Bowl alternative to the metropolitan New York hotels.
"Want to beat the mad rush to the football game of the year but can't afford exorbitant hotel fees? Stay at a bed and breakfast in New Jersey and enjoy top perks, not over-the-top prices," the website says.
A price check on the website shows that some inns are offering rooms as low as $100 per night for Super Bowl weekend. All of them are less than $650 per night.
Rooms at Lapsansky's inn are going for $125 per night during Super Bowl weekend, with a three-night minimum stay. At that price, Lapsansky said, the savings on the room will be enough for her guests to afford a limousine ride to the game.
"At $375 for three nights, you could take a limo to the game and still come out better," she said, comparing her inn to the room rates at the big hotels in New York and North Jersey.
Although the Super Bowl will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Bergen County, only about 10 miles from New York City, the innkeepers say mass-transit options or an easy ride up the Garden State Parkway should make the trip a snap from their place.
Their website also includes information on the nearest NJ Transit rail or bus stops next to the inns. NJ Transit is adding extra trains and buses for Super Bowl events during the week, including game day. The agency is also offering special passes and fares tied to the Super Bowl.
Lapsansky's inn is the farthest south of the 16 B&Bs participating in the Super Bowl packages through HuddleNJ.com. Lapsansky promised to make the trip up the parkway to MetLife Stadium more enjoyable for her guests by packing them some snacks.
"In good weather and in good traffic, I'm probably about an hour and a half south, about 80 miles. It's all parkway," she said.
The inns hope that little touches, such as snack packages and giving their guests complimentary breakfast and free parking, are another way to entice football fans.
"These innkeepers really know the area and provide a high level of customer service. They usually provide a level of service that you don't see at a big hotel," said Maria Coder, a spokeswoman for The Preferred Inns of New Jersey Bed & Breakfast Association, a trade group.
Coder said there is yet another reason for football fans to stay at a quaint inn. She joked that husbands and boyfriends "may find themselves scoring points with their wives or girlfriends in the process."
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