Finding beds at the world’s biggest bike show will be slightly easier next year – Holiday Inn Express is to open a 120-bed hotel a brisk five-minute walk from the west entrance to the Messe. This is in addition to the 142-bed Comfort Hotel which opened in November last year, 2.5 miles from the show.
"Every new hotel is welcome here," enthused Sandra Scheider of the Messe Friedrichshafen hotel reservation service. Her colleague Julia Graf added: "We have to book some visitors in accommodation 50 or 60 kilometres away," a solution that rankles with those who have to top and tail their show visits with unproductive time spent behind infernal combustion engines or packed sardine-like into shuttles laid on by the Messe.
The Friedrichshafen hotel booking service cranks into life every November and has to find accommodation – in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – for many of the 45,000 trade visitors to the show, 56 percent of which are from overseas.
Eurobike is Friedrichshafen’s biggest gig of the year and with just 4968 "overnight stays" in town, including private apartments, it’s fiendishly difficult to secure accommodation within spitting distance of the show. Pop-up campgrounds have reduced some of the population pressure but those who were disturbed by this year’s not-so-gentle pattering of rain on taut nylon understand this is not an ideal situation (the campsites are noisy even without deluges, young ‘uns believe party-time lasts much of the night).
There’s a distinct lack of chain business hotels in Friedrichshafen, a lakeside resort town that caters to the family market when there are no shows in town (there are 110 expo days per year, many of them regional with little need for accommodation provision).
The five-storey Holiday Inn Express is just over 1000 metres from the Messe. It is still being built but should be ready by January 2015. It’s on Allmannsweilerstrasse and, via an apple orchard, there’s a bike and walking route to the Messe. As well as 120 bedrooms the new hotel will have four conference rooms.