Leibo At Large: Super Bowl ‘bargains’ put skinning in the game

By David Leibowitz

With Super Bowl LVII fast approaching, one can only marvel at the prices being commanded from the tourists coming to the Valley for the Big Game. I am currently staring at the booking page for a Motel Six located near 51st Avenue and McDowell Road in Maryvale.

The price for a 200-square-foot “premium room,” which features two double beds, a fridge, a microwave, and a violent crime rate over twice the national average? 

A mere $864 a night.

Keep in mind, this is a hotel with 906 reviews that average two stars. This is not exactly Fodor’s material: “Holes in the walls and floor, green sludge on the floor. Deposit was more than the room. Check out took 45 minutes. Security was solid, though.”

I’m a glass-half-full fellow. Between the solid security and the free WiFi, I can’t recommend these luxe accommodations enough. My only regret is that the Dallas Cowboys got knocked out of the playoffs. I would’ve paid big money to see some cowpoke in a 10-gallon Stetson and a Roger Staubach jersey trying to choose between Filiberto’s up the street or the IHOP on the other side of I-10.

Then there’s trying to book a round of golf. If you read this space regularly, you know I’m addicted to that cursed game. 

Right now, even modest public golf courses plan to gouge golfers for upward of $300 a round during Super Bowl week. Consider OrangeTree in Scottsdale, which in summer is almost worth every bit of its $50 bucks in greens fees. This week, rounds in prime time are going for about $150 for 18 holes. 

Super Bowl week? If you want to play the Friday morning before the game, be prepared to part with $315 per person. 

Factor in that it’ll be a five-hour round full of drunken bros sporting cigars the size of a 7-iron and I’ll pass. But look on the bright side: These would-be Bryson DeChambeaus typically shoot about 120 not counting mulligans. At $2.62 a stroke, that makes OrangeTree a better buy than a gallon of unleaded.

According to a study by researchers at Arizona State University, SB57 should create about 100,000 visitors to Glendale and points beyond and about $600 million in economic impact. 

A sizable portion of this haul will be created by locals renting out their homes. Browsing the available short-term rentals on VRBO shows about 300 properties left unrented. 

The most opulent of the bunch: A “tropical modern paradise” atop Camelback Mountain renting for about $16,000 a night — or 114 grand for the week. It’s a six-bedroom private gated villa close to Paradise Valley with a chipping green and a bocce court. It also includes “daily maid service” and “500 thread count luxury white linens.”

No word on whether security is solid.

As a get-rich-quick scheme, I briefly considered going on vacation and renting out my place. Or as I planned to describe it on Airbnb: “Motel 5! LIke A Motel 6 Minus The Crime!” 

If a room full of green sludge gets 860 bucks a night, I thought I could get $1,000 a night, easy. Heck, I might even get $1,200 a night if the out-of-towner wanted to borrow my “personal private security force,” which includes Violet, a pitbull mix, and Lucy and Ethel, who together comprise “25 pounds of canine terror.”

Seems like more trouble than it’s worth, though. I’m going to stay home, stay off the golf course, and watch the big game on TV. That means I’ll miss the Super Bowl Experience, and I’m perfectly OK with that. 

I’ve been robbed before. 

I don’t need to volunteer for a repeat.