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Deadheads Drop Serious Cash on Chicago Hotels for Farewell Concerts

The Grateful Dead has some loyal fans... with a lot less money now. Quickly after the band announced its Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 15 years of Grateful Dead shows on the 4th of July weekend, tickets for the final concert sold out, and demand for Chicago hotels skyrocketed. This record 11-fold increase in reservations has already ushered the average room rate up to $282/night, Bloomberg reports. That's an 86% increase from a year earlier and the biggest July 4 weekend increase on record. Travel packages offering three nights at a downtown hotel and show tickets are going for prices as high as $5,700 and counting. Meanwhile, Airbnb's Chicago bookings for July 4 weekend are up 95%. Airbnb regional director for North America Andrea La Mesa says this concert is one of the biggest demand drivers the company has ever seen, topped only by SxSW and the Super Bowl. These concerts represent the first time in 20 years that Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann Phil Lesh and Bob Weir are performing together as the Grateful Dead. The band has added two shows in Santa Clara, CA, drawing the same enthusiasm there. [Bloomberg]