Scores of military veterans, service academy graduates and families are scrambling to find hotel rooms for the big Army-Navy game at Gillette Stadium because their reservations were canceled to make way for migrant families.
A travel agent who handles hotel rooms for military families said at least 70 of his rooms at three hotels were “taken back” by the hotel management company because the state recently contracted to put newly arrived migrants there.
“That is correct,” said Mark Mansbach of Hillsdale Travel. “I have enough rooms to cover some of the people. Some people are looking around but pricing is very high. For many, the issue is safety … they are questioning the safety of remaining hotels located near those that are now filled with migrants. Lots of questions by my clients and most hotels are scrambling to come up with safety protocols.”
A spokeswoman for a hotel management company that operates the Comfort Inn in Foxboro and several other hotels near Gillette confirmed they are providing housing for “refugees” who recently arrived.
“We are delighted to confirm that we are indeed taking refugees at our hotels,” said Claire Mulholland, VP of Marketing for Giri Hotel Management.
A statement by Giri Hotel Management added they will “seamlessly relocate guests” who had booked rooms there to other nearby hotels.
“By providing shelter to refugees, we aim to be part of a global community that stands together in support of those in need,” Mulholland said. “We look forward to working with local authorities and organizations to ensure a smooth transition for all those who will call our hotels home during their time with us.”
The hotel room fiasco is yet another casualty of Massachusetts’ “right to shelter” law which ensures homeless and migrants have a place to stay.
The state has been contracting with dozens of hotels across the state to give hotel rooms to hundreds of migrant families. But those who had previous reservations at those hotels are now out of luck.
Getting the Army-Navy game is a big deal, providing a much-needed boost to the Boston area and funneling millions of dollars into the local economy. The game will take place Dec. 9 at Gillette and is already sold out. Thousands of service academy graduates and families will be flocking to the state for the big game.
But a recent post by the Armed Forces Press said the Army-Navy game has turned into a “cluster” because Massachusetts canceled hotel rooms “to give to migrants as a ‘right to shelter’ state.”
It features reports from numerous frustrated service academy graduates who had their rooms canceled.
Karissa Hand, spokeswoman for Gov. Maura Healey, did not respond to a Herald email requesting comment on the Army-Navy game hotel problems.
Healey has declared a state of emergency because of the influx of migrants flooding into the Bay State looking for shelter. She has been aggressively pursuing contracts with hotel chains to put up the migrants. Healey blames the Biden administration and Congress for failing to act on a new immigration policy.