We should know for certain if the wait paid off on the hotel. Many of the hotels contacted cannot take reservations until a year before you intend to stay. No matter how many rooms you try to book. I know this is the case at many good hotels along the central path.
So what do you do if you want a room?
Wait until one year before the eclipse to try and schedule!
And you might find more success calling just one day later since the computer system is what controls the ability of the operator to make your reservation. OR you book for a day or two earlier to get the room reserved.
In more saturated markets, the price hikes will not take place until all space is sold out and that could take a while.
Several people have contacted me about camping along the central path. Go out there for a visit this year and you will find plenty of open space. But next year the situation could be quite different. There are reports of RV rentals already booked solid in some of the western states. This could crowd the highways and campgrounds a bit.
There are some festivals going on in conjunction with the eclipse event. Temporary housing for eclipse chasers are being made available, at a cost, near these festivals. Some sound like they could be a really good time unless you want a quiet area to set up cameras and telescopes.
I will start listing festivals and such at the main eclipse-chasers web site for the 2017 eclipse. Event organizers are encouraged to get in touch.