Hotel prices sky rise for FAMU homecoming weekend

Hampton Inn & Suites located on Railroad Avenue
Photo submitted by Kayla Carter

Florida A&M University’s Homecoming weekend has come and gone. Besides the activities and events that took place on campus, the talk around town about the dramatic increase in hotel prices for a weekend stay.

Travelers tend to pour into Tallahassee on Thursday and Friday before the homecoming football game. Some found it to be a hassle to find hotel accommodations without spending too much money.

Patrick Burch, FAMU alumnus and former member of The Marching 100, traveled with family from Atlanta, Georgia. He expressed that he had to reserve an Airbnb because he would’ve spent almost half a thousand dollars if he’d reserved a hotel room.

“I’ve never seen the hotel prices this high for a homecoming ever,” Burch said. “I can’t just blow over a thousand dollars for two nights in a hotel.”

Hotel rooms were priced double and some triple their normal room rates, across town. From four-star to two-star hotels, the rates were higher than normal room rates.

The Hampton Inn & Suites, which is located within walking distance of FAMU, had rates set a $359 per night. Bo Schmitz, general manager of the hotel, expressed that the demand is extremely high for hotels around this time of year.

“When hotels are in such high demand, people will pay money for what they need at the time,” Schmitz said. “Yes, the rates are high, but we have no control on how the rates are set.”

At Motel 6, a room rate usually is about $50 per night, but prices were nearly tripled during FAMU's homecoming. Schmitz offered more background information on the reason hotel rates are higher during homecoming season and graduations.

“Majority hotels have their corporation set the prices, it’s a lot of data that goes into room rates. A lot of people think we do this on purpose, but we don’t,” Schmitz said. “People will pay a premium, especially for a great hotel.”

Schmitz explained that when the demand is high for hotel rooms, hotels may even have third parties research the competitors to see what their room rates are. He highly recommends to those in need of  hotel accommodations during homecoming or graduation seasons to book months to a year in advance so the room rates won’t affect them as much.

Emberly Rehming, who is a FAMU alumnus traveled to Tallahassee from Detroit for homecoming.

“Spending money for travel, and stay the weekend is already a lot, but thank goodness I have a few relatives that stay in Tallahassee that opened up there home to me and my grandchildren, because I couldn’t believe the prices of the rooms this year,” Rahming said.

For those looking to enjoy homecoming one of the first things that should be considered is housing. The longer attendees wait, the least likely they will be able to find an affordable place to stay for the homecoming season.