Homecoming boosts local business revenue

FAMU homecoming week brought back alumni, family members and Rattler fans from all over the nation, which stimulated

Travelers coming to Tallahassee from out of town stayed at local hotels and ate at restaurants, which stimulated local economy because with each hotel room purchased, a local tax is assessed.

Visitors also contributed to the success of local attractions, like movies, museums and malls. Gas stations are another local business that benefits from FAMU’S homecoming festivities.

Sean Tucker, the front desk clerk at the Comfort Suites on Apalachee Parkway said, “This hotel was full to capacity because of FAMU homecoming visitors.”

Tucker said that the normal rates for a room is usually around $89 or $99 a night, but during homecoming, those rates were increased to $179 a night.

However, some hotel employees felt attendance was slightly less than previous years.

“I would say we were about two-thirds full…turnout was lower than last year,” said Ken Hirschman, a sales associate at the LaQuinta Inn on Monroe Street.

Jitesh Kanji, the general manager of the Days Inn South on Apalachee Parkway, agreed that attendance was lower this year.

“We were 75 to 85 percent full,” said General Manager Jitesh Kanji of the Days Inn South on Apalachee Parkway. “Not as good as prior years though.”
FAMU visitors also brought in additional revenue and traffic for local restaurants.

“I would say that our sales have been running down, but this last weekend is about flat with last year, so I would say that there was a definite impact,” said Mark DuPaul, manager at Red Lobster on Monroe Street.