Few hotel rooms remain as homecoming approaches

The relatively new Hyatt House on Railroad Avenue is a stone’s throw from FAMU’s campus. Photo courtesy: www.hospitalitynet.org

College homecomings are a staple and an important time for students, alumni, friends and family to enjoy a plethora of events. Universities, restaurants and  nightclubs count on homecomings as a time generate a lot of revenue. One business that benefits more than most is hotels. They begin to fill up way before homecoming week approaches.

It is vital that visitors coming from out of town for homecoming, reserve their room(s) way in advance so that they don’t see skyrocketed prices the week of. Current students take on this responsibility of informing relatives and friends of homecoming dates as far ahead of time as possible.

“Yeah, my parents were able to successfully secure their rooms three months ago, I think that getting it done early is key,” said Jordan Mongo, a first-year Florida A&M student.

Depending on what event occurs locally in Tallahassee, whether it be on-campus at FAMU, FSU or elsewhere, hotel rates will fluctuate to match the requests being made by so many out-of-towners. Currently, FSU’s homecoming is finishing up this weekend, but nothing draws more considerable attention than FAMU’s homecoming with events from today through next Sunday.

“Honestly, it depends on the weekend,” Taylor Watson, front desk supervisor at Hampton Inn & Suites Tallahassee Capitol-University said. “This weekend, the rates have dropped I’ve noticed. The demand for rooms during FAMU’s homecoming is much higher than FSU’s homecoming.”

There is a noticeable difference in room availability at a nearby hotel, in between both FSU and FAMU campuses. According to hyatt.com, room availability was still open this weekend, with the cheapest listed price set at 249 a night for non-members. However, most of next weekend’s rooms are completely booked.

Soon, there may be new luxury hotel developments in the works. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, a Houston-based company, Valencia Development Corp., is looking to build two hotels in the downtown area. The two hotels combined could feature as many as 580 guest rooms, an intimate bar, a wine café and a rooftop bar and restaurant. In a 3-2 vote, the Tallahassee City Commission approved the sale of the Chevron and Johns parcels bound by Gaines Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Duval Street for $8 million.

It is not entirely clear on how long the building process takes or when the hotels will be finished and ready for guests. The two new hotels, coupled with other hotels that have opened in the past few years, will make it easier for out-of-towners to visit for each school’s homecoming.