Hotels hunker down for Family Weekend crowds
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 00:10
As the rumbling stampede of Miami University parents and siblings nears, Oxford’s hotels say they are prepared for this year’s Family Weekend.
Hotels such as the Best Western Sycamore Inn, 6 East Sycamore St., have grown accustomed to the influx of reservations around Family Weekend and have adjusted their systems accordingly, said Lomonda Conklin, front desk manager at the Sycamore Inn.
“We usually pick a day in the summer and have a call-in for Family Weekend,” Conklin said. “We did ours on July 14.”
According to Conklin, the demand for rooms over Family Weekend is so great that their entire hotel was completely booked within 25 minutes of the call-in’s start.
“We’ve been using this system for several years, and every year we are completely booked,” Conklin said. “We have a waiting list of 30 or 40 in case anybody cancels.”
Kim Abney, front desk supervisor at the Comfort Inn, 5056 College Corner Pike, said she also has a waiting list for Family Weekend reservations.
“We have about three pages worth of names of people who wish to be contacted if there are any cancellations,” Abney said. “With such a high demand for rooms in this town on this weekend, there is a lot to do.”
Abney said the Comfort Inn prepares for Family Weekend by stockpiling extra breakfast foods and ensuring guests will be able to confidently navigate not only Miami’s campus but also the City of Oxford.
“We set out lots of pamphlets about Oxford, Miami University campus maps and local food menus so families can navigate their way around town,” Abney said. “We also like to put out bottled water and cookies, hopefully so we can make everyone’s stay just a little more comfortable.”
Ensuring guests are comfortable is a top priority, Conklin said, especially when every room is full.
“We completely wash down and clean all of our smoking rooms,” Conklin said. “We also double up on staff and lay out refreshments for our guests.”
As for advice on booking rooms for Family Weekend, Conklin urges Miami families not to wait.
“The amount of hotels in Oxford is perfectly suitable for our town’s needs,” Conklin said. “But, Family Weekend is a whole other story … If families don’t book early enough, they may be stuck in hotels that are 30 to 40 minutes away.”
Junior Bryce Fowler said he knows all too well the issues that can accompany booking rooms over Family Weekend.
“As a freshman, I really didn’t know that Family Weekend would be so hard to book for,” Fowler said. “Now, I’m used to making sure that my parents get rooms in time. It’s just one less thing to worry about when the family comes in for family weekend.”