Area hotels full for Homecoming weekend

By Hannah Schnettgoecke

In order for parents and visitors to get a hotel room in the Champaign-Urbana area for Homecoming weekend, it is necessary to get reservations a year in advance.

Most hotels in the area start booking rooms for next Homecoming the Sunday after the current Homecoming week ends. After that day, chances of finding a room are slim.

Wally Lotz, manager of the Illini Union Hotel, said the patrons that stay in the Union Hotel for Homecoming year after year get priority to reserve a room for the next year.

“The day after the current Homecoming, people stand in line and we take reservations for the next Homecoming,” Lotz said. “After that, there’s not much left.”

Sarah Fredrickson, front desk clerk at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, said they also start booking a year in advance and are full for this year’s Homecoming. She said for Dad’s and Mom’s Weekends, the Hilton Garden Inn gives priority to current guests, and this policy might soon be extended to Homecoming weekend as well.

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    The Best Western in Savoy has its guests sign up for a waiting list a year in advance. A month before Homecoming, the hotel calls everyone on the list to make their reservations, according to manager Jake Del Valley. He said they are currently full for this year’s Homecoming.

    Keith Desormey, sophomore in AHS, said his mom tried a few weeks ago to get a hotel room for Homecoming weekend, but everything was already full.

    “She couldn’t even use her gold stash membership to get a room,” Desormey said jokingly.

    He said his mom might just come for one day this weekend, but she won’t be able to stay overnight since she was unable to book a room.

    A last-minute lodging option would be to call hotels in areas surrounding Champaign-Urbana. A desk clerk for the Best Western in Monticello, a 25-minute drive from Champaign, said they still have vacancies for this weekend.

    The dates of Homecoming for the next two years are Oct. 10, 2009, and Oct. 23, 2010, so pick a hotel and line up on the Sunday after Homecoming to make sure parents and visitors will have a convenient place to stay for next year’s Homecoming festivities.