I am so proud of my son who will graduate this May from a well-respected state university. My husband and I are looking forward to going to the ceremony. It’s been a happy four years for us and for our Engineer. But we have run into something that drives me crazy.. All the hotels in town and for a 20 minute drive in any direction have jacked their room rates up and added two- or three-night minimums. That means that your basic Quality Inn, for example, is $300/night for two nights, plus a hefty room tax that the city imposes . This is not unique to this town. When our Engineer’s oldest sister graduated from another school in the same state, we had to stay in a hotel 20 minutes away, premium rates at a hotel which did not deserve them. And it’s not just graduation;. When one of our biggest football schools has home games, the hotels for 30 minutes around jack up the prices and stick to the minimum stays.
Why do they do it? Because they can. Because they know that there are fewer of them than us. When another of our children went to a large out-of-state university, we expected the same at his graduation. No, that didn’t happen there. It turns out a much greater percentage of their student bodies are in-state and close enough for families to drive for the day. It was busier in town, to be sure, but not in the hotel business.
I’m not looking for any regulation or government interference. We have more of that these days than ever before. But there are families having a hard time finding a place to stay to attend their child’s graduation, hiking up the rates just makes it all the harder. The locality a hotel is in provides them with their business. I wish they showed some gratitude by NOT trying to take every last dollar out of our pockets.
We’ve looked at renting homes that people make available for such occasions in the area but none were available. We’ve networked with our children’s friends to see if any off-campus apartments will be available since classes will be out before graduation but it didn’t pan out. Is this unique to our area? Have you experienced this price inflation? Do you have any ideas to get around it?