With the families of over 4,000 students expected to attend graduation ceremonies in June, local hotels are already filling up and selling out their rooms for the big weekend.
Approximately 4,050 undergraduate students are expected to participate in graduation ceremonies during the weekend of June 16-18, UCSB Office of Student Life (OSL) Project Assistant Miguel Moran- Lanier said. He said OSL urges graduates to bring no more than six guests each, and organizers are planning for around 24,000 people to attend one of the four graduation ceremonies scheduled for the College of Letters and Science or the ceremony for the College of Engineering. Local hotel managers in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria said they are already running out of rooms for graduation weekend.
Nick Volmar, general manager for the Holiday Inn in Goleta, said all of the hotel’s 160 rooms are sold out for graduation weekend. He said the rooms usually sell out almost immediately after they go up for sale during the first week of December.
Volmar said the influx of families looking for accommodations during graduation weekend creates a shortage of hotel rooms in the area. He said the Holiday Inn uses graduation weekend as an opportunity to increase its usual rate of $214 per night.
“We hike up the prices to $249 a night [during graduation weekend],” Volmar said.
Nicky Ciaz, a desk attendant at the Best Western Carpinteria Inn, said the hotel always raises its rates during the summer season, and the rate increase typically begins during graduation weekend. According to the hotel’s website, the cheapest room available on June 18 costs $105 per night, while the lowest available rate in the month of February is $85 per night.
A desk attendant at the Best Western South Coast Inn, which has 121 rooms, said the Goleta hotel filled all of its space for graduation weekend within minutes after the rooms went up for sale on Jan. 16.
Margie Petrucci, a desk attendant at the Super 8 Motel in Goleta, said the hotel starts accepting reservations for graduation weekend as early as a year before the event. She said all of the hotel’s rooms are already sold out. Guests who reserve a room for graduation in advance are billed in April and if they do not pay by May 1, they lose their reservation, Petrucci said.
A desk attendant at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which has 207 rooms, said their rooms are not sold out yet, but they are generally booked solid by the beginning of Spring Quarter.
In Summerland, about 13 miles south of Santa Barbara, the Summerland Inn is not even taking reservations for graduation weekend yet. Lee Ko, general manager of the Inn, said the hotel still has available rooms and is not always sold out during graduation weekend.
“It depends,” Ko said. “Some years we are, some years we aren’t. We don’t take reservations until May.”