If you are graduating this spring, think about starting some cleaning efforts – your parents and loved ones may be sleeping on your beer-soaked floor since almost every hotel room in town is booked for the weekend of June 16 through 17.
Each spring mothers, fathers, grandparents and the rest of students’ extended families flock to Santa Barbara to watch their beloved seniors step across the stage and grab their well-earned diplomas. The influx of relatives fills up hotels from Carpinteria to Solvang, and some have been sold out for the past year.
Erica Armentrout, director of Residence Life at Tropicana Gardens, graduated from UCSB last year. She said her parents were forced to spend graduation weekend at Tropicana Gardens, but that such arrangements were rare. Most of her friends booked hotels a year in advance for their families, she said.
A front desk clerk at the Super 8 Hotel on Fairview Avenue said the hotel began taking reservations for commencement weekend a year ago and sold out quickly. The Super 8 is sold out, and rates start at $179 per night. As a way to free up space, the hotel is asking customers to pre-pay for graduation weekend. If they fail to do so, they will lose their reservations and the hotel will open their rooms for new customers.
Esmeralda Espinoza, a front desk representative at the Motel 6 on Hollister Avenue, said the motel is also overbooked for the weekend of commencement. Representatives at the Hotel Santa Barbara on State Street said their rooms are sold out, as well.
Meanwhile, very few Montecito and Solvang hotels still have vacancies. The Coast Village Inn in Montecito has long been booked, said its front desk clerk, along with the Best Western Kronborg Inn in Solvang.
Fourth-year business economics major Morgan Tanner said her parents thought ahead, and only have a hotel room because they booked so far in advance.
“My parents had to book a hotel like a year ago,” Tanner said. “We’re going to have a party at my house for the girls after graduation, and then go back to the hotel.”