With graduation around the corner, students are scrambling to secure lodgings and dining accommodations for friends and family members making the trek to Santa Barbara for the commencement ceremonies.
While the race to reserve hotels, motels and dinner tables began early Fall Quarter, a handful of local establishments still have limited availability. The Hotel Santa Barbara, Bacara Resort and Spa, Canary Hotel (formerly Hotel Andalucia) and Best Western Beachside Inn all have rooms available for booking as of publication. Graduation dates for the College of Creative Studies are scheduled for June 8, June 13 for the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the weekend of June 14 and 15 for the College of Letters and Science and the College of Engineering.
Other local hotels are already filled. According to desk attendants at the Holiday Inn Santa Barbara-Goleta Hotel, there are no vacancies in their facility for the upcoming graduation weekend.
Graduating senior environmental studies major Esther Lam, who made reservations at the Hotel Oceana-Santa Barbara, said she acted early to avoid a problem.
“We booked our reservations about three months ago because everybody told us it would be tough to get reservations,” Lam said.
Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission Communications Manager Shannon Brooks said students unable to locate lodgings in the immediate area should look into making reservations in surrounding locations.
“Definitely book early because the town always sells out as far as the hotels and restaurants go, so book early and also consider smaller communities outside of Santa Barbara,” Brooks said. “If things are booked up in Santa Barbara, they can look up at Carpinteria or Goleta or even up in the Wine Country.”
Taking into account the high attendance rate, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Alan Wyner said students who have not yet begun the reservation process should do so soon.
“If parents don’t have reservations yet, they should make them immediately, and they will find out even at this early date that it will not be easy to find empty rooms at various hotels and motels in this area,” Wyner said, “It’s something that gets filled up very quickly. It’s quite a scramble. At the typical Letters & Science [ceremony], the total crowd will be between 8,000 and 9,000 people.”
For family members and friends unable to attend the ceremony, the UCSB Bookstore will broadcast the ceremony live over the Internet.