by Courtney Flickinger —
Every year the housing department at Virginia Tech opens a lottery system for students families for on-campus housing during graduation. Their goal is to allow families an opportunity to stay near the festivities at a lower rate than they would in local hotels.
According to the housing departments website, they find that guests staying on campus helps eliminate parking and dining difficulties. Many of the hotels in the NRV region begin booking up around May the year prior to the respective graduation year. This year, hotels charged guests a three-night minimum at $350 per night. At this rate, guests were required to spend over $1,000 to see their student graduate.
Sierra Duncan, the front desk associate at the Residence Inn in Blacksburg, says there is a purpose behind the prices. Duncan said, “All of the local hotels are doing the three-night minimum.” She and the team at Residence Inn believe their hotel is the nicest in the area, so they have no problems with guests choosing to stay there.
The prices for on-campus housing were similarly priced or even more. The most expensive housing was for a suite-style room that fit six guests. It had private bathrooms and air-conditioning. This room had rates around $1,400.
Danielle Atalla, a graduating senior at Virginia Tech, said her family opted for the hotel. Atalla said, “While campus is more convenient, the price was actually cheaper for my parents at the hotel.”
One of the main concerns that many families endure is the stress of finding parking on the big day. Atalla said she was worried about this for her family. She said, “We aren’t sure whether the hotel will have shuttles or not, so we’ll see.”
The Residence Inn will have shuttle services during that weekend according to Duncan. She said, “Our managers are actually the ones driving them.”
According to an article written about Virginia Tech’s graduation last year, over 30,000 people were expected to attend. This can definitely cause delays in the shuttle services.