As Commencement draws closer, hotel prices are on the rise in Eugene – Oregon Daily Emerald

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The annual University of Oregon Commencement Ceremony is one of the most anticipated events of the year for the City of Eugene. Every year in June, thousands of students graduate from the university, bringing tens of thousands of guests from all over the country and world to Eugene. This influx of people puts pressure on hotels and accommodations that have to keep up with the high demand.

This year the primary ceremony will be held on Monday, June 17. The university has not yet announced the size of the 2024 graduating class, but the class of 2023 saw 4823 students participate. 

The Graduate Eugene is one of the largest hotels in Eugene. The hotel chain operates over 30 locations across the country and specializes in providing accommodations to the families of students for occasions like graduation.

Kaitlyn Orr, a guest services representative at the Graduate hotel, said the hotel is already almost full for the June 17 commencement ceremony date.

“We already are at like a 73% occupancy [on June 17], so we will sell out,” Orr said. 

Orr said that the hotel is offering discounts for guests coming for the ceremonies, but that availability might be an issue. 

“Typically what happens in the hotel world is once your hotel hits 80%, occupancy rates go up,” Orr said. 

According to the hotel reservation website Booking.com, the average price for a four-night stay from Friday, June 14 to Tuesday, June 18 in Eugene is $1,600. The listed price for those dates at the Graduate is $3,348, and only three rooms are available at that price.

Orr said that often, the hotel reaches maximum capacity weeks before the ceremonies. “Just thinking back to last year, I think we were sold out about two weeks before the graduation actually happened,” Orr said. 

The increase in prices could be an obstacle for many students and their guests, as they would need to make their plans far in advance. Large groups in particular are at a disadvantage, as prices rise higher and higher with more people sharing rooms. Some students have started looking for other options, and Airbnb is a popular one.

Jack McArthur, a graduating senior, said his family will use this option to attend the festivities.

“It’s going to be me, my mom, dad, sister, aunt, uncle and cousin are all going to be visiting, so I think we’re just going to be staying in an Airbnb,” McArthur said. 

McArthur said that staying in an Airbnb gave his family more flexibility and allowed his mother to plan better. “She already made the reservation over a week ago,” McArthur said. While Airbnbs can be convenient, they can also be expensive. McArthur said that he feels prices for accommodations in Eugene are very high. “I feel like they’re always overpriced,” McArthur said. 

On the company’s website, the average per-night price for the week of commencement is over $100, and many can be much higher than that. “It’s kind of hard to not rent out an overpriced Airbnb or stay at a hotel — it’s expensive,” McArthur said.

 

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