The dramatic increase in hotel prices for a weekend stay makes you wonder if the hotel should be able to increase the prices so high.

Families are traveling to see their loved ones walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, but before that happens, they must find a hotel accommodating their needs at an affordable price.

Andrae Smith, a FAMU alumna, is coming to Tallahassee from Lakeland. She is excited to see her little cousin and best friend graduate from FAMU, just like her.

She has said that finding a reasonable hotel is hard to do. She may have to stay with family and loved ones when visiting Tallahassee.

“I don’t understand why hotel prices are so high, and then they require me to pay for a two-night minimum, which means I will have to pay over a $1,000 for a weekend stay. That is outrageous,” Smith said.

Hotel rooms were priced double and some triple their average room rates, during graduate weekend. The rates were higher than standard room rates from four- to two-star hotels.

Hyatt House Tallahassee Capitol, located within walking distance of FAMU and FSU, had rates set at $830 per night. Richard, who works at the front desk and requested that his last name not be used, said that the hotel is entirely sold out, and they have been for the last couple of months.

Candlewood Suites in Tallahassee is located about 15 to 20 minutes away from the universities. The rate is usually about $107 per night, but prices have increased significantly during graduation weekend.

Kristyn Adams, who works at the front desk, said that booking a room requires a minimum of two nights during graduation weekend. She said they have a few king rooms left but no double-queen rooms.

“I understand that a lot of people do not want to pay such a high price for the weekend, but the majority of hotel corporations set the prices because they know it’s a high demand,” Adams said. “I like to tell people all the time when you book with us during football season or graduation season, you’re at least on the outskirt, so that way you have a lower price, and you’re far away from traffic and young ones partying.”

Angela Lanier, an FSU alumna, is trying to book last-minute rooms during graduation weekend for family flying into the country.

“I waited till the last minute to book rooms for my family, not realizing that FAMU end FSU had the same graduation weekend,” Lanier said. “Finding something close to town within walking distance of FSU and restaurants is impossible.”

For those looking for a place to stay during graduation weekend, one of the first things to consider is housing months in advance. The longer you wait, the less likely you will be able to find an affordable place to stay for graduation season.

by Kyla Brown