CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – U on the end of my graduation week. Champaign-Urbana businesses are preparing for one of the busiest events of the year.
A hotel employee said that if there was a university-related event, they would start booking months in advance. They should stock up on extra towels, blankets, and so on. He said it can be stressful for the staff, but they are ready.
“I was planning to get in later than I thought I was originally going to go, so everything was already booked,” Brody Rickels said.
Rickels was one of thousands of family members who visited Champaign-Urbana for the graduation of the U of I. Hotels, restaurants and shops were booked and sold out.
“On a normal, typical day, we only make $ 7k usually, at any store. But then, and we haven’t even closed yet, we’re already at $ 11k,” said Annie Arnold, a store associate of Gameday Spirit at Green St.
At that store, families stopped by all day for a few last -minute Illini use.
“Everyone just comes to get basic Illinois sales because you get two shirts for the price of one,” Arnold said.
Graduation drives a lot of economic activity, but so do all the big university celebrations. A hotel employee said they expect the business to grow at this time each year.
“When parents come, they have to stay somewhere, and these are the places they can live,” he said.
He said that although the hotel is usually relatively calm, people will start booking rooms as early as two months before graduation. And all 60 rooms have been booked in over two weeks.
“Really busy. Throughout the hotel, we don’t even have a room left for people to enter, ”he said.
And it’s not just the time of year that Campustown looks like this.
“I don’t know about tomorrow, but today is worthless compared to Mom’s Weekend,” Arnold said.
One restaurant stopped ordering until Monday, and everyone we said was too busy to even give a comment.