FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Football fans traveled from all over to watch one of the biggest games of the year, but guests had to pay a hefty amount for a hotel room.
“It's definitely our peak season for higher rates. The excitement around Razorback football has been huge and that really benefits us because people are excited to come and they're willing to pay a little bit more,” said Kevin Klein, the Graduate Hotel General Manager.
Klein says the hotel has been booked for months with guests checking in as early as Tuesday afternoon to get settled in for gameday.
“Average rate in the wintertime if you’re coming in the middle of February when there’s nothing going on, you’re going to pay $129 for a room and so we’re somewhere around four to five times that amount on a game weekend like Alabama, where there’s such high demand.”
Everyone staying here has a story. Cristina and her twin daughters originally planned to just visit a friend in Fayetteville and explore the college campus this weekend, until they realized which weekend they booked for.
“My husband said, 'well it happens to be a big game there against Alabama and you should go.' So we’re going to end up going! He bought us tickets so he thought it’d be a good idea for us to do that,” said Cristina.
One couple drove in from Texas to witness their first home game after witnessing last weekend’s disappointing loss firsthand.
“We actually went to the Arkansas and A&M game in Dallas last week. We came to Arkansas this week to vacation in Hot springs for a few days, drove up here today to stay the weekend for this game,” said hotel guests Shawn and Joe Atkins.
For Joe Atkins, Christmas came early this year. His wife, Shawn, surprised him with tickets for the big game and says they’re excited to experience the college gameday atmosphere. But Shawn says seeing the smile on Joe’s face is worth every penny.
“It’s over $500 a night, we’ll put it that way, but it was Christmas so it was a splurge, I want him to have the whole experience,” Atkins said.
The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce estimates every person who comes to town for a Razorback football game spends an average of between 120 and 140 dollars in city limits. According to officials, it’s a win for the city no matter what happens on the field.
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