UVM Homecoming and family weekend brings big smiles, big crowds and big bills

To some, homecoming and family weekend means bittersweet reunions and tons of pictures, to others, long waits and overpriced hotel rooms. Availability in hotels and restaurants was hard to find between Sept. 30 and Oct. 3 because of the large number of visiting relatives and alumni. “My parents stayed in a hotel outside of Burlington a couple exits down because it was so expensive and hard to find an available room,” first year Kayla Hoffman said. The Sheraton Hotel in Burlington sold out for the weekend on Sept. 30, a Sheraton staff member said.   The hotel front desk recommended making a reservation three months in advance due to high demands so the majority of rooms were already booked three months prior, the Sheraton staff member said.   The number of hotel rooms reserved this year was not as overwhelming as previous years, the Sheraton Hotel staff member said. “Last year was really crazy … it got to the point that we had to send people to other hotels.” While the cost per night at the Sheraton Hotel is usually around $199, the price can rise to $229 during times of high demand, the staff member said. The Marriott in Burlington also considers UVM’s homecoming and family weekend a “special event weekend” and raises the nightly fee by $20, a Marriott staff member said. Students and restaurant workers said that the crowds and waits continued to grow on Church street. Leunig’s Bistro, located on the corner of Church and College streets, did not take dinner reservations during homecoming and family weekend, Leunig’s Bistro manager said. “We found that families would make reservations for multiple restaurants and then not show up for their table,” the manager said. “Reservations became more detrimental than helpful.”