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Graduation Weekend to Boost Tallahassee Business

Grad Cap
Posted at 3:31 PM, Apr 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 07:49:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Thousands of college students get ready to toss their graduation caps in the air, local businesses expect them and their families to toss some cash their way.

This weekend, more than 6,000 students from FSU, FAMU and TCC are set to graduate. Families will flock to Tallahassee, packing area hotels and restaurants.

Downtown 101 is booked for the weekend. General manager Ben Kuhn says reservations for this particular weekend started as early as last year.

"It's great. We love it," he said. "It's fun and exciting. It's nice to have downtown for our guests to explore."

The restaurant is accepting walk-ins, but with 40 reservations booked for Friday night and 50 for Saturday night, waiting for a table will take longer than usual.

Tables are hard to find at other restaurants as well. Among the 14 listed on the website OpenTable.com, just a few tables are available this weekend for a party of 5 of more.

As for hotels, Aloft Tallahassee Downtown is full this weekend. So is Candlewood Suites. Many prices for the few open rooms at other hotels are two or three times higher than usual, because of the demand this weekend.

For students trying to accommodate their family and friends this weekend, the hunt is on to find rooms and tables before it's too late.

"It's been crazy," said FSU senior Amanda Blomquist, a WTXL employee. "I was thinking that I would just need to make a dinner reservation a month in advance, and I was wrong. Most places were already booked by then. I managed to get a place, but I would have had no idea that people would be booking restaurants months in advance. I just thought people would be doing that for hotels. Hotels were easy because we booked them in the fall."

And just as this year's graduation weekend is filling up local businesses, reservations for next year have already begun.

Downtown 101 just booked a table for April 2016.