Scramble for Graduation Weekend Lodging in Charlottesville

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Trying to book a last-minute hotel room for graduation weekend will be costly, if not impossible.

As the hotels book their last few rooms, prices are doubling and in some cases, even tripling - from the luxury spots to the rooms with just a lamp, bed and bath.

Final exercises at the University of Virginia draw thousands and almost all will need somewhere to stay. There are about 3,200 hotel rooms in Charlottesville and almost all are booked.

"People who might be searching for a hotel room, I can tell you there are still a few locations that have a handful of rooms available. I am thinking of the Red Roof Inn, the Omni, the English Inn," said Bri Bélanger-Warner, director of sales for the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau.

A look at rates on popular travel websites shows even the most humble chains are commanding high prices.

"As far as rates go, it is a premium time in Charlottesville so you do pay a little extra over the weekend," said Jennifer Mayo, director of sales at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel.

Rates at the high-end Omni are usually around $200, but the last few rooms are now in the $400s. And some of the hotels with rates usually at and below $100 a night are now going for over $200.

But there are other options if you're willing to go off the beaten path.

"There is an organization called Guesthouses and they have a number of private homes for rent so that might be an option if you don't want to go the hotel room or typical hotel room route," Bélanger-Warner said.

Plus, don't forget to check bed and breakfasts, hostels and surrounding towns like Waynesboro, Ruckersville and Orange.

If you're still coming up roomless, tourism experts suggest you check out visitcharlottesville.org for even more suggestions.

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