05/26/08 — Gas prices don't stop alumni from filling hotels

View Archive

Gas prices don't stop alumni from filling hotels

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 26, 2008 1:46 PM

High gas prices could not keep Dillard-Goldsboro Alumni and Friends and Central alumni from celebrating their homecomings this Memorial Day weekend.

The four major hotels in Goldsboro reported full or almost full houses and a total of almost 350 guests on Saturday.

Country Inn Suites sales director Kristie Holmes said early in the week that she had already booked the hotel for Saturday. She said guests were making reservations for Friday hoping for a cancellation to open a room for them Saturday. And at mid-week, there were only five of those rooms left.

The high school alumni save up and plan the whole year for the homecoming, she said. And only one person who made a reservation to attend the reunion called to cancel because of gas prices.

And it was not just the alumni that were filling up the Country Inn Suites. She attributed her full house to the close proximity of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, too.

"Memorial Day in the hotel business is fairly consistent, especially military families regardless of gas prices, surprisingly," she said.

She said she was also surprised at how well the bookings went because hotel prices have gone up about $10.

"That was pretty much across the board. They all went up at the first of the year," she said.

Guests flocked to the Hampton Inn, too, where assistant manager Erin Wilmot said Friday was the busier day.

On Friday, she said, all 111 rooms were filled. Compared to the same day in 2007, she said, the hotel did 50 percent more business.

Saturday was the same as last year with 96 rooms filled.

All 120 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express and all 67 rooms at the Jameson Inn were reported full Saturday.

Holiday Inn manager Phil Ronoghan said his hotel did better this Memorial Day weekend than it did the same weekend in 2007.

"You wouldn't expect it to be as high with the gas price as it is," he said.