Family Weekend expected to bring extra visitors to campus, Columbia businesses prepare for an increase in sales

An influx of parents, siblings and friends of MU students were expected as the Division of Student Affairs hosted events around campus.

From Friday, Sept. 13 to Sunday, Sept. 15, the Division of Student Affairs hosted MU’s annual Family Weekend, which encouraged families of MU students to “fully take part in the Mizzou Student Experience,” according to the Mizzou Families website. Various events took place, including historic tours of Ellis Library, a 60-foot alpine tower climb at Venture Out, MU sporting events, open houses for individual colleges and free movie showings.

Although families look forward to spending time with their students, booking hotels in Columbia can be difficult. Megan McConachie, strategic communications manager for the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, mentioned that hotels begin booking rooms up to a year and a half before Family Weekend.

"This is definitely one of the most popular weekends,” McConachie said. “Once Mizzou announces which weekend is [Family Weekend], that's really when you get the most bookings.”

The two prominent hotels near campus are The Broadway and The Tiger Hotel, both of which were completely booked for guests checking in on Friday, Sept. 13 and checking out on Sunday, Sept. 15.

Home football games at MU also affect the availability of hotel rooms in Columbia.

“Depending on a specific opponent, we may see an additional influx [of bookings] just based on that,” McConachie said.

This weekend’s football game began at 6:30 p.m. against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Saturday at Faurot Field.

The Mizzou Store in the MU Student Center held its Black & Gold Friday discount of 25% off MU logo clothing and gifts on Sept. 13 in preparation for Saturday night’s game. Dale Sanders, interim director of UM Stores, noted that The Mizzou Store typically has an additional 20% increase in sales during Family Weekend compared to other weekends with home football games.

For local businesses, Family Weekend, along with any themed football weekend, means a steady stream of customers. Addison’s, an American grill frequented by MU students, increased staffing in anticipation of the visiting families and football fans, according to co-owner Jeremy Brown.

“[Family Weekend] is on our calendars way ahead of time,” Brown said.

Sophomore strategic communication major Lily Kraxberger expected an influx of family members, particularly for freshmen students.

“[Freshmen] have been at college for nearly a month now, and [families] are just itching to know what you’re up to,” Kraxberger said.

Edited by Laura Evans | levans@themaneater.com

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