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A drone view of Mizzou's Jesse Hall in Columbia (2022 file photo courtesy of Mizzou spokesman Uriah Orland)

(AUDIO): Hotel rooms are running out in Columbia this weekend, due to Mizzou’s graduation

A drone view of Mizzou’s Jesse Hall in Columbia (2022 file photo courtesy of Mizzou spokesman Uriah Orland)

Columbia’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) says most hotel rooms are booked this weekend for Mizzou’s graduation ceremonies, which begin tomorrow tomorrow afternoon and run through Sunday.

CVB director Amy Schneider tells 939 the Eagle that there are rooms available on Friday and Saturday nights, but very few. She estimates that less than ten percent are available on Friday, and about 25 percent are available on Saturday. She also says can expect a wait, if you dine at Columbia restaurants this weekend.

“What I like to tell people is that anytime that you feel the city is getting full and you see all of these people. Visitation I like to use that term a lot, because it actually explains more than tourism of the people that come to Columbia. These are people that enjoy our city, that are going to come back. And just be patient,” Schneider says.

More than 6,000 Mizzou students graduate this weekend, with more than 4,800 of them earning bachelor’s degrees. The first graduation ceremony begins at 1 pm tomorrow at Mizzou Arena.

The CVB describes Columbia as more than a college town and surprisingly sophisticated. Tourism continues to be big for Boone County, according to Ms. Schneider. She tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that more than 10,000 people were employed in tourism-related industries in fiscal year 2022. She also says tourism has a $499-million impact on Boone County.

“So tourism is definitely important not only for Boone County but for mid-Missouri and for Missouri as a whole. Every time we bring those visitors into our community, into our area, they’re bringing in new dollars to our community”

Many of Mizzou’s 6,000 graduates will have family members in town for graduation ceremonies.

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