Visitors fill up Eugene hotels as Olympic Trials near

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2016 3:28 PM

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Hotel vacancies are a rarity in the Eugene area as visitors flock to three simultaneous July attractions.

The biggest draw is the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, which start Friday at the University of Oregon, reported The Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/29buY3p). There is also the Oregon Bach Festival, which began on June 23, and the Oregon Country Fair on the weekend of July 8.

All three events end July 10. Until then, thousands of tourists are expected to be in Eugene and the surrounding area.

"We are probably at that 90 to 95 percent occupancy rate, or fill rate, at this point," Andy Vobora, vice president of stakeholder relations for Travel Lane County, said Thursday. "That on a couple of the key nights will push 100 percent."

Travel Lane County's website shows rooms going for more than $200 during the trials. The same hotels offered rooms for closer to $100 per night later in July.

Hotel guests will also start paying more in taxes on Friday to create a $25 million subsidy for the 2021 IAAF World Championships track meet in Eugene. The current 1 percent state tax on hotel stays in Oregon will climb to 1.8 percent, not including local hotel room taxes.

Vacation rental homes have also been snapped up, Vobora said.

More hotel rooms may become available after the competition starts, he said.

"You got athletes and coaches and support personnel that book rooms well in advance of these events, and then things happen," Vobora said. "Somebody doesn't qualify. Somebody gets injured. It is sort of a moving target."

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com