It's more than six months until KU seniors are scheduled to make their trek down Campanile Hill for commencement. But most hotel rooms in the city already are booked for that weekend.
Mary Grover offered a possible theory as to why the Lawrence Holidome isn't already booked for commencement weekend:
"Maybe parents don't know if their kids are going to graduate," Grover, sales director for the Holidome, said.
Surprisingly, about half of the hotel's 192 rooms are still available for Kansas University's commencement weekend next year, she said.
That bucks an annual trend reported again this year by several motels and hotels in the city, many of which have been booked solid since May or June.
KU's 1995 Commencement is May 14. Traditionally, about 40,000 people flock to the city to see their sons, daughters, grandchildren and friends participate in graduation ceremonies.
Hotels that already are full and their number of rooms include the Bismark Inn, 1100 N. Third, 53; Ramada Inn, 2222 W. Sixth, 110; Travelodge Motel, 801 Iowa, 68; and Westminster Inn, 2525 W. Sixth., 60.
"We're all full except for our honeymoon suite ... somebody will probably reserve that," said Jeff Johnson, manager for the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass., which has 48 suites.
And if you don't yet have a room?
"We do put them on a waiting list, but we also refer them to Overland Park or Topeka," he said.
"People are calling us left and right," said Linda Mass, manager of Westminster Inn. "People are calling us for '96 and '97, but I can't make reservations that far in advance.
"I just feel so sorry for the people who don't know" to make reservations early, she said.
Jonnie Gary, assistant manager for the Travelodge, said the motel has been booked since June.
"It's just mostly regulars," she said.
Several hotels are offering a three-day package for commencement weekend, managers said.
Grover said the Holidome's package includes weekend lodging, a commencement breakfast and free transportation to and from Memorial Stadium.
"So they don't have to fight the traffic," she said.