Hotels round up prices, reservations for the big week

Oxford Suites in Pendleton, though charging more than double its normal rates during Round-Up, is completely booked for Sept. 16-19.<BR><I>Staff photo by Amber McKenna</I>

As the days leading to the Pendleton Round-Up grow fewer, so do hotel vacancies in and around Pendleton.

Local hotels, many of which double their rates during the week of Round-Up, have been booked solid for months. Oxford Suites guest services receptionist Kathryn Kinney said the hotel has been full for Sept. 16-19 since the spring. Kinney said Oxford Suites normally charges $109 for a standard non-smoking king or double queen, but during the Round-Up, the price of a king is $250 and a double queen shoots to $275.

Likewise, Arun Butta, manager of Pendleton's Relax Inn, said his standard queen room rates changes from its usual $49 to $169 during the Round-Up. He said his inn has been booked for this September's event for about six months, and that he expects it won't take long for reservations to fill up for the 2010 Round-Up.

"We started taking reservations (for 2010) last year when people checked out," Butta said.

He said the Relax Inn is already 45 percent booked for the week of Round-Up 2010.

The Rugged Country Inn in Pendleton already has a waiting list for Sept. 15-18, 2010, staff member Acacia Winter said.

"We have a contract with the people who have rooms the previous year and they get first choice," she said.

Winters said the 29-room establishment normally charges $72 for a standard room, though during the time of Round-Up rates are doubled.

Neighboring towns, such as Walla Walla and Hermiston catch the overflow of Round-Up attendees.

Amber Backous from the La Quinta Inn in Walla Walla said all of the hotel's basic rooms are booked during Round-Up time, but that rates are discounted $10 from normal rates because late-September is the end of the high-travel season.

Staff at the Holiday Inn Express in Walla Walla also said all of their rooms are completely booked during the Round-Up and often customers cite their reason for making a reservation in Walla Walla is because they couldn't find any space in Pendleton.

David Long, general manager at Comfort Inn and Suites in Hermiston, said although most of their rooms are reserved for the days of Round-Up, people still call in an attempt to find somewhere to stay.

"We just can't get them in," Long said. "This is typically what we go through this time of year."

Other options for those seeking somewhere to stay are trailer parks or tents.

Trini Hank, office manager for the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has been making camping available during the Round-Up for many years now.

The chamber, in conjunction with the local Altrusa Club, uses Lincoln Primary School, Washington Elementary School, Hawthorne School and Pendleton High School for sites, as all schools in the district are closed for Round-Up week.

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