Local hotels booked, Show-Me-State Games visitors go elsewhere
COLUMBIA - With more than 25,000 people competing in the Show-Me-State Games this year, many visitors were left without a place to stay in Columbia.
John Cronin said his daughter's basketball team had to stay in Booneville because there wasn't enough space in Columbia hotels.
"We probably started booking about a month ago," Cronin said. "It was very difficult to find a place that had enough room for everybody."
Cronin said driving in from Boonville has been an inconvenience for his family.
"There's a lot of time between games so you're not going to drive all the way back there," Cronin said. "The girls had an early game this morning and you want to be up and ready to play. So they had to get up super early to drive all the way in to get tot hat early game."
Cronin was not alone. According to several Columbia hotels, rooms were completely booked this weekend.
Jon Hecht, manager at the Hampton Inn & Suites near Stadium Boulevard, said the hotel ran out of rooms for this weekend at least a month ago.
"We definitely had to turn people away. Everyone needs a room for the games," Hecht said.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Express had similiar problems. Manager Jeff McLaughlin said they had been fully booked for this weekend a month and a half before the hotel even opened on June 4.
"It's really the only weekend of the whole year that can rival the craziness of Mizzou football weekends," Jeff McLaughlin.