MU Family Weekend to boost tourism

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COLUMBIA - It’s Parents' Weekend at MU which means more parents around town and more money coming into the area.

There are two big weekends for the school and city, according to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, with more than the normal amount of visitors.

These weekends are homecoming and parents’ weekend, and sometimes more visitors than the city can hold show up.

“One of the things we try to do is stay in really close touch with our hotels so that we know who has availability. So, there are people calling right up to this afternoon who are still looking for a place to stay or who didn’t realize they needed to get a hotel so far in advance,” bureau Marketing and Communications Manager, Megan McConachie, said.

One MU parent agrees that there is some difficulty getting hotels on a weekend like this.

“Yeah, it was difficult, I mean, it’s to be expected with parents’ weekend,” MU parent, Martin Casper, said.

However, more people means more money, and that’s something Columbia is understanding more and more, according to the bureau.

“Getting people to embrace the fact that we have people from out of town coming in, and so that’s something that we work really hard on is that these people who are coming in, they’re spending money, and so they’re really helping support our community and our quality of life,” Megan McConachie said

With extra traffic there are some areas residents might want to avoid to make it easier to get where they’re going.

“Definitely getting around easier would be, you know, kind of avoiding that Stadium and Providence intersection. Kind of maybe going around where that would be and then also helping to keep I-70 and Highway 63 clear for traffic that’s going to be coming in especially in the early morning,” Megan McConachie said.

She also advises for people to be more patient, leave early and take more time since it will be one of those weekends with more people than normal.