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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

    Local businesses cash in

    The view from the fifth floor of the University Park Mariott, home to many UA visitors and events during Family Weekend, is worth a stay in the hotel.
    The view from the fifth floor of the University Park Mariott, home to many UA visitors and events during Family Weekend, is worth a stay in the hotel.

    Christmas comes in October for businesses around the UA campus as parents flock to Tucson for Family Weekend, ready to empty money clips on their college children.

    “”This is one of the top weekends in terms of retail sales in Tucson. …Retailers have described it as ‘Christmas,'”” said Jane McCollum, general manager of the Marshall Foundation, which holds many of the leases along University Boulevard.

    Phalyn Butler, a pre-pharmacy freshman, said she has been suffering from shopping withdrawals since coming to college and when her parents come this weekend, they may have the remedy.

    “”I will definitely point them in the direction of a mall,”” Butler said.

    Butler, who lives on campus, said she has been spending most of her spare money on trying to eat healthy.

    Getting off campus to stores like Wild Oats and Trader Joe’s is the highlight of her week, Butler said.

    “”Real food is always good,”” she said. “”I’m probably going to con my mom into buying me some groceries.””

    While the streets and stores may be packed,

    What’s even greater than the business is that we get to kind of watch (our regular clients) grow up, kids who come here every week. It’s nice to get an opportunity to meet their parents.

    – Garrett Raetzman, US alumnus and owner of Frog and Firkin

    parents booking last-minute hotel rooms will be the first to experience the holiday-like frenzy.

    “”The second we open rooms for reservations – that’s when we start filling up,”” said Lindsey Leatham, assistant front office manager at the University Park Marriott, 880 E. Second St.

    Like many other Tucson hotels close to campus, the Marriott is sold out for Family Weekend and has been for the past few months.

    Registration for Family Weekend is $30, and lodging at the Marriott for two people is around $164 per night.

    The Family Weekend fee does not include special events, such as the $25 murder mystery dinner, the $30 football game versus Oregon State or the $5 Student Recreation Center tournaments.

    Family Weekend sees its largest profits when it is spaced the farthest away from Homecoming, said McCollum.

    Homecoming is scheduled for Nov. 11 this year, placing it nearly a month away from Family Weekend.

    The event is “”not as profitable when Homecoming and Family Weekend are in the same month, as in previous years,”” said McCollum. “”Homecoming is more of an eating crowd, but with Family Weekend you have (shopping) diversity.””

    Garrett Raetzman, a UA alumnus and owner of Frog and Firkin, 874 E. University Blvd., said he looks forward to meeting and greeting amidst the craziness.

    “”What’s even greater than the business is that we get to kind of watch (our regular clients) grow up, kids who come here every week,”” said Raetzman. “”It’s nice to get an opportunity to meet their parents.””

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