Visitors urged to make reservations for lodging

By Mark Gates

Road-weary travelers desperately search for a night’s lodging, only to be turned away into the chilly night.

Is this a biblical account from long ago? No it’s a current scene played out during Homecoming weekend when some unwary visitors find themselves portraying the real-life Marys and Josephs of DeKalb.

There is a solution: hotel reservations for next year—don’t leave DeKalb without them. This is the advice of Salley Mathews, office manager of the Stratford Inn in Sycamore.

Those who wish to stay in the Holmes Student Center guest rooms during future Homecoming weekends should make reservations six months in advance, said Supervisor Donetta Domina.

The limited amount of lodging available for visitors to NIU makes having reservations a must.

Mike Schmieder, manager of The Inn of DeKalb, said the hotel is full every year on Homecoming weekends. “It’s a given,” he said.

Most DeKalb hotel managers agreed that Homecoming weekend is one of the best for business.

Mathews said the number of guests at the Stratford Inn during Homecoming are usually divided evenly between alumni and parents. However, this year the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale football team reserved 40 percent of rooms at The Inn. The school made reservations for the team last spring, Schmieder said.

Past Homecoming weekends have presented problems for the DeKalb hotel business.

Last year Homecoming and Halloween fell on the same weekend, Shmieder said. This took away an additional weekend The Inn could have been full, he said.