COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Saturday marks the first game of buckeye football this season as Ohio State takes on Notre Dame at the horseshoe.
The big game also means big business for the area. If you have family in town and you’re looking for a hotel room, you better book fast. Several hotels like the Marriot north of campus are booked up, specifically 350 rooms fully booked for game day.
Lisa Garner says the Buckeye’s game Saturday paired with the long weekend is good news for the Marriot on Olentangy River Road.
“A lot are coming in on Friday and staying through Sunday,” said Lisa Garner, General Manager of Marriott Columbus University Area. “Some are staying through Monday so we’re very excited about that.”
According to Experience Columbus, about 120 of the metro’s 305 hotels are completely booked for Saturday night. Garner said the football season is a sign of what is ahead.
“Great news to hear that and again I think because it is one of the games for Ohio state this year and it’s a night game that definitely helps,” she said.
Full hotels, means big business for restaurants. Juan Carlos Hernandez with Habaneros Grandview says he’s expecting a crowd.
“People have been calling to try and reserve tables Saturday night, so I’ve been taking it,” he said.
On campus at the Varsity Club, Tony Mollica is too.
“We’re gonna be busy all day Friday and obviously all day and all night Saturday,” said Mollica. “So, we’ll have a huge Friday tomorrow so we’re just getting ready for it, got a lot of product in, just wait for the people to come in.”
Garner says for the hospitality industry, this is part of the pandemic recovery.
“Football is exciting for us but at the same time we still need the business traveler to come back to get back to pre-COVID levels,” said Garner.
Experience Columbus says there are still rooms available in the city here, but most of the fully booked hotels are downtown. The time the city was sold out of rooms during Labor Day weekend was 2018.