Business booms as families open up wallets graduation weekend

Business booms as parents open up wallets graduation weekend

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A milestone years in the making is a lucrative weekend for downtown Charleston.

"It's always a big weekend for graduation," says Jody Wright, a manger at Joe Pasta on King Street. "Families, brothers, sisters, moms, grandparents, everyone is in town."

The general manager at Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel says graduation weekend generates roughly a million dollars. He says for his hotel, following the cooper river bridge run, it's the most profitable weekend.

"Occupancy is very high," says Brian Wander, the general manager at Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel. "The rates are very high as well. So, we're very excited to have a special event like this adding to this beautiful city."

Wander says Charleston's 3200 hotel rooms are typically 80 percent full. He says that number spikes to 93 percent during graduation. Families begin making reservations months in advance, sometimes even a year ahead.

"We definitely get very busy. Hotels get full very fast, especially in this downtown historic district. So, we suggest people make reservations as far out as possible."

Restaurant business also soars. Wright says this weekend is one of their best during tourist season.

"We really have a very good crowd on graduation weekend. It's probably about 35-percent more than just a regular average weekend."

Graduate school students of the College of Charleston received their diplomas Friday. The College's undergraduate and law school commencement ceremonies are Saturday.