The Booming Business of USC's Parents Weekend - DatelineCarolina

The Booming Business of USC's Parents Weekend

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Grayson Beard, concierge at the Hilton, has worked overtime to comply with the surge of reservations. Grayson Beard, concierge at the Hilton, has worked overtime to comply with the surge of reservations.
Daniel Grant said that his restaurant, Blue Marlin, had been booking reservations before August. Daniel Grant said that his restaurant, Blue Marlin, had been booking reservations before August.
Roger and Sue Williams are Parents Weekend veterans. This is their third Parents Weekend. Roger and Sue Williams are Parents Weekend veterans. This is their third Parents Weekend.

by Patrick Conroy

This past weekend, Columbia saw a major, albeit brief, spike in its population, with over two thousand people registering for USC's Parents Weekend. While the emphasis on campus was about embracing family and fun, businesses around the city were embracing the revenue.

Hotels and restaurants had been working around the clock to get ready for the big weekend, but in the case of Hilton concierge Grayson Beard, he and his staff had worked overtime to get ready.

"We've been busy for the past month booking for this weekend," Beard said.

Despite the boom in business, Beard says it's not the rush that gets to him, but rather the nerves.

"A lot of these parents are new college parents, so they're excited and a lot of them haven't been here," Beard said.

The spike in business didn't stop with hotels. While many hotels were booked solid around Columbia for the weekend, restaurants in the Vista had parents calling in reservations months in advance.

"It's time for the parents to trek in, and tie it in with the home game as well," said general manager of Blue Marlin, Daniel Grant.

"They treat the kids out and bring them all in, which is a good thing for us," Grant said with a beaming smile.

Rookie college parents may have had a harder time making reservations, the same could not be said for Roger and Sue Williams, This was their third Parents Weekend. "We usually don't get dinner 'till around 9:00, 9:30, so we try to get in places before they close," Roger said with a laugh.

Not a bad idea for one of the busiest weekends of the year.

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