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Finding a Place to Stay for Arts Fest

by on July 03, 2013 11:37 AM

So, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts is right around the corner and you still don’t have a place to stay. Well, it might be time to start looking because rooms are rapidly disappearing.

“It depends on the person,” says Betsey Howell, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, about when people start contacting her office about places to stay for Arts Fest. “Some people may contact us immediately following the event for next year’s event so they can get their room booked. Others will wait until six months out. And as more promotion of the event gets out into the media nationally, then the frequency of calls increases.”

Potential visitors can go on the bureau’s website and look for available rooms at hotels and motels. According to the site, the Best Western Plus on Premiere Drive is completely booked for Arts Fest weekend. The Days Inn on Pugh Street and the Quality Inn on North Atherton Street have a few rooms available for Friday but none for Saturday. Many front-desk employees at hotels also encourage people to call to check on availability because of cancellations.

With the variety of hotel and motel options in the area, visitors have plenty of accommodations to choose from, but some are a little pricier than others.

On the lower end of the rates spectrum, Nittany Budget Motel on Cato Avenue still has rooms available for $75 a night for Arts Fest weekend. The motel does not require a two night minimum, which makes it appealing to those who only want to stay Friday or Saturday night.

For people who want to experience most of Arts Fest, Stevens Motel on North Atherton Street has deals for multiple-day stays. The motel is offering 4-day packages for $70 a night for Wednesday through Sunday of the festival. Three-day packages are also available for $80 a night.

Alumni returning to Happy Valley often like to stay at one of the popular Penn State hotels like the Nittany Lion Inn or the Penn Stater. Rates start at $169 a night. The Penn State Alumni Association has a less costly option. For $50 a night for single occupancy or $100 a night for double occupancy, members of the Alumni Association can stay in the dorms on campus for Arts Fest weekend.

“The event continues to grow in popularity each year,” says Lindsey Cowen, assistant director of alumni events for the association.

The Penn State Alumni Association Arts Festival Alumni Weekend began in 2001 in order to give alumni a chance to relive their glory days at Penn State without breaking the bank. Last year, 483 people stayed in the West Hall dorms for Arts Fest weekend. As of Wednesday, July 3, there were still dorms available for those interested in staying on campus, but the Penn State Housing office encourages visitors to register as soon as possible.

There is a $35 registration fee for members that covers parking, access to the outdoor pool by the McCoy Natatorium, campus tours, a giveaway gift and breakfast served in Waring Dining Commons. Non-members can also shack up in the dorms for the same rates with a registration fee of $60.

“Our goal is to provide a place where alumni can come back, stay at Penn State for a reasonable price and attend events where they connect with other returning Penn Staters,” Cowen says.

Click HERE to check on lodging opportunities for Arts Fest weekend. And make sure to check out a schedule of events by clicking HERE.



Shawn Christ is a recent Penn State graduate who is working as an intern for StateCollege.com
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