Eugene braces for hotel room shortage during Olympic track and field trials

Several Eugene hotel projects hoped to be completed before the Olympic track and field trials. Travel Lane County expects the number of tourists will greatly outnumber the rooms available.

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene area businesses and residents are bracing themselves for the tourist surge during the 2016 Olympic track and field trials at Hayward Field.

Travel Lane County expects about 20,000 to 30,000 people to attend the event. Local hotels say they're already preparing to accommodate for visitors.

Innsight Hotel Management handles five hotels in Eugene and Springfield. All five hotels are already sold out, mainly due to the event during that time of year. They say many of the rooms are taken up by athletes.

"It's hard. We would like to give them more availability, but since it is such a busy travel season, we're limited with what we can do," said Jeri McPherson who is the area director of sales for Innsight.

Travel Lane County says there are about 3,600 rooms in Eugene and Springfield. All of them will be filled quickly.

"We really start to look to our other lodging partners throughout the county so those would be to the south in Creswell and Cottage Grove, and up to the McKenzie Valley and north up to Junction City," said Andy Vobora of Travel Lane County.

That would add another 1,500 rooms to rely on.

"As much as we like the impact to be solely for Eugene and Springfield, it does also impact more greatly the outlining areas," said McPherson.

Since the 2012 trials, Candlewood Suites is the latest hotel built in Eugene. But with all the new hotel projects, officials say room availability hasn't changed since 2012.

"There's several that are under construction and everybody would have hoped that they would have been online by the trials this summer, but that's not going to happen," said Vobora.

Things will start to pick up once we get closer to July. Travel Lane County says there are some openings left, but you are encouraged to book as soon as possible because there will be other summer events like the Oregon Country Fair that will take place around the same time.

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