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Summer Events In Eugene Draw Multitudes

University of Oregon

The summer is in full swing as some of Eugene’s biggest events of the season get underway.

Between the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Country Fair — Eugenians will find their city filled with travelers from around the world.

Travel Lane County’s Andy Vobora says people plan for these events months in advance. But they still scrounge for places to stay. This year’s influx in travelers started with the NCAA golf tournaments and then U of O’s graduation. It continues until the Bach Festival, the Fair and the Trials all conclude on July 10.

“These summer events are clearly the times that it gets the busiest," Vobora says. "Home football weekends are another time when it gets really crazy and it’s pretty hard to find a room.”

But this idea of a high traffic summer isn’t new to Eugene. Casey Boatman with the Eugene Airport says they’ve seen big increases in traffic throughout the last few years.

“We’re halfway through our sixth year of record growth now," Boatman says. "We’re just up over six percent for the year over last year, and in the month of May alone we were up 11 percent over May of last year. So for the past five years we’ve had a pretty continuous growth of passengers.”

These high profile events — with their high profile attendees — require more lodging than Eugene has. Higher demand often equals a higher price tag on hotels.

Vobora says many people as far away as Corvallis, or even Salem, due to this cost.

“And that’s a function of what people are comfortable in terms of the rates they want to pay as well," Vobora says. "So if people are uncomfortable with some of the rates that are available locally, then they will travel further out and commute in.”

The Olympic Track and Field Trials start at Hayward Field on Friday. Travel Lane County anticipates $37 million in visitor spending.

This is the third time in a row Eugene hosts the event. The town is preparing to host the World Track and Field Championships in 2021.