May 19, 2005
"Traffic has definitely picked up for the commencement period. Restaurants fill up. It's great, it's exciting," said Albemarle Resident Kathy Good. "Today I was walking on the mall and there were so many people. It was great."
The rush of visitors has already begun, but these aren't your typical tourists.
"They tend to know the town, they know where they want to go. Many of them know what they want to enjoy, where they want to eat, and what they want to celebrate," said Mark Shore of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We get real busy as the parents start coming into town. In their spare time they are looking for things to do and the downtown mall is such a great destination," said David Martin, owner of the Mole Hole.
Restaurants and hotels always benefit this time of year and if you didn't plan ahead, you may be out of luck.
"Reservations have been booked up for the last two to three months, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a.m. to p.m.," said Michael Flessner of Northern Exposure Restaurant.
"We booked up for two years out. We've been receiving calls this week and last month as well and unfortunately we've been sold out an haven't been able to help anybody in that regard," said Denise Hubbard of the Dinsmore House Inn.
But it's not just restaurants and hotels that are booming.
"We know for a fact that Uhauls and Ryder trucks are at a premium and hard to find. If you talk to catering companies, they are doing private functions and if you talk to even suppliers of linen are at their max this weekend," said Shore.