CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As thousands of Boy Scouts pack their bags for the National Scout Jamboree next week, Beckley and Fayetteville hotels are preparing for a flood of visitors. Although several still appeared to have rooms available on Tuesday, many plan to raise prices and hire extra staff to handle the influx.
Most hotels are booked at about the same level as previous years, hotel managers said. Most hotels expect occupancies that range from about 50 percent to 85 percent.
Holiday Lodge Hotel and Conference Center rooms are currently 85 percent booked, said Brandon Cook, general manager of Holiday Lodge. Those figures are particularly high for the middle of the week, Cook said. He has come to expect equally high occupancy only on the weekends.
Hotel managers noted that occupancy would only increase as more visitors arrive next week.
Rooms at the Quality Inn in Beckley are already 50 percent booked during the Jamboree, but Stephanie Pettrey, the hotel's general manager, expects that figure to rise to 75 percent as people arrive next week.
They have already noticed a sizeable increase in the number of rooms reserved early.
"We usually are busy through the summer, but we're not usually booked up so far in advance," said Debbie Leggett, manager of the Super 8 motel in Beckley.
Leggett still thinks the Super 8 will have available rooms throughout the Jamboree. Cook said most hotels still have plenty of open rooms.
Shelia Warren, general manager of the Howard Johnson Express Inn in Beckley, was not so optimistic.
"I predict everyone will be sold out," Warren said. She expects her hotel to be completely booked through next week and suspects that visitors will have to travel as far as three hours away to find an available room.
Travelers without reservations may have a particularly hard time finding a room, Warren said.
She encouraged people to book rooms immediately. "If they don't book now, there won't be room for them," Warren said.
Prices may also rise should visitors wait to book a room.