Oregon State University has come up with a clever plan to provide some extra lodging for the estimated 1 million people coming to Oregon for the upcoming solar eclipse: rent out the dorms.
The university will rent out more than 1,000 rooms over the weekend of the big event, priced from $265 to $1,275 for the two nights before the eclipse, which will cross over Corvallis on its way across Oregon on the morning of Monday, Aug. 21.
It’s a smart solution to the shortage of lodging opportunities for the eclipse in Oregon. Campgrounds have almost all been booked, and many hotels within the path of totality – the 60-mile-wide path in which people will be able to see the total solar eclipse – have been reserved for years.
“We had the resources here that we thought would be valuable to people,” Jill Peters, the university’s event manager for the eclipse, said. “This is a public university, this is a statewide university, this is a great opportunity to extend to people to come onto campus.”
The lodging will offer visitors on-campus access to the university’s eclipse festival, which will include hands-on activities, educational talks, live music and more.
All lodging packages come with free breakfast and dinner, a commemorative tailgate blanket and priority seating to a concert on Sunday. The dorm rooms also include access to a full kitchen, on-site laundry and the fully-equipped recreation center.
The cheapest option is a $265 stay in traditional single and double-occupancy dorm rooms in Wilson, Callahan, McNary and Finley halls. The most expensive are the three-person suites in Tebeau Hall, which run from $1,080 to $1,275 for the weekend.
Additional nights are available as well, the Friday before and Monday after, for half the price of the weekend rate, per night.
Peters said the money will go to paying for the big eclipse event, which will be open to the public for free. The festivities will focus on the eclipse itself, of course, but will also be aimed at highlighting the educational opportunities on campus.
“We have this great expertise and these really fascinating things going on,” Peters said.