Hotels reach capacity as Trojan vs. Navy game nears

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Troy is preparing to play host to not only Navy football players, but also Navy fans.

Hotel rooms at the Courtyard Marriot and Hampton Inn are almost sold out and restaurants are gearing up for extra guests.

“By the weekend we will be sold out,” said Dawn Railey, sales director for the Courtyard Marriot and Hampton Inn. “I would expect with a game this size, all the hotels in the area will be sold out.”

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There are 90 rooms at the Courtyard Marriot and 82 at the Hampton Inn.

And Railey said the monetary benefit doesn’t stop at the door of the hotels.

“We make sure we are well staffed for the weekend,” Railey said. “Our employees get overtime and in turn spend that money at businesses in Troy. The circle just keeps rolling with the benefit to our community in tax dollars.”

The Santa Fe Cattle Co. restaurant also expects to host extra guests this weekend.

“We see about a 20 percent increase in sales for events like this,” said Ashton Kelly, bar manager at the restaurant.

And the weekend of Nov. 17 will be even bigger. That’s when Troy University has scheduled both the school’s Homecoming and the collegiate rodeo.

“Those are two of our busiest times of the year and they will be on the same day this year,” Kelly said.

Troy’s Downtown Tailgate activities will also be larger than usual with musical performances both before and after the Troy vs. Navy game.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Coleman Woodson Experience will play a mix of jazz, R&B, pop and rock. Then, after the game from 6 to 8 p.m., the Coconut Cowboys will play Southern rock, oldies, country and 80s and 90s hits.

“We will have a lot of people in town that weekend and we want them to feel welcome and come explore downtown Troy,” said Shelia Jackson, Director of Troy Public Relations and Tourism.

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce will be open to aid guests and provide restroom facilities for all tailgaters.

“Saturday is not only tailgating, but the downtown businesses and restaurants will be open for Troy fans and our visiting Navy supporters before, during and after the game,” said Kathleen Sauer, president of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

Many downtown businesses will have special deals and door prizes to help celebrate game day.

Guests are encouraged to leave their vehicles downtown during the game, or take a shuttle downtown and to the game from area hotels. Shuttles are available three hours before kick-off and will run every 15 minutes until kick-off.

Return shuttles will begin immediately following the game and will run for an hour following the game to take people back downtown and to their hotels.

The downtown pick-up is in front of Byrd Drug and the pick-up, drop-off spot at the university is directly in front of the Alumni House on Highland Avenue.