Universities renting dorms for eclipse, some openings left

Still looking for a place to stay for the 2017 solar eclipse? University dorms may be the answer.

An estimated one million visitors are expected to travel to the eclipse's path of totality, which passes over several Oregon cities including Lincoln City, Salem and Madras on Aug. 21. 

Some universities, including Western Oregon, Oregon State and Eastern Oregon, are renting dorm rooms or camping spots for the big event and still have spaces available. But act fast — these offers won't be around long.

In Salem, Willamette UniversityCorban University and Chemeketa Community College will host viewings and a variety of events for the eclipse, but will not be renting out dorm rooms. The University of Oregon is not in the path of totality and not hosting guests in its dorms.

Erin McDonough, a spokeswoman for Western Oregon University, said they are expecting people from across the country and the world to come to the Monmouth campus next month.

Western has hosted lectures and will continue to provide educational opportunities, like a commemorative magazine of student writings on the solar spectacle.

McDonough said the university is thrilled anytime it gets to be part of a "once in a lifetime experience," saying there is the added bonus of alumni and first-time visitors coming together on campus.

Here are some lodging opportunities to look into:

Western Oregon University

City: Monmouth

Cost: $150-190* for camping spaces.

Package: Rates are per room, two-night minimum (Saturday, Aug. 19 & Sunday, Aug. 20). Guests will have access to showers and restrooms.

Spaces available (as of July 26): Sold out, but a few camping spaces are still available that can be reserved online. 

Contact: Call 503-838-8658, email conferences@wou.edu or register online at www.wou.edu/eclipse/lodging/.

Oregon State University

City: Corvallis

Cost: $265-562.50

Package: Lodging for Saturday (Aug. 19) and Sunday (Aug. 20), with the option to add Friday (Aug. 18) and/or Monday (Aug. 21). Package includes wireless internet, breakfast and dinner in the dining halls and access to university facilities like the gym.

Spaces available: Family lodging is sold out, but there are 18 single-person rooms and 15 two-person rooms left for individuals, excluding minors, as of July 26.

Contact: Call 541-737-9300, email conferences@oregonstate.edu or go online to blogs.oregonstate.edu/eclipselodging/.

Eastern Oregon University

City: La Grande

Cost: $500. The cost is paid in full at the time of reservation and is not refundable.

Package: The cost includes the rental from Aug. 19 through Aug. 22. The rooms hold up to five people and include kitchenettes with a full refrigerator and microwave, a full bathroom and common room.

Spaces available: The university is accepting forms to fill its 60 available units. More than 80 have been submitted, but anyone else can submit a form to be added to the waitlist and may receive a spot.

Contact: Call 541-962-3575, email schedule@eou.edu or go online to www.eou.edu/events/solar-eclipse-lodging/.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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