West Campus apartments prepare for increase in overnight ACL guests

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Photo Credit: Raquel Higine | Daily Texan Staff

With the Austin City Limits Music Festival starting this weekend, the increased number of people staying in West Campus means planning ahead of time for property managers, tenants and guests.

Gina Cowart, vice president of brand and marketing strategy for apartment developer American Campus Communities, said the developer’s property managers receive the most overnight guest requests in the fall semester during ACL weekend. 

Lease agreements with American Campus properties, such as The Castilian, The Block and The Callaway House, require tenants to notify managers about guests in their apartment, according to a copy of the lease agreement on American Campus’ website. 

“We want to make sure we know everyone who’s coming in and out of our buildings for residents’ sake,” Cowart said. “At a time when we see more people coming through, we have to keep a closer eye on it.”

 

Cowart said residents who house guests not approved by the company in a written or oral request prior to guest arrival receive a fine of $30. The company permits overnight guests for up to three days per stay, three times per month, according to the lease agreement.

“It’s a system that we’ve found allows us to keep our buildings manageable while making sure tenants are able to use their space the way they want,” Cowart said. “As long as residents and their guests are respectful of the space, we want to respect their use of it.”

Keegan Morrison, an American Campus property resident, said he previously had friends ask to stay with him the day they arrived, which made him stressed.

“It’s hard to say no,” Morrison said. “I can’t drop everything to make a bed space in my apartment and worry about managing another person.”

Mechanical engineering senior Morrison said he didn’t mind the notification procedures at his complex.

“It’s not difficult unless you make it difficult,” Morrison said. “The managers get everything sorted quick enough.”

Some incoming visitors might opt to use short-term housing rental services instead of staying with a friend. Jeff Hurst, chief commercial officer at housing rental service Vrbo, said his company decided to work with ACL organizers to promote the company while providing housing for attendees.

Christian Cruz, a choral music education senior at Sam Houston State University, said he chose a rental in West Campus for Weekend One of ACL to be closer to his friends.

“I was really worried when my friend said he was already having two other guys over and might not have room for me,” Cruz said. “There weren’t that many places left in West Campus to stay, so I got really lucky I found a place when I did.”

Cruz said securing housing for ACL gave him time to focus on other things for the weekend.

“It’s one more stress off my shoulders,” Cruz said. “All I want to be thinking about is how to get front row, getting to see my UT friends (and) all the fun stuff. If I have the not-fun stuff taken care of, I can do that.”