There's hardly a bed left in Warrnambool for the week of the May Racing Carnival.
Accommodation providers are reporting they're delighted to be fully booked for the first week of May after last year's carnival was held without a crowd for the first time in history due to coronavirus restrictions.
Warrnambool Best Western Olde Maritime Motel owner Raj Patel said beds had been booked out for months.
"We're fully booked with about 85 per cent being returned guests," he said.
"All our regulars have their set room year after year. For 18 years they check out after the carnival and say 'book me in again same time, same room next year'."
Mr Patel said it was a wonderful feeling.
"When the races were on last year I had the wireless going and I was painting windows," he said.
"This year we will be back at full capacity. I was speaking to a racegoer earlier and she said 'let's make it a big one'. I think everyone is keen to come to Warrnambool. It's really good for the town."
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Gene and Rebecca Seabrook said the 81 rooms at Warrnambool's Deep Blue Hotel and 61 at Mid City Motel booked out six months ago.
"It is amazing," Mrs Seabrook said.
"It's wonderful that May Races can even go on to help all of Warrnambool's businesses and restaurants after a horrible year (last year)."
A search this week revealed there were just seven Airbnb properties available in Warrnambool during the carnival week.
A four-night stay started at $925 and went up to $5777 for an entire property just a stones throw from the race course.
There were no one or two-night options available.
And it's not just accommodation providers booking out.
Sophie Bellman from Skinfit Body and Beauty said there was only a handful of appointments available for make-up and other services during the week of the May Racing Carnival.
"The girls are booking up well in advance," she said.
"It's pretty exciting.".
Cally Hotel manager Lucas Reid, who has held the races after party for years, said the popular marquee would be on with the usual live entertainment.
He said despite coronavirus restrictions allowing the hotel to run at only 50 per cent crowd capacity, "the show goes on".
"We're still putting on everything that we normally would and even though that will mean we're experiencing additional expenses, we're not passing that onto the consumer," Mr Reid said.
"We want to ensure that those coming down to support the carnival will get the experience they're accustomed to."
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