Think Different in St. George

If anyone’s ever participated in or has gone to cheer for someone running the St. George Marathon, then you know what a bother it is to find accommodations that weekend. Hotel rooms are usually booked a year in advance and go for a premium. Even though the city and the surrounding community are one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, it still hasn’t grown enough to accommodate everyone who runs it, let alone those who come to cheer their friends and family members on.

The last time Marathon Girl ran this marathon was the fall of 2002. We were dating then and I went down with her family to watch her run. It was a great trip and one that helped confirm that Marathon Girl was indeed the perfect woman for me.

The only downside of the trip was the hotel. Her family had two rooms that were nice and big by hotel standards but still didn’t provide much in the way of privacy and considered the hotel was packed with other runners, it was rather noisy and busy.

After Marathon Girl found out would be running St. George, I started looking for two hotel rooms. The few I was able to find has just one queen sized bed. That might be fine if it were just Marathon Girl and I, but where we have three kids and three other family members who want to watch her run, two small rooms like this just don’t cut it.

Besides traveling with three small kids can be tough. We need a place where the kids can have a separate room to run around or entertain themselves – especially if Marathon Girl is sleeping before the big race or needs some downtime after running 26.2 miles.

Frustrated at the hotel search, I started doing some Google searches until I came upon a website where people rent out condos. I sent out a couple of queries and got a response from a lady who just had people cancel their reservation for the marathon weekend. After looking at pictures of the place we’d be staying and reading the positive feedback from others on their experience with the owners, I took it.

And this is what we ended up with: a three bedroom, three bathroom condo (all bed rooms have king-sized beds), a full kitchen (which is great because taking three small kids to eat out every meal can be hard) and a living room. The condo complex also has six swimming pools (including a kiddie pool), a dozen tennis courts, four spas, half dozen basketball, sand volleyball courts, a weight room (maybe I’ll be benching my weight by then), playground for the kids, and is only a 10 minute drive to the marathon finish line. All this for (amazingly) about the same price we would have paid for two hotel rooms.

I’m really looking forward to this trip.