Spring is just around the bend, and in many communities, this season marks the start of traveling minivans full of kids, team equipment, smelly uniforms and cheering parents. Sports travel is a growing trend as many teams are frequently on the road in search of that next trophy or regional title. In fact, an NASC study on the Sports Travel Industry (conducted by Ohio University) reported that 23.9 million people traveled for sport purposes in 2011, spending over $7.68 billion dollars. From hotel stays and restaurant meals to Gatorade and new socks, there is no doubt that sports travel contributes greatly to towns and cities across America.
As a mom to a softball player (and cheerleader), I’ve made the trek to many destinations for a game, clinic, tournament or team function. I realize there’s a short window of time to watch her play and develop her skill before she’s off to college, so I miss very few of her activities. My odometer can prove it. If you’re like me and you’ve earned the title “Road Warrior” in support of your kids’ sports activities, there’s no doubt you’re well-versed in planning, packing and passing through towns like a pro. But, if you’re a newbie to team travel, the local convention and visitors bureau (CVB) is definitely the place to start! While I may be biased as a CVB Director, my very first point of contact in any overnight destination is ALWAYS the CVB—the pros at visitor destination sales and service.
While some coaches will coordinate the travel arrangements for the entire team, many coaches will leave those decisions to the parents. Rather than research a ton of websites seeking the best deal (which could be miles from the field or sports complex), consider contacting the CVB for help. In addition to knowing the region, we can assist with hotel recommendations (with a pool), the best place to grab a burger, nearby pharmacies, places to go for fun and much more. And, we can save you time in the process.
As you begin to think about your next sports road trip, may the miles bring you smiles (and a team victory). When you need a little help, just remember…teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success, so please consider the Merriam CVB a player on your team! We’re here to help with your next sports road-trip to Kansas City.
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Team friendly hotels in Merriam!
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