Hotels learn how to accommodate tri-athletes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hotels learn how to accommodate tri-athletes

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - All the muscle from the inaugural Ironman is expected to pump about $8 million into the local economy. And local hotels, for example, are learning how to accommodate thousands of tri-athletes.

"The hotels are booked all over. My friends had to book 25 miles out because they booked at the last minute," said athlete Leslie Ezel from Franklin, Tenn.

The Downtown Courtyard Marriott sold out its 128 rooms last year.

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"It's pretty much a week-long event with HUGE impact for all our neighbors, the tourist attractions, the aquarium, huge, huge impact," said General Manager of the Courtyard Marriott Daniel Mote.

The hotel is learning how to accommodate tri-athletes and their families. For example, they'll begin serving a protein-rich breakfast at 4 a.m. Mote said they're also taking preventative measures to avoid dirty linens. The hotel is handing out welcome bags to the athletes, complete with a couple machine towels to be used specifically for wiping down bikes.

This is only year one of a five-year contract with Ironman. Mote expects hotel rooms for next week to go on sale in Mid-October and sell fast.

PARKING: Chattanooga DOT recommends that spectators and visitors park in the lots and garages surrounding downtown and use the bike share system or the free shuttle. The shuttle runs from 4:30 am Sunday to 12:30 am Monday.

OTHER EVENTS: A kid's race will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday

TRAFFIC: According to Chattanooga DOT, traffic will be stopped with cyclists present between 8 am and 6 pm on West 20th Street, Market Street, and Alton Park Boulevard. Expect to see runners on the Riverwalk, Amnicola Highway, Veterans Bridge, Barton Avenue, Hixson Pike and Riverview Road between 3 pm and midnight.

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