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CALIFORNIA | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

Hotel Bookings Outpace Last Marathon's

March 02, 2000|Stephen Gregory

Three days before the first runners queue up at the starting line, one winner has already emerged in this Sunday's Los Angeles Marathon: the downtown hotel industry. Local tourist officials say seven central city hotels are expected to sell out rooms to accommodate more than 2,000 overnight stays associated with the 15th annual event--an increase of about 300 marathon-related "room nights" over last year. In 1999, more than 20,000 took part in the 26.2-mile endurance test, and that number is expected to swell to 22,000 this year with about one-quarter of all participants from outside California. Part of the increase can be attributed to efforts by the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. This year, more than 150 Japanese runners and their supporters signed up for bureau-organized tours. Last year, just 45 booked a similar package.

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