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Holiday travel a boon to St. George’s economy

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Nov 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-28 00:17:55-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah - For some, St. George is a pit stop on their way to Nevada or Southern California. For others, it’s the Thanksgiving getaway. But whatever it is to travelers, Thanksgiving is good for business.

Managers at St. George gas stations said the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year, with a steady stream of customers all day. It’s no surprise when you consider AAA estimates 43 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this week.

“Some of them will tell us that they’re here for their destination,” said gas station corporate manager Robin Young. “Most of them are actually traveling through. They stop in, get their gas and goodies and get on the road again.”

While many are just passing through, several travelers are staying in southern Utah for the holiday. Hampton Inn manager Nick Ence said they’re completely booked.

“St. George is in a great spot to be the stopping point between Northern Utah and California, obviously,” Ence said. “And you’re going to get some of that, but when people are staying multiple nights, that’s an indication that it is the destination.”

Ence said bookings will typically taper off after Thanksgiving, so the local economy is dependent on those holiday travelers.