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Hi Can any of you ImAZ vets tell me if the host hotel is at the start/finish?? Or can you recommend any other accommodations within walking distance?? I would rather not drive. I would love to try and get a room at the Marriot Residence Inn,but I'm not sure if it's close enough to walk to race site. Also are there any supermarkets in walking distance? I'm trying to get away with not renting a car if possible. Any other tips or recommendations appreciated. Thanks Patty
With the exception of the host hotel, the Mission Palms, I think most accommodation is not real close to the venue. Last year I stayed at the Hyatt Suites on Priest which is kind of kitty corner from the run course. I was actually surprised at how far it actually was from the event - definitely not walking distance on race day. However, there is a huge parking lot that they shuffle athletes into that is across the street from transition so it's not too bad.
I got a room for race day/night at the Tempe Courtyard by Marriott. Was close enough to walk to. No kitchen facilities in it though.
I stayed there about a week before the race and they had a shuttle to/from the airport and if available the shuttle could take you other places like the grocery (there wasn't one near that I found).
I stayed at the Marriott SpringHill Suites on Priest, right next to the Hyatt Suites pennib mentioned. It's maybe 1.3 mi from the IM village, but only about half a mile from the pasta party/awards site. The room was great and we had a kitchenette (fridge, microwave, sink, some counter space). It was also fairly cheap and included a good breakfast buffet (make-your-own waffles made my husband very happy). I walked it a couple of times (like to do the swim on Friday morning), but it's not something you'd want to do more than once a day. They had a race-day shuttle starting at 4am and extra-early breakfast on race morning; they definitely went all out to care for athletes.
I did not see a single grocery store in walking distance from my hotel or the race site. Plenty of restaurants right downtown, though.
Most of the people I talked to stayed at places that were not walking distance. For me it was an issue of balancing cost and convenience. I was very happy with where I stayed. Now if only it had been 20 degrees cooler... :)
Also stayed at the Tempe Courtyard Marriott....very close..easy walk to race start/finish/expo, two blocks from Mill (restaurants galore). They didn't have kitchenettes, but I believe you can 'request' a microwave for the room as I saw several sitting in the hallways after most athletes checked out (I never even thought to ask for one when I booked). And, they had earlier breakfast available on race morning.
I would stay there again.
Another one for Courtyard Marriott. ~1/2 mile to Beachfront Park, and the breakfast buffet was awesome ($10, but the morning before and the morning after an IM you can make them sorry they only charged you that much).
...you call also request a mini-fridge, or store stuff in their fridge in the lobby (mini-fridges and microwaves were all gone when I checked in, so call them up when you book the room).
The worst thing I can be is the same as everyone else. I hate that.
The first time I stayed at the Holiday Inn. I was told that it was a mile from the race site...I think it was farther. They had a shuttle to and from the airport. It was quite a walk to the race site. It was reasonably priced. The second time I stayed at the Courtyard..was nice and very convenient to the race venue. I googled it once and I think it was about the same distance as the Misssion Palms..but about $70 a night cheaper! It was nice/clean and quiet the night before the race!!!
The nearest grocery stores to IMAZ are at Baseline and Rural (a Safeway) or at Southern and Mill (a Fry's). There are hotels close to the Safeway (on Apache, about 1 mile) and that is a much better part of town (college atmosphere) compared to the Fry's location (freak show). Tempe has "Orbit" busses that make public transportation to Mill Avenue/IMAZ very easy but if you have a bike it is even easier to ride. Tempe is a very good city for biking around, just bring a good lock as bikes do get stolen around ASU.
The hotels on Priest/Rio Salado are isolated from any other businesses so not as nice as the Mill Avenue hotels for going out to eat or just wandering around when bored.
In addition to the Mission Palms and Courtyard, a couple hotels near the downtown Tempe area are the "Twin Palms" which is on Mill and Apache (about 1 mile from the race site, right on the ASU campus, right next to an IHOP), and the "University Motel" which is about 3/4 mile from the race site and is on Mill and about 10th street I think. I've had friends stay at Twin Palms and it is okay, a low 2 star rating. University Motel is sort of a "1 star" looking place but I can't say much else about it except it is probably the best location after Mission Palms/Courtyard.
North of the lake are a Best Western and a Country Inn. Both of those are an easy/safe bike ride to the race site of about 1 mile. There is a "Food City" north on Scottsdale Road a mile or so, but I've never been there and expect it to be even more of a "freak show".
It is $20 including tip to get a cab ride from the airport to these locations. Both the Fry's and Safeway have greeters at the entrance and you can ask them to watch your bike if you arrive that way.
I live in downtown Tempe so I'm pretty familiar with everything there.