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For the first time in the history of the Los Angeles Marathon, the race will wind its way through Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. The new “Stadium to the Sea” route, which starts at Dodger Stadium – no surprise since Dodgers owner Frank McCourt recently bought the L.A. Marathon – has local businesses gearing up for race day.
The Sunset Strip is preparing to host 25,000 runners during the 26.2 mile course, which will lead participants down the strip in miles 13 through 14. Mile 13.1 is located on the Sunset Strip at Sweetzer Avenue and the L.A. Marathon organizers will stage a block party there, adjacent to Cabo Cantina, from 7:00am – 1:00pm. The party will include live music, radio remotes and sponsor tents featuring samples and merchandise. Cabo is getting in on the fun by offering customers brunch and drink specials starting at $5. Bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys will be on special until 3:00pm.
Cabo Cantina general manager, Keith Kubista, said the road closures are a small price to pay for the great business he expects on race day.
“They close down the road in Hollywood for the Oscars and that doesn’t bring us as much business as the marathon probably will, so I’m all for it,” Kubista said. “I’m from Chicago and I have worked in areas where the Chicago Marathon comes through town and we would always get lots of runners in the restaurant on race day and in the days before and after the race, so this is a really great thing for the City of West Hollywood.”
Sharon Sandow, president of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said businesses are excited about the new race course. She expects the event to bring a slew of first-time visitors to West Hollywood.
“People come from all over the country and the world to see this marathon and now they will have a reason to come to West Hollywood,” Sandow said. “It is a tremendously unique opportunity to spotlight our community to people who have never seen what we have to offer.”
Brad Burlingame, CEO and president, of the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors Bureau, has been doing outreach to businesses to get them on board with specials and business opportunities on race day.
“We are so thrilled that West Hollywood is part of this,” Burlingame said. “We won’t see the financial results until after the race, but there are so many restaurants and hotels along the route offering specials. There will be runners coming from out of town with a friend or a spouse who doesn’t run, and those people can eat or shop in our city.”
At RH, the restaurant at the Andaz Hotel, the marathon special is the “Athletes Breakfast Package”, a meal that includes a choice of smoothie, fresh juices and an egg white omelet. It will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. Melvin Guerrieri director of sales and marking for the Andaz, said he expects the hotel’s rooftop pool deck to be packed with spectators.
“Our pool deck offers a view of the entire Sunset Strip, so we expect lots of people to watch from our location,” Guerrieri said.
Additional specials will be offered at the Whiskey A Go-Go, where marathon runners and crewmembers get free entry after 7:00pm with proof of participation. The Mondrian is offering special rates at Agua Spa when people mention L.A. Marathon. The Standard Hotel will offer a “Spectators Breakfast Menu that includes housemade granola, fresh baked muffins and more at a cost of $5-$12 per person.
Those concerned more about traffic than food and drink deals can check a special section of the city’s website to see all closures in the West Hollywood area.
“The new Stadium to the Sea route moves through four municipalities,” said race director Nick Curl. “Each of these cities – Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica – has formulated their own street-closure and traffic-control plan to meet the needs of the 25,000 participants and local residents. We urge people to check out the traffic plans posted by each city so that they’ll be well informed on where they can and can’t go and at what times of the day on Sunday.”
For information, visit www.weho.org and type ‘marathon’ in the search field.
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