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Valley resorts offering spring training packages

PHOENIX -- Several Valley resorts are celebrating spring training season by offering baseball packages.

Spring training time is the peak season for Valley resorts, but local residents should be prepared to spend a pretty penny if they want to participate.

"The cheapest one I saw is called the Seventh Inning Stay at the Saguaro Resort," said Kristin Jarnigan of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. "The rates start at $175 per night. The package includes a baseball game survival kit, which is Gatorade, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and chapstick. They also give you 20 percent off of their best available rate."

Jarnigan said the Phoenician has a baseball package starting at $519 per night.

"What you get is a Triple-A five-diamond accommodation, complimentary shuttle service to and from Scottsdale stadium on game days, two Phoenician stadium cushions that you get to take home with you and daily lunch for two at the Relish Burger Bistro."

The Montelucia Resort, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, the W hotel in Scottsdale and the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa are among other resorts offering baseball packages, some with free shuttles to a Valley spring training stadium.

Jarnigan said if Phoenicians do their homework, other deals may be found.

"If you go to some of your limited service properties in the West Valley, your Hampton Inns, your Comfort Suites, there are some great deals out in the West Valley. You can probably get a room for $100 dollars a night."

If residents don't want to spend the bucks to stay at a hotel, Jarnigan said they can still enjoy the resorts' fine dining before and after the game.

Jarnigan said that Valley residents looking to do a less expensive staycation, they might want to wait for the summer heat.

"That room at the Phoenician that goes for over $500 per night now might be around $150 a night in the summer. Right now, this is not the time of year where we talk about great deals, $99 rates that we're used to talking about during staycation for locals. The rates right now are definitely going to be more around $200 a night for those out of town visitors. This is the time of year when the rooms are hard to come by."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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