Professional and college sports teams spend lots of time on the road--but finding hotel accommodations for them isn't always easy. Athletes often have special needs, like large-sized shower stalls and extra-long beds. The presence of zealous fans creates special security concerns, too.
As a former coordinator for sports-related accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel, Andrew Lahana, 38, knows how difficult it can be for sports teams to find the proper lodging. This was especially apparent to him during the 1990 Collegiate Final Four basketball playoffs: As he struggled to find accommodations for teams and their staffs in the Denver area, Lahana decided, "There just has to be a more efficient way for teams to decide where to stay."
Now there is: Lahana's annual hotel guide, Sports On The Road, which he launched in 1995 with $50,000 in start-up capital. Hotels nationwide pay to be included in the guide, which tells teams all they need to know to pick the right hotels. Lahana contracted with graphic designers to produce the first edition, then sent free copies to sports teams and sold copies to selected travel agents.
The results have been very positive: The guide is now in its second edition (10,000 guides have been produced so far), and a third edition will be released early next year. Lahana plans to introduce another guide in January, this one for sports-media personnel, and will also launch a Web site for both guides.