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Economy

Staycations Here to Stay?

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Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM


Southland residents are looking no further than their own back yards, relatively speaking, when

click to enlarge 51GQCVYTDML._SS500_.jpg
it comes to planning summer getaways. According to a feature in today's L.A. Daily News, 2009 represents the second year so-called staycations are in vogue. Last year holiday travel was cut by skyrocketing gas prices and steep air fares. Although those two metrics are far more traveler-friendly this year, deepening apprehension about the global recession, combined with Angelenos' anxieties about job security, are making day trips to Disneyland or Universal City way more popular than two-week stays in Hawaii or Europe.

Jeffrey Spring of the Auto Club says his group's annual pre-summer

survey of membership travel plans won't be out for a couple of weeks,

but feels this year's vacation season will be "softer" than 2008.


The Long, Long Trailer image: MGM/UA Home Video

For those willing to blow the wad on an overnighter, options range from

the rustic

(Lake Arrowhead), to the coastal (San Diego) or to heat-driven bargains

(Palm Springs). The unwillingness of many, however, to entail overnight

expenses is killing hotel business in places like San Francisco. Last

week's N.Y. Times reported  that

boutique hotels in the City by the Bay were going for under $100 a

night. The Auto Club's Spring says hotels are already preparing for the

slowdown by slashing prices and offering tempting package deals.

However,

even such same-day destinations as Six Flags Magic Mountain or

Disneyland don't seem recession-proof. Six Flag's stock fell so low on

the New York Stock Exchange last week (27 cents a share) that it

suffered the ignominy of being delisted

by the exchange, and the Walt Disney Co. has announced 1,900 layoffs in

its theme parks nationwide, with 300 pink slips being handed out at

Anaheim's Disneyland Resort.

Of course, really frugal Southlanders are taking the term staycation to a literal level and by not going anywhere at all. The Daily News  feature

raises the new specter of the "naycation," where people don't simply

stay home, but stay home and grumble about their plight.

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