Spring break used to be a time to load up the car and head for South Padre or the mountains for one last run on the slopes. But these days a lot more folks are staying closer to home and local entertainment hotbeds like Arlington and Grapevine expect to reap the benefits.
It's the buzzword we've been hearing ever since the economy went south, “Stay-cation.”
“We're expecting big things. We think people are ready to get out and enjoy spring break and maybe stay closer to home this year," said Jay Buress of the Arlington Visitor’s Bureau.
And the folks at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington are predicting the downturn in the economy will be an upswing in their attendance once again for spring break.
"We have a great value we are offering our guests as well, so once they come here you can look at it like your one-stop-entertainment-shopping," said Sharon Parker, of Six Flags Over Texas.
Parker also said that a lot of entertainment is planned for guests, including big-name concerts.
"We have Vanessa Hudgins and Jessie McCartney -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg," said Parker.
In fact, as the Entertainment Capitol of Texas, Arlington is expecting a big week for hotel/motel business.
"We're about 40 percent up on our online and through our package sales," said Burress.
Burress added that people can get great deals on-line at the bureau's Web site: www.arlington.org
And the folks up in Grapevine are expecting a big week as well. At the Gaylord Texan and Great Wolf resorts they're anticipating that a lot of "staycationers" will opt for a getaway that's only a few miles away.
"It gives travelers to come and enjoy a vacation destination that's close to home and without any travel expenses," according to Martha Neibling, director of public relations at the Gaylord.
Amanda Sawyer at Great Wolf Lodge said they're sold out for the week of spring break in Texas and that they're heavily booked for the following week with visitors from other states who will have spring break at that time.