Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Aerohotel

Posted By on July 27, 2016, 4:00 AM

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I just returned from a short trip to Beresford, S.D. My dad's side of the family is from there, and I had a chance to see a whole bunch of relatives I've never met, or haven't seen in 40 years, at a birthday party for my 80-year-old aunt. To get there, you fly into Sioux Falls, the largest town in the whole state. Lemme tell you, it's a tiny (but cute) city and the small airport had all of six gates. We took a surprisingly large plane there from Denver, but on the way back boarded a Barbie Dream Plane so small you had to crouch down to walk the aisle to your seat. While waiting to board, I chatted with an airline employee who told me that many flights get canceled in Sioux Falls due to tornadoes or blizzards—depending on the season.

What happens when your plane gets canceled and you're stuck in Tiny Town for hours and hours? Why, you check yourself into the AeroStay Hotel connected to the airport, just for the day. The newest trend in airports is to allow people to rent for the day—as in check in at 11 a.m. and out by 6 p.m.—for $99 or less. Or you can spend the night like a regular guest. I know, you're thinking there's plenty of hourly rate hotels out there to get your naughty on, but this group isn't out for that demographic. Sometimes you just need a day nap, a place to shower, work, eat and have that experience that's closer than a cab ride to some dive on an airport row. Maybe Salt Lake City's new airport will have such a feature when the new tenants are announced.

Speaking of hotels, do take notice that the old Red Lion at 161 West and 600 South (just east of the adult novelty store and Brewvies) has a whole new look and logo. The completely renovated business has new energy and is selling itself as a lifestyle boutique vacationing option dedicated to introducing travelers to local experiences. The tattered Red Lion sign is gone and now the initials RL are mounted on the wall. Guests will get bookoo info on where to go and what to do, access to bikes and local transportation options and a cleaned up, remodeled hotel just in time for the Outdoor Retailers Convention the first week of August, plus an onsite Tesla charging station. It's pet-friendly at $15 extra per day (service animals are free). The Lion used to host a rooftop restaurant and bar that was all the rage in the 1980s, but that's not a part of this refreshed building yet. There is, however, an onsite lounge in the lobby and diner open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

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