Tag Archives: St. Louis


Some Big Shopping In Some Big Cities

fashion-outlets-of-chicago-rosemontA few months ago we told you about the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and they’re finally having their Grand Opening celebration this week.  It all starts at 10am on Thursday August 1st with special events scheduled through August 4th.

Another big outlet shopping center opens on August 1st: Toronto Premium Outlets.  This one is west of Toronto near Mississauga and Brampton.  It’ll have most of the usual suspects for a high-end outlet mall, from Adidas to Zumiez, with a few Brooks Brothers, Calvin Kleins, Guess, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors in between.

“And, lo, it was decided that unto the St. Louis metropolitan area more outlet shopping was sorely needed.” – because there are two outlet malls coming to town in August.  And both are in the already retail-stuffed western suburb of Chesterfield, not much more than 3 miles apart.  Taubman Prestige Outlets Chesterfield opens first, on August 2nd.  It’ll have a nice group of 47 stores on opening day with more scheduled to open in the next few months.  St. Louis Premium Outlets opens on August 22nd.  They expect to have over 90 outlets ready to go on the 22nd, with several more scheduled for September and October.  For the hungry, they’ll also have the Buckhead Grill, Great Wraps, Famous Wok and Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen.

The Atlanta metro region got it’s newest outlet shopping destination a few weeks ago – The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta.  A more accurate name would be “The Outlet Shoppes Near Woodstock About 30 Miles North Of Atlanta”, but they can call it whatever they want.  Shopaholics will call it a fine place spend a day, with a wide selection of outlets for name-brand retailers.

TheRealPlaces has a fast-growing group of guides to finding hotels near major malls and shopping centers in the United States and Canada.

2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament Hotels

We’re only month away from the start of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament and that means it’s time for our annual guide to hotels at the NCAA tournament sites.  This year’s tournament starts March 13th in Dayton, Ohio and finishes with the championship game in New Orleans on April 2nd.

The “Final Four” will be played March 31st and April 2nd at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.  It’ll be the fifth time the tournament’s final games have been played at the Superdome (also the site of New Orleans Saints and Tulane Green Wave home games and the annual Sugar Bowl).

The regional finals will be held the weekend of March 22nd through March 25th in Boston, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix.  The final four games of the East region are scheduled for Boston’s TD Garden on March 22nd and 24th.  The best of the Midwest will play at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Friday 3/23 and Sunday 3/25.  The South region finals will be hosted by the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on 3/23 and 3/25.  And games in the West region will finish at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Thursday March 22nd and Saturday March 24th.

Second and third round games will be played March 15th through March 18th at eight sites around the country (note that games played at each of these venues aren’t necessarily associated with the part of the country where they’re held – it’s entirely possible that you’ll seen two teams from the “West” region of the tournament playing in Pittsburgh):

“The Pit” at the University of New Mexico – Albuquerque – March 15th and 17th
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh – March 15th and 17th
Rose Garden – Portland, Oregon – March 15th and 17th
KFC Yum! Center – Louisville – March 15th and 17th
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, Ohio – March 16th and 18th
Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, NC – March 16th and 18th
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville – March 16th and 18th
CenturyLink Center – Omaha – March 16th and 18th

Once again, the first round of games (now called the “First Four”) will be played at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday March 13th and Wednesday March 14th.

If you live in the 400 mile Nashville to Louisville to Dayton to Columbus corridor, you have an opportunity to see a whole lot of great college basketball in March. And Pittsburgh is only a 3 hour drive east from Columbus.  Nice job spreading things out all over the country, Mr. NCAA!

National Championship Hotels

They may not be as popular as the major professional sports in the United States – especially in “non-Olympic” years – but there are still a large number of fans of Olympic sports like ice skating, track and field, swimming and gymnastics.  The annual national championships in these sports usually change location from year-to-year, so there’s a chance they’ll be coming near you in the future.  And TheRealPlaces has guides to finding nearby places to stay, wherever they’re being held.

The US Olympic trials for track and field were held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon in 1972, 1976 and 1980 – and they’ll be back on the campus of the University of Oregon again in 2012.  The 2012 Olympic trials will be held from June 22 through July 2, resulting in the selection of the majority of the members of the 2012 Olympic team.  (The marathon trials will be held in Houston on January 14th.)  The 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will also be held in Eugene (June 23-26, 2011).

Saint Paul, Minnesota is the place to see the U.S. Gymnastic National Championships in 2011.  Xcel Energy Center, home of NHL hockey in the winter, will be overrun with gymnasts, families and fans from August 17-20.

Making the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team isn’t solely based on performance in the national championships, but it plays a large part in the decision-making process.  The 2012 VISA Championships will be held at Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Happening from June 6th-9th, 2012, the U.S. participants in the 2012 London Olympics will be announced soon thereafter.

The 2011 United States national swimming championships (officially the “ConocoPhillips National Swimming Championships”) will happen August 2-6, 2011 in Palo Alto, California.  The Avery Aquatic Center (outdoors!) is on the campus of Stanford University.

The selection of the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming team will take place at the Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Qwest Center Omaha was also the site of the 2008 Olympic trials.  The 2012 event will be held from June 25th through July 2nd.

The 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships happened last month in Greensboro, North Carolina, but it’s already time to starting thinking about 2012.  Next year the championships will be held at HP Pavilion at San Jose.  Fans of Alissa Czisny, Ryan Bradley, Caitlin Yankowskas, John Coughlin, Meryl Davis and Charlie White (the 2011 champs) can look forward to seeing them defend their titles January 22-29, 2012.

More Major League Baseball Stadiums Added

Today we discovered a few major league baseball stadiums weren’t represented in our collection of “landmarks” and quickly rectified that oversight.  Baseball fans can now use the resources of TheRealPlaces.com to find hotels near Busch Stadium in St. Louis (home of the Cardinals), hotels near AT&T Park in San Francisco (the bayside stadium where the Giants play) and hotels near Nationals Park in Washington, DC (where the Nationals currently struggle mightily to gain respectability).