Deals on tickets and lodging in Boise are available for those who plan ahead

Kari Medsker

Although the holiday season is one of the heaviest times of the year for travel, officials say football fans scrambling for last-minute reservations shouldn’t have too many problems.

Those considering flying to Idaho shouldn’t have a difficult time getting tickets, said Nancy Wilson, sales manager for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Availability shouldn’t be too much of a problem,” Wilson said. “There are 85 flights a day and 6,900 seats a day that come into Boise. We have great air service.”

She said Fridays and Saturdays are not usually a problem for air travel, but the holidays are always busier.

Dorothy Schumer, manager at Travel and Transport, Inc., 213 Duff Ave., said students should book airline tickets with a reputable company.

“Be familiar with the company and make sure to get your tickets,” Schumer said.

“There is really no other way to know whether the company you buy tickets through is legitimate or not.”

Good travel deals are available online, Wilson said, but he cautioned that the better deals are found at least 14 days ahead of time.

She could not recommend specific Web sites, but she did have other advice for travelers.

“You might find it’s better to fly to Minneapolis,” Wilson said. There is non-stop air travel service between Minneapolis and Boise.

The Alumni Association offered travel packages again this year to Cyclone fans, said Jan Breitman, director of the ISU Alumni travel.

Packages included round-trip airfare, a one-night hotel stay, all transfers and luggage handling, a Cy Welcome party, a bowl dinner and party on Dec. 30, transfers to the game, an in-flight dinner and an exclusive bowl souvenir — everything but a ticket to the game.

Spots had to be reserved by Thursday, however.

Flying isn’t the only way to get to Idaho. Boise is about a 23-hour drive from Ames.

Officials at the National Weather Service in Boise said the roads through southern Idaho are usually four-lanes.

The area is likely to have snow at the end of December, but roads are kept clear.

Wilson said hotels and motels in Boise have a wide range of prices. Motel prices range generally between $50 and $175.

She said some hotels close to Bronco Stadium create “blocks” of rooms — where ISU fans will stay close to other ISU fans.

Some specific, less expensive hotels to look for are:

* Cabana Inn, which charges up to $45: 1600 Main St., (208) 343-6000

* Sands Motel, which charges up to $45: 1111 W. State St., (208) 343-2533

* Boise Center GuestLodge, which charges $46—$65: 1314 Grove St., (208) 342-9351

* University Inn, which charges $46—$65: 2360 University Drive, (208) 345-7170.

Other hotels include:

* Best Western Safari Motor Inn, which charges $66—$80: 1070 Grove St., (208) 344-6556

* Shilo Inn Riverside, which charges $66—$80: 3031 Main St., (208) 344-3521

* Anniversary Inn, which charges $88 and up: 1575 S. Lusk, (208) 348-4900

For more information on travelers’ accommodations in Boise, call the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 635-5240, or visit its Web site at