Because Utah Republicans helped Ronald Reagan win Utah in 1984 by a margin larger than in any other state, they have been rewarded with prime seats and hotel sites at the Republican National Convention.

The states that voted most heavily Republican in 1988 were given the best seats. So the Utah delegation has been given front-row seats, just to the speaker's right. That means anytime a wide shot is taken of the speaker, the Utah delegation will appear on national television.Other seats in the 27-story-high, 35-acre Louisiana Superdome are much more distant.

The delegation was also assigned to one of the hotels closest to the Superdome, a Day's Inn about four blocks away. That means Utah delegates can walk to the arena, while most others have to take buses along crowded roads.

Utah national committeewoman Zenda Hull, who helped the national committee arrange accommodations, bragged that Utah delegates are also paying about half what other delegations are being charged - about $55 a night.

But one reason for that low price, as some delegates joked, is that if their rooms were any closer to I-10, they would be blocking traffic. The freeway literally runs just a few feet from many of the delegates' rooms.