The approaching Easter weekend has thousands of Utahns planning to strap on the sandals, gas up the wagon and head for St. George, the dunes or the beaches.
And if you haven't already made your plans and reservations, you might consider staying home and cleaning the garage - at least you won't be fighting crowds.But if you don't mind crowds - or the garage is just too ugly - here's what you might expect:
-Motels in St. George and Cedar City have been booked for weeks - some since last year.
-The stampede doesn't end at Utah's southern border. Rooms in Mesquite, Nev., have also been booked for weeks.
-Forget about scheduling a tee time in St. George - unless you made arrangements a long, long time ago.
-Reservations at better restaurants in town have all been snatched up - and you can expect a line just about any other place.
-The city-sponsored arts festival, in its 10th year, should attract 10,000 - with other vacationers opting for a barbershop quartet extravaganza at the Dixie Center or a high school baseball tournament.
"The businesses are used to this," said Ramona Larsen of the St. George Chamber of Commerce. "They hire extra help in all of the service areas - gas stations, restaurants and motels."
-While cruising St. George Boulevard, be prepared for what one civic leader calls city streets "lined with kids just standing around looking stupid" as the town is turned into a Fort Lauderdale-style spring-break party town.
-St. George Police Lt. Jim Raburn said he's canceled all days off for his officers, and other agencies - from as far away as Salt Lake City - are planning to help.
-A temporary drunk tank has been set up where officials can "baby-sit until we can get ahold of the parents or until they are sober enough to be released," Raburn said.
(Last year, the police department bulldozed about $600 worth of confiscated beer and liquor at the county landfill and made almost 200 alcohol-related arrests.)
-And, lest you worry about the effect on local business people, remember: Visitors will spend about $1 million dollars before Monday.
Around the state
St. George, of course, isn't the only place to which Wasatch Front folks will migrate: There's the Little Sahara Recreation Area in Juab County, Lake Powell and numerous state and national parks - not to mention personal favorite hiking and camping spots throughout Utah's mountains and deserts.
-"Depending on the weather, we would expect to see 5,000 to 10,000 people" at Little Sahara, said Stew Jacobsen of the Bureau of Land Management's Fillmore office.
-Zion National Park Ranger Bob Wood said they expect a 5 percent to 7 percent increase over last Easter's count of 1,500 people per day.
-All concession and boat ramps are open at Lake Powell. Campground loops will be opened as needed, said Denny Davies, chief of visitor services for the National Park Service at Glen Canyon Dam. Officials expect 1,000 to 1,200 boat launches each day.