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All Things Travel: The Boston Marathon Changes Everything

By Bob Weiss, CBS Boston
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Runners approach the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Runners approach the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2014. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) – Today it is Boston Strong. A decade from now, will it be Boston Smart?

The Boston Marathon this week was a perfect day for the 32,400 runners and the city. It was topped off by an American winning the men’s race for the first time since l983. This feat coupled with the Red Sox winning the World Series capped off their comeback.

As a member of The Boston Athletic Association, the marathon went off virtually flawlessly. It made me proud to be a member of that organization and live in the city.

The weather was a perfect spring day. Two days later, rain pelted Hopkinton as the race start times approached.

At yesterday’s wrap-up media conference, B.A.A. President Tom Grilik summed it up this way: “It was the perfect blend of security and celebration.”

“This is not a sponsorship, this is a partnership,” said Robert Friedman, Assistant Vice President for John Hancock, which devotes prize money and staff time to make the marathon work.

All of the events surrounding last week got me thinking ahead.

Does Boston need to make a bid for The 2024 Summer Olympics? It will be two weeks of security like we saw on Monday at a time of the year when the city will be welcoming 20 percent more tourists.

In the next five years, Boston could face two major changes already on the drawing boards. Gambling is coming to Everett or Revere with a resort casino. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is fighting to make Boston a host city. There is talk about major expansion of The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in South Boston to double its size.

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

By 2024, Boston will have a completely new waterfront and more cruise ships will be coming here in season to an upgraded Black Falcon Cruise Terminal.

Logan Airport’s passenger count will have grown from 30 million to over 35 million with almost 5 million international visitors annually.

By that time, the country could be in another recession. Do we need The Summer Olympics? The answer is probably “no”.

Yesterday on Boylston Street at the Finish Line, people were in line to enter Marathon Sports. Outside, people waited to get their times engraved free on the back of their medals. Another great new marketing idea was started.

Here are a couple of other suggestions for next year and beyond. Now that the Marathon begins at 10 a.m., the Red Sox should move their traditional morning game to 4 p.m. to allow more fans to enjoy the race in Kenmore Square. And Marathon Monday should become Marathon Week as schools in Massachusetts are on vacation. More citywide family events should be planned.

I have a new slogan for the city: “Boston, Still Making History.”

All Things Travel Reports can be heard on WBZ News Radio.

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