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We Were There: Free Rooms in AC, Cont'd

Andrea Sachs

Yesterday, I blogged about a free room giveaway care of Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. And guess what? They really were giving away the Watefront Tower rooms. Slowly and sometimes desperately, and on occasion in multiples, but they were definitely handing them out.

(Overheard: "Here, take some for your friends, too," said a Harrah's Hottie, pushing a small stack into the palm of a bewildered male.)

I showed up at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station and found the crew immediately. An alien could've recognized them: bikini-ready babes dressed in body paint and what looked like linen scraps. Unfortunately for them, it felt more like fall than summer.

The handout started off a little rough. They were attracting enormous male attention, but few key-takers. Finally, a guy in a button-down shirt shuffled over, asked for a key and even after holding the blue trinket in his hand (which included pertinent info on how to book the room), was still incredulous. "That's it? No catch?"

There is a little catch, of course. You have to pay $11 in taxes, and, oh yeah, you have to get yourself to/from Atlantic City -- about three hours one way by car, or an eternal souless slog by bus. One other thing: Only 960 rooms are available for the D.C.-designated night (June 19, shared with Baltimore, whose giveaway will be held next week), but the Harrah's Hotties dispensed nearly twice as many keys. (After the tower books up, key-holders sans rooms will receive a reduced rate for a midweek stay, so everyone is sort of a winner.)

A representative told me that when the company held this promotion in New York City earlier in the month, the rooms "sold" out. However, Philadelphia has only booked about 200 rooms. It seems that Washingtonians are more like their brothers in Philly: Twenty-four hours after the giveaway, rooms were still available.

Apparently, even a free room isn't enough incentive to visit AC.

By Andrea Sachs |  May 23, 2008; 12:15 PM ET  | Category:  Andrea Sachs
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Take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. It takes about the same amount of time to travel, but it's a soothing break after the drive from DC. Then, on the way back from AC, you can visit historic Lewes and soak in the charm.

Posted by: CoastalSussex.com | May 26, 2008 4:36 PM

Let's see - Room is usually about $200 a night, right? They're giving them away for $11 in taxes. Considering you'd have to get yourself there either way, don't you think you're being a bit hard on both Atlantic City, and Harrah's for trying a fun promotion?

Posted by: Jonathan | May 27, 2008 9:22 AM

Geez, enough with the potshots at Atlantic City and NJ. I don't get it. The place is fun, entertaining and when a hotel tries to do a promotion, they get a snide, sarcastic column written. Why the mean-spiritedness? It has become tiresome to read really.

Posted by: Trent | May 28, 2008 8:34 AM

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