Inside the $1-a-night hotel

April 17, 2009 9:32:36 AM PDT
Steve Keisman lives in North Jersey, but had never planned on visiting Philadelphia, until he learned about the $1-a-night deal at the Alexander Inn at 12th and Spruce streets.

On March 11, 2009, The Alexander Inn began offering five of its rooms for the unbelievable rate of $1, for single-night Sunday through Thursday stays.

It was a shot-in-the-dark effort to boost hotel bookings. It worked.

Innkeeper John Cochio says traffic on the hotel's website and phone calls jumped hundreds of percent and actual room bookings nearly doubled, even for regular-rate rooms.

The concept has benefited not just the hotel, but also surrounding restaurants and attractions.

Keisman, of Westfield, New Jersey, said he planned on staying two nights, eating at several restaurants and visiting numerous museums and other sites.

The five rooms can only be booked a month in advance. The hotel starts taking reservations at 8:00 a.m. So, if you want to book a room for May 19, 2009, you'd need to be one of the first five callers at 8:00 a.m. on April 19, 2009.

The deal ends June 1, 2009. Some dates, like the nights around the University of Pennsylvania graduation, are blacked out.

The rooms are small, but they do have private bathrooms, televisions, safes, hair-dryers and other standard amenities. An expanded Continental breakfast, and internet access and use of the fitness room are included.

To access The Alexander Inn's website, click here.

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