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SPECIAL DIRECTORY ISSUE / SOURCEBOOK

City Hotel Reservations

April 18, 1999

Brokers are agencies that provide a way for hotels to unload rooms they don't expect to sell at full price. Brokers don't always get you the biggest discounts, but they're among the most reliable sources of decent ones.

Usually, one phone call is all it takes: You tell the broker where you're going and when; the broker lists its current deals, and you choose the one you like.

On the other hand, most brokers offer a limited selection of hotels. Broker deals are usually confined to fairly upscale properties--midpriced and up. Most brokers handle only downtown hotels in major cities, seldom airport hotels, small cities or suburbs.

Many brokers require prepayment in full. If you have to cancel or change your plans, prepayment can be a hassle: You may be on the hook for at least one night's room charge. Even brokers that don't make you prepay may impose a cancellation charge.

Quite a few cities and resort areas operate room-finder services, useful for finding rooms when space is tight. However, they don't offer discounts other than the senior, AAA, weekend and other promotional rates available to all comers. It's often hard to tell the difference between a broker and a room finder from their ads. Ask when you call if discounts are offered.

The following listings, from "Consumer Reports Travel Letter" and Times research, are in two sections: brokers that cover at least two metropolitan areas, and single-area specialists.

U.S. MULTICITY BROKERS

Accommodations Express, 801 Asbury Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226; telephone (800) 444-7666, (609) 391-2100, fax (609) 525-0111, Internet http://www.accommodations express.com. Covers major cities and some popular East Coast tourist areas.

California Reservations, 165 8th St., Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94103; (800) 576-0003, (415) 252- 1107, fax (415) 252-1483, Internet www.cal-res.com. Covers cities in California, Oregon and Washington, as well as Atlanta, New Orleans, New York and Vancouver and Victoria, Canada (partial listing).

Central Reservation Service, 220 Lookout Place, Suite 200, Maitland, FL 32751; tel. (800) 555-7555, (407) 740-6442, fax (407) 740-8222, Internet www.reservation-services.com. Covers Atlanta, Boston, Miami/Miami Beach, New Orleans, New York, Orlando area and San Francisco. Staff is bilingual (English/Spanish).

Hotel Reservations Network, 8140 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 203, Dallas, TX 75231; tel. (800) 964- 6835, (214) 361-7311, fax (214) 361- 7299, Internet www.hoteldiscount .com. Covers Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Paris, Reno/Tahoe, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (partial listing).

Quikbook, 381 Park Ave. S., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10016; tel. (800) 789-9887, (212) 779-7666, fax (212) 779-6120, Internet www.quikbook.com. Covers Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. (partial listing).

U.S. REGIONAL BROKERS

Ten popular visitor destinations in the U.S. covered by at least one local broker (often by multicity brokers as well):

ATLANTIC CITY

Atlantic City Toll-Free Reservations, P.O. Box 665, Northfield, NJ 08225; tel. (800) 833-7070, Internet http://www.actollfree.com.

BOSTON

Citywide Reservation Services, 839 Beacon St., Suite A, Boston, MA 02215; tel. (800) 468-3593, (617) 267-7424, fax (617) 267-9408. Extensive coverage of Boston-area hotels, plus limited coverage of Cape Cod, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Providence/Newport, R.I., and Washington, D.C.

Meegan Hotel Reservation Service, 300 Terminal C, Logan International Airport, East Boston, MA 02128; tel. (800) 332-3026, (617) 569-3800, Internet http://www.bostonhotels.net.

BRANSON, MO.

Branson Nights Reservations, P.O. Box 2321, Branson, MO 65615; tel. (800) 329-9999, (417) 335-6971, fax (417) 335-6025, Internet http:// www.branson-nights.com. Also sells packages that include local show tickets.

CHICAGO

Hot Rooms, 1 E. Erie St., Suite 225, Chicago, IL 60611; tel. (800) 468-3500, (773) 468-7666, fax (312) 649-0559, Internet http://www.hotrooms.com.

FLORIDA

Yeehaw Travel Center, 5615 Spring Run Ave., Orlando, FL 32819; tel. (800) 446-1617, (407) 363-0031, fax (407) 363-7780, Internet www.fl-room-reservations.com. Covers Florida. Web site is bilingual (English-Spanish).

KANSAS CITY, MO.

Kansas City Hotel Reservation Service, 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave., Kansas City, MO 64161; tel. (800) 877-4386, (816) 453-7280. Covers 70 hotels in metropolitan area.

LAS VEGAS

Reservations Plus, 2275 Renaissance Drive, Suite A, Las Vegas, NV 89119; tel. (800) 805-9528, fax (702) 795-8767, Internet http://www.resplus.com. Also books shows, tours.

SAN DIEGO, also Palm Springs, Phoenix

San Diego Hotel Reservations, 7380 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite 218, San Diego, CA 92111; tel. (800) 728-3227, (619) 627-9400, fax (619) 627-9400, Internet http://www.savecash.com.

SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco Reservations, 22 2nd St., 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; tel. (800) 677-1550, (415) 227-1500, fax (415) 227-1520, Internet http://www.hotelres.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Capitol Reservations, 1730 Rhode Island Ave. N.W., Suite 1210, Washington, DC 20036; tel. (800) 847-4832, (202) 452-1270, fax (202) 452-0537, Internet http://www.capitolreservations.com.

Washington, D.C. Accommodations, 2201 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., Suite C-110, Washington, DC 20007; tel. (800) 554-2220, (202) 289-2220, fax (202) 338-4517, Internet www.dcaccommodations.com.

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