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THE NATION

New Jersey Capital to Finally Give Visitors a Place to Stay Overnight

April 02, 2002|Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — For 15 years, this city has had the dubious distinction of being the only state capital without a hotel. That will change today when the 197-room Lafayette Yard Marriott Conference Hotel opens.

"Not having a hotel was a message that gave people pause," said Sally Lane, director of the Trenton Convention & Visitors Bureau. "People would think, 'If you can't stay in a city, does that mean you wouldn't want to go there?' "

The city of about 85,000 becomes something of a ghost town at night and on weekends, giving Trenton a reputation for being dangerous after dark.

About 20,000 state employees work here, but they generally leave when their shifts end. Many stores in Trenton close by late afternoon during the week and are closed altogether on weekends. There are no movie theaters or department stores.

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