HotelPlanner.com gives away free hotel rooms for each day The Jets are in the NFL playoffs

nfl playoffsEveryone gets a little excited around playoff time, and why shouldn’t travelers who happen to be football fans capitalize on the fun? Clearly claiming their preferred team, HotelPlanner is giving away $500 in free hotel rooms every day at 2pm EST this week to its Facebook fans while their team travel partner, The New York Jets, are still in the NFL playoffs.

The secret to free hotel rooms can be found at HotelPlanner’s Facebook page. Anybody can win, even if you’re a not a Jets fan. If the Jets continue to win, HotelPlanner will continue to give away $500 in free hotel rooms every day until The Superbowl.

Yesterday’s lucky clue from their fan page: “Today’s random number is 50! If your billing zip code ends in 50 then be the first to book $500 worth of free hotel rooms online at HotelPlanner.com!”

Seems easy enough… even if you’re a Ravens fan.

The rooms can be booked at any hotel, for any time, length of stay, star rating or number of rooms, as long as the total reservation cost adds up to $500 or less and the rooms can be booked on HotelPlanner.com.

Super Bowl impact on Tampa uncertain

Playboy has canceled its Super Bowl party. Sports Illustrated has done the same. And, these are just two of the events that have been flushed as team owners and corporate sponsors try to navigate a difficult financial environment.

The good news is that an estimated 100,000 visitors are expected to spend $150 million in Tampa this week, so the Super Bowl is good for something … beside monkeys in commercials. But, this is 20 percent below what they would spend in healthier economic conditions, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For the week ahead, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has remarked that image management will be crucial. “I think the word I would use is extravagant,” Goodell told the Washington Post. “You don’t want that. We understand that. That’s not what the NFL is about. But we do want the event to be exciting.”

Meanwhile, the money engine behind this annual event is showing signs of strain. NBC has set a $3 million price tag per 30-second ad, and 10 percent of its inventory still hasn’t moved. Last year’s game reached 97.5 million viewers, making it the second-largest audience in history. The final episode of M*A*S*H retains the top spot. But, the nine most-viewed shows since 2000 have been Super Bowls.How is the media handling all this? I mean, if you haven’t noticed broadcast and print are host to unprecedented corporate carnage.

Well, the NFL says that the number of companies looking for media credentials is up, thanks to that brave new world of 24-hour news called the internet (which I guess isn’t a fad) and the fact that reporters are notorious for wanting free stuff. But, most media companies are expected to spend smaller teams.

For people who have to pay for access, the story is mixed. All 72,500 tickets were sold, most at $800 a piece. Though 1,000 Super Bowl tickets were cut to $500 each (a $200 discount), 25 percent did sell at a record $1,000 each.

So, there is still plenty of money out there, the question is going to be how far into their wallets travelers will reach. After spending more than $500 on a ticket and probably a few thousand dollars on travel, we need to see how many will add a few extravagant dinners and cigar runs to Ybor City will occur on the periphery.

For now, it looks like the grandest Super Bowl party in the world – the Super Bowl itself – will not be what it has been in past year.

[Via Washington Post]

GADLING’S TAKE FIVE: Week of February 4

GadlingThere was a tremendous out of activity going on here at Gadling this week. There were mentions of huge music festivals; silly hitchhiker’s auctioning off their names and enough Valentine’s suggestions to eliminate any and all excuses. We understand that you may have missed something in the frenzy and so now it is time to catch-up. Here are some picks hand plucked by me that are worth viewing once more.

5. How Was the NFL Experience?:
Those of use who were either snowed in or couldn’t get closer than our television sets to experience some of the NFL Superbowl action down in Miami for some reason or another, can now check out Willy’s play-by-play coverage for the NFL Experience. The event wasn’t exactly the big game, but sports lovers may find this one inspiring enough to experience it on their own next year.

4. How Environmentally Friendly Are You? Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz:
Afraid? Be very afraid. If you think you’re the environmentally friendly type take this quiz to find out just how happy or unhappy the planet is with your actions.

3. Army of Bjork:
Round of sound to Erik for giving Bjork some additional play with this video found on Travelistic. I never knew of this event until recently which looks to be held annually in Brooklyn so for all the other Bjork fans and people-watchers I hope that this one comes in handy.

2. How to Buy An Island:
C’mon, who doesn’t want their own little chunk of land off a beautiful turquoise ocean? If I had the dough I’d surely grab my own tropical island or two. If you’re a bit closer to making it a reality than I am check out this easy two step plan to get one.

1. Backing up your Travel Journal:
Always looking for a plan B, C, or Q to backing up your photos and precious travel works? Neil points worry-warts and smart-thinkers alike to a nice cheap gadget that can back up your goodies in addition to other back up methods. I’ve never heard of this one, but it sounds worth a try.