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Wyndham Hotel Launches Wing Eating Contest

By May 21, 2007

Wyndham Hotel Group is staging a chicken wing-eating event to raise awareness around its TripRwards loyalty program.

Seven eating contest champions will compete today at 1 p.m. in New York’s Grand Central Terminal to see who can eat the most chicken hot wings in 10 minutes. The winner will earn the coveted the title of TripRewards Ultimate Hot Wing Eating champion and receive 1 million TripRewards points.

Wyndham is drawing the best of the best from the International Federation of Competitive Eating for the contest. Participants include Joey “Jaws” Chestnut of San Jose, CA, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, VA, Tim “Eater X” Janus of New York, “Crazy Legs” Conti of New York, Micah “Wing Kong” Collins of Drexel Hill, PA, Eric “Steakbellie” Livingston of Drexel Hill and Pete Miernicki of Philadelphia.

And for each pound of hot wings contestants eat during the contest, the company will donate $250 to the Food Bank for New York City, a charity committed to ending hunger by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity. Agency 5W Public Relations handles PR for the hot wing event.

The hot wing-eating contest is designed to draw attention to TripRewards’ Mystery Hot Spot promotion, which kicked off last Thursday. Consumers who stay at Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Baymont Inn & Suites, Wingate by Wyndham, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, AmeriHost Inn and Knights Inn hotels through Sept. 6 will receive a branded Mystery Hot Spot coupon book featuring $300 in discounts from popular retailers. They include Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Chuck E. Cheese. Borders, Pep Boys and Dunkin’ Donuts.

About 6 million people belong to the TripRewards program.

An instant-win game overlay at TripRewards.com/Mystery offers the chance to win a variety of prizes, including digital cameras, portable DVD players, iPods and Best Buy gift cards. And every person who plays the game will receive a coupon from one of Wyndham’s partners.

On the site, visitors can upload videos of their own mystery hot spots. The sweepstakes, handled by Real Time Media, runs through Sept. 6.

The goal behind the promotion is to boost business, especially during the summer months when gas prices are approaching an all-time high.

“We all are looking at summer and thinking of the high gas prices,” said Wendi Mazzucco, senior director loyal and direct marketing for Wyndham Hotel Group. “We’re hoping to offset any of that by giving some value with the promotion.”

Print ads in People, Budget Travel and All You magazines, counter cards and banner ads support the promotion. The company will market the campaign to TripRewards members thru e-mails and monthly statements.

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