|June 16, 2009|
|Uncle Sam Stands Poised to Bail Out Travel Biz|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The summer travel season is shaping up to be a bummer for cash-strapped families and a total bust for the hospitality business. Hope is on the way.|
Following today's news that Extended Stay Hotels, the place for "road warriors" and budget-conscious families, has gone belly-up, President Obama has a golden opportunity to do away with the gloomy travel picture. What better way to lift sagging American spirits then a sweet travel package deal, courtesy of Uncle Sam!
Taxpayers are now proud owners of a chunk of ESH, which was in hock to Bear Stearns. The Federal Reserve took over Bear after it collapsed in last March, which means taxpayers have a financial stake in the 680-member property chain with hotels from coast-to-coast. Let's keep 'em busy!
A taxpayer yearning to visit New York this summer could get a nifty deal at the ESH located near LaGuardia Airport. [Okay, it's not Times Square, and may be a tad noisy-but]. The ESH NYC is a mere bus/subway ride away from the midtown Manhattan.
There is another magnificent bonus, awaiting trippers to LGA/ESH. Nestled in the borough of Queens, the world's melting pot, ESH visitors from the U.S. hinterlands will be enriched by the grand diversity of the place and bring back many tales to be shared with the folks back home. The current LGA rate is $129 per-night for lodging that includes a kitchen, stove, microwave and computer hook-up.
The government should be able to cut a better deal for travelers, directing some of the economic stimulus money to the Team Obama “See the U.S.A.” promotional campaign.
And what better way to see the U.S.A.?
Dinah Shore used to sing: “See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet.” That needs to be updated. Obama could enlist Madonna, the pride of Detroit, to sing: “Drive your Chevrolet through the USA and get a big tax write-off from Uncle Sam," who soon will be the proud papa of General Motors. In another words: Uncle Sam wants you to take a Chevy off his hands and take to the open road.
The millions of unemployed may not have ready cash to finance a national jaunt. Fret not. Obama is a can-do guy.
Bailed-out Citigroup is the final component of the grand travel scheme. Still, Citi CEO Vik Pandit will be ordered to open the vaults to Americans and let the cash flow for low-rate travel and car financing loans.
The ball is in Team Obama’s court. The president stands poised to get the country moving again, literally.
Get ready to hit the road, America.
(Image via 56classicChevy.com)
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