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Beach Bests: The Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort Named Honorary 50,0000th Hotel Room

By Elaine Keller

In a contest that could be likened to selecting your favorite child (impossible), Amgen Tour of California staff voted on more than 200 official hotels from the past six years to pick their all-time favorite location. The favorite to be named the, "Honorary 50,000 Hotel Room," an award devised to celebrate the Tour booking its 50,000th hotel room and the contributions made by hotels in the success of the race. Competition was fierce as nearly half of the Tour hotels received at least one first-place vote. Edging out mountain resorts, and quirky one-of-a-kind landmarks, the beachfront Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort, in Santa Barbara, Calif., is the winner of this first-time distinction.

Levi Leipheimer, Omega Pharma- QuickStep rider and three-time champion of America's premier race (2007, 2008, 2009), commented, "I've stayed at roughly 2,000 hotels in my 20 years as an amateur and professional cyclist so I can attest that the hotels in California are among the most accommodating and comfortable. I've stayed at hotels ranging from ultra-luxurious to uniquely themed during the Amgen Tour of California. They are part of why the race is an attraction to the world's best riders."

Every year, the Tour reinvents itself by changing the course, staying in new cities, and highlighting new regions of the state. This moving backdrop sets professional cycling apart from other sports. It also makes travel and hotel rooms key components of the race. Race organizers calculated that the race would book its 50,000th hotel room during the 2012 race, a notable milestone.

Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Tour and senior vice president of AEG Sports, commented, "We wanted to show our appreciation to the California hotel industry and to all of our official hotels for their contributions in helping make our race successful. We felt this award was both fun and meaningful to our race. It's no wonder that the Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort is the winner of this award, offering guests that very sought-after California beach location. We have used many Doubletree-branded hotels and the Fess Parker is a great representation of the company."

Tour staff members cited location, service, ambiance, uniqueness, amenities and the hotel's understanding of their needs while traveling with the race as reasons for their selections. Jamie Smith, the Tour's mobile public announcer, commented on the Fess Parker, "OK, I'll admit, it was the chocolate chip cookies at the front desk."

Beth Olson, director of sales and marketing at Fess Parker's Doubletree commented, "We are honored to have hosted the Tour three different years (2006, 2007, 2008) and to be named the Tour's Honorary 50,000th Hotel Room. Having this world-class cycling race come to Santa Barbara and showcase our beautiful community was a matter of pride for us. Welcoming the international cycling world to our resort is an experience we will never forget."

The top ten hotels receiving the most first place votes hail from all over the state, representing an eclectic mix of beach and ski resorts, retro and progressive styles, urban and rural settings, and unique getaway locations.

Staff's Top Ten Amgen Tour of California Hotels

1. Fess Parker's Doubletree, Santa Barbara
2. Squaw Valley Lodge, North Lake Tahoe
3. Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo
4. Harbor View Inn, Santa Barbara
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
6. Beach Resort, Best Western Plus, Monterey
7. JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live
8. Paso Robles Inn
9. Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, Santa Rosa
10. Hotel Corque, Solvang

Considering how many hotels received number one all-time favorite votes, the following hotels are being recognized in the honorable mention category.
Hyatt Regency, Monterey
The Langham Hotel, Pasadena
Big Sur Lodge, Big Sur
Hyatt Westlake Plaza, Thousand Oaks
Wilshire Grand, Los Angeles
Hadsten House, Solvang
Westin, Pasadena
Westlake Village Inn, Thousand Oaks
Four Seasons, Thousand Oaks
Hyatt Regency Downtown, San Francisco
Paso Robles Inn, Paso Robles
Airport Garden Hotel, San Jose
Embassy Suites, Valencia
Hallmark Inn, Davis
Hotel LaRose, Santa Rosa
La Quinta, Paso Robles
Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego
Residence Inn, Sacramento
Best Western Black Oak, Paso Robles
Best Western Royal Oak, San Luis Obispo
Best Western Colony Inn, Paso Robles
Big Sur River Inn, Big Sur
Courtyard Marriott, Paso Robles
Fountaingrove, Santa Rosa
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento
Hyatt Regency SFO, San Francisco
Hyatt Regency Valencia, Santa Clarita
Pea Soup Andersen's Inn, Solvang
Quality Inn, San Luis Obispo
Springhill Suites, Modesto
Svendsgaard's Lodge, Solvang
The Citizen Hotel, Sacramento
Village Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe
Wine Valley Inn, Solvang
Adelaide Inn, Paso Robles
King Frederik, Solvang
Cavallo Point, Sausalito
Courtyard Marriott, San Luis Obispo
Courtyard Old Pasadena, Pasadena
Doubletree, Claremont
Doubletree, Modesto
Embassy Suites, Lake Tahoe
Hampton Inn, Paso Robles
Courtyard, Santa Rosa
Hampton Inn, Visalia
Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Santa Rosa
Marriott Convention Center, Bakersfield
Mount Herman, Santa Cruz
Northstar, Lake Tahoe
Padre Hotel, Bakersfield
Piccadilly Inn, Clovis
Renaissance, Thousand Oaks
Hilton Sonoma, Santa Rosa
Cedar House Sport Hotel, Lake Tahoe

"It was such an honor to be a Host Hotel for the Amgen Tour of California over three different years. Santa Barbara is such an ideal community for cyclists; with our scenic roads and spectacular ocean views we offer an unparalleled experience for cyclists of all skill levels. So to have a world class cycling event come to town and showcase our beautiful community was such a matter of pride for us," commented Olson. Here at the Fess Parker Resort, our lobby was awash with colorful jerseys and the pulse of excitement surrounding the event. International cycling journalists, fans from around the country and hoards of volunteers passed through our doors and enjoyed our hospitality while participating in the race. Even the parking lot was a hub of activity, as the crews and support teams worked on the bikes around the clock, washing and fine-tuning for the next day's racing. Being showcased as a community participating in the race by the international media and having the opportunity to welcome the cycling community to our resort was an experience we will never forget."

Beth Olson | Director of Sales and Marketing
Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort
Phone: 805-884-8502 | Fax: 805-962-8198