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Newport Beach markets itself as an escape from 'Carmageddon'

Travel executives, Newport hotels team up to draw in Los Angeles residents during the 405 Freeway closure.

July 11, 2011|By Mike Reicher, mike.reicher@latimes.com

Most of this weekend's deals mirror the closure dates — from Friday night until Monday morning.

The promotion fits into Newport's broader push to get L.A. visitors to stay longer. Many visit for the day — for a trip to the beach, shopping and maybe dinner — but often drive back up the freeway.

"We're trying to get people to think of us as more of an overnight destination," Sherwin said. "The more we can get our name into the L.A. market, the better."

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Nearer the dreaded section of the 405, some resorts are also looking to lure stressed residents. Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula offered a 40.5% discount on rooms, although its website says the resort is fully booked Friday and Saturday nights. In Santa Monica, Shutters on the Beach and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows are also offering deals.

Newport's concerted effort, however, appears to be unique. Visit Newport Beach placed ads in the Los Angeles Times, in the Los Angeles Newspaper Group's suburban L.A. County publications, and started a promotion on KOST 103.5 FM, Sherwin said.

It even went so far as to make a video with a narrator who, over a soaring shot of the coastline, says "Ride the waves instead of the brakes."

Participating hotels:

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort: Complimentary breakfast and valet

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach: Third night free

Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa: Complimentary breakfast and valet

Fairmont Newport Beach: Spa discounts, complimentary cocktails and valet

Island Hotel: Complimentary breakfast and valet

The Resort at Pelican Hill: Resort credit

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