Best Western Launches Special eBay Auction September 16 Benefiting American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Hotel Packages From Around the World, NASCAR Memorabilia, Brand Name Products and More Available Through October 31

PHOENIX, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Best Western, the world’s largest hotel chain, will launch an extensive eBay auction today at 4 p.m. ET, with proceeds benefiting American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief efforts*. Visitors to www.bestwestern.com can click on the Hurricane Katrina Auction link to view and bid on a wide range of specialty items.

As part of its Best Western for a Better World community service program, Best Western hotels across the globe are donating a variety of travel packages to the cause, which will be rolled out on eBay during the next six weeks. Offerings available for bid today include round-trip airfare for two from Los Angeles and four-night hotel accommodations at the Best Western Premier Gangnam Hotel in Seoul, South Korea; and a two-night stay at the Best Western Inn & Suites at the Commons, complete with tickets to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Numerous Best Western partners are also participating in the program, including fellow NASCAR sponsors. In addition to an autographed Michael Waltrip Best Western pit crew shirt, upcoming items include Sprint/Nextel cell phones, and a pizza-a-month for a year from Domino’s.

“The response from our membership and our corporate partners has been overwhelming, with more and more donations coming in every day,” said David Kong, Best Western president and CEO. “We are proud to support the American Red Cross in its efforts to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina, while providing consumers with the opportunity to receive great deals on such a wide variety of items.”

Approximately 20 hotel packages will be featured on the site for today’s launch, with additional items to premiere every few days through Oct. 31. Nearly 350 total items are expected to be auctioned in the next six weeks.

Earlier this month, Best Western pledged $1 million to the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, with 60 percent earmarked for the American Red Cross. The remaining 40 percent will go to regional marketing and community assistance programs in the affected areas.

In addition to the Red Cross funds raised through the eBay auction, many of the company’s 4,100 properties are also making monetary donations. Members of Best Western’s loyalty programs, Gold Crown Club International and Speed Rewards, can donate the monetary value of their points directly to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief fund as well, or receive bonus points for cash donations made through www.bestwestern.com. At the company’s worldwide headquarters in Phoenix, employees can also make monetary contributions, or donate the cash value of their vacation time to assist those in the Gulf Coast region.

“Best Western for a Better World” is a multi-faceted community service program dedicated to providing assistance to Best Western neighbors in cities and countries across the globe. Through financial contributions, product donations and volunteer activities, Best Western, its members, employees and guests work together throughout the year, making a difference by helping those in need.

Best Western International is THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more than 4,100 hotels in 80 countries and territories. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members.

* Proceeds from the auction (85 percent of final sales price) will be
donated by Best Western for a Better World to the American Red Cross
Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. For further information, visit
www.bestwestern.com.

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