Hotel lobbies are usually not the most glamorous places. Sure, you might be staying at a really fancy hotel where the lobby is a showplace, like when we stayed at the Park Hyatt in Washington D.C.
However, most people stay at hotels with lobbies that look like this.
What has come as a surprise to me is the items that have shown up for sale in hotel lobbies like those pictured above on several of my recent hotel stays.
Of course, I’m speaking of sports and entertainment memorabilia.
You know, the things you used to see at the stores in the mall. Autographs of celebrities with framed stock pictures. Whether you’ve ever wished for an autograph of Brett Farve, Eli Manning, Derek Jeter, Dale Earnhardt, Tiger Woods, Elvis or Katy Perry, they are all there as part of a silent auction ending in the next day or two. All you need to do is put your name and email down with a bid.
Here are the displays from the lobbies in a recent LaQuinta in Florida and a Hampton Inn in New York with almost identical setups.
My first thought was “Who would bid on this stuff?” but then I rode up an elevator with someone who was thrilled that no one had yet outbid her on the Elvis photo (SMH).
I mean, I get it. Hotel lobbies are essentially wasted space. You never see anyone sitting there unless you’re in Europe and people have arrived on overnight flights and they are waiting for their rooms to be available.
I imagine people bought these things at the mall but since the malls are closing up, they need somewhere else to sell all of these items. I wonder how much of an auction this really is or if you’re willing to put your name down for the minimum bid does someone call you and automatically say you’re the winner and ask for your credit card number. In my mind, that’s what happens and you’d have to prove me wrong.
I’m also curious about what the cutoff point is. What is the nicest hotel where you’ve seen a setup like this? Is it only the base level hotels or have they crept into the nicer brands like Hilton, Hyatt or Sheratons?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary