Hotels: By the Hour

Other hotelmen greeted the news with amusement. "Oh, that sounds naughty," said an official of San Francisco's Mark Hopkins when he heard that the New York Hilton, Manhattan's biggest hotel, was going to rent out its rooms on an hourly basis.

As far as the Hilton is concerned, the only thing sinful is that no respectable midtown hotel has done it sooner. Airport motels and hotels have long offered day rates (usually half-price between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) to travelers who want to rest between flights. The Hilton's "Day-Hour Plan" ($12 for the first three hours, $3 an hour...

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