SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 17, 2013

Salem hotel offers free stay to Boston Marathon runners

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — The Salem Waterfront Hotel offered a free room to any Boston Marathon runner who needed one yesterday.

As of Monday night, no runner had taken the hotel up on its offer, which was posted on Facebook, though it had taken several inquiries. Last year, the hotel hosted a lot of runners; this year, it was mostly families of runners, General Manager Bill Carroll said.

Carroll said the hotel owner was watching coverage of the marathon bombings and saw that some hotels in the vicinity had been evacuated, and runners were fearful of returning to the area. The business is owned by the Rockett family.

“We were all taken aback by what was happening in the city,” Carroll said.

The Hawthorne Hotel did not have any runners staying at the hotel but hosted several regular guests who come to the North Shore each year to watch the race, General Manager Juli Lederhaus said.

One couple in particular like to watch the marathon from the finish, and Lederhaus was concerned about them until she learned that the weather was too cold for them, so they decided to spend the day in Rockport instead.

“It seems like there were angels sitting on their shoulders,” Lederhaus said.

A runner from Seattle came by the hotel with family for breakfast yesterday morning, having left Boston due to its being locked down, Lederhaus said. She loaned them the hotel’s corporate passes to the Peabody Essex Museum but brushed off the usual required ID.

“Today, the world needs a lot more trust and love,” she told them.