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SideStep Launches New Hotel Search Service



MARCH 9, 2004 -- SideStep, Inc. (http://www.sidestep.com/), the travel search engine, today introduced SideStep Hotels (http://www.sidestephotels.com/), a new Web-based version of its popular hotel search offering.

SideStep has traditionally made its innovative travel search engine available to consumers via a downloadable toolbar. More than five million people have downloaded the SideStep toolbar to help them discover flight, hotel and rental car bargains. Now, SideStep will also offer its hotel search service via the Web -- no download required.

SideStep Hotels searches dozens of Web sites to find outstanding hotel values. By checking online agencies, consolidators, and the sites of the hoteliers themselves, SideStep Hotels not only tracks down the best bargains worldwide, it also helps consumers to find rooms at the hotels they want most -- even when other sites are sold out. The search engine transfers travelers to the sites of SideStep partners when they are ready to book their reservations. With SideStep Hotels, consumers buy directly from brands they know and trust, such as Holiday Inn, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Ramada, Hotels.com and Howard Johnson.

For those who want to comparison shop, SideStep continues to offer the SideStep toolbar. With the toolbar, savvy shoppers can view SideStep's results right alongside those from other popular travel sites. This side-by-side comparison helps consumers to feel confident they've found the best options.

"We aim to dramatically improve the travel shopping experience for the average consumer," said SideStep CEO Brian Barth. "Extending our reach to the Web -- beginning with hotel search -- allows us to bring SideStep's benefits to a broader audience. Consumers who want a simple yet powerful travel search experience will turn to our Web offerings, available both via SideStep and through a few select distribution partners," Barth continued. "Those who value the confidence that comes from comparison shopping will get the SideStep toolbar. We will serve both segments well -- and our business will grow all the faster as a result."

SideStep was named Silicon Valley's third fastest growing private company in October of 2003 by PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. The company is actively hiring to support its growth. For job listings, see http://www.sidestep.com/jobs.

About SideStep

SideStep serves as a marketing vehicle for travel providers, promoting direct relationships between consumers and trusted travel brands. More than two million people turn to the award-winning travel search engine each month to find flight, hotel, and rental car values. The company has forged alliances with leading travel providers such as JetBlue Airways, Continental Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Orbitz, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, InterContinental Hotels and Amadeus. Privately held and profitable, the company has raised $15M in funding from Trident Capital and individual investors. For more information, visit http://www.sidestep.com/.



          
CONTACT:     David Cumpston of Manning Selvage & Lee, 
             +1-415-364-3846, or david.cumpston@mslpr.com, for SideStep; 
             or 
             Phil Carpenter, Vice President of Corporate Marketing of SideStep
             +1-408-235-1700, ext. 102, or philc@sidestep.com

             Web site: http://www.sidestep.com/
          
CO: SideStep, Inc. ST: California
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09/03/2004 13:00 UTC http://www.prnewswire.com

 
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