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Most Common Thing Hotel Guests Leave Behind -
 Cell Phone Chargers 
By Emma Ritch, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Aug. 28, 2004 - Next time you check out of a hotel, be sure to look for your cell phone charger.

Grand Strand hotel workers say chargers are the most common thing guests leave behind -- but it's not at all the strangest.

Sex toys, canes, toothbrushes, camping cots and full liquor bottles are some of the weird things Greg Williams, president of Myrtle Beach Rooms for Rent, says he finds.

"Once we found a triple-X movie sitting in the VCR, so I ended up mailing it to [the teenage guests'] parents," Williams said.

Kyle Mitchell, owner and operator of Sea Palms Motel, said he was surprised at finding g-string underwear.

"They never did come back and get it," he said.

Hotels will hold on to items until guests call about them, but the workers say many items go unclaimed.

"They usually call back for their teeth," said Joe Towery, assistant controller at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront, where Towery says false teeth have been left on nightstands.

When guests do call about their belongings, the guests usually pay for shipping charges.

A look through the 90-day lost and found at Fairfield Inn reveals piles of clothing and bed linens, the things hotel workers say are most commonly left and not often claimed.

"Unless it's someone we absolutely know, we don't call" to tell them they left something, said Elizabeth Pitino at Fairfield.

Pitino logs the items with the room number and name of the guest.

After 90 days, the items are donated, thrown out or given to the maid or worker that found them.

"If they can't use them, there's usually someone in their neighborhood who can," she said.

During the Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealers Association Myrtle Beach Rally, "I had a lady who left a gun," Pitino said.

Towery also said they found an M1 Garand Rifle that was "absolutely gorgeous."

Roger McNeill, front desk clerk at Firebird Motor inn, said families often leave a child's favorite stuffed animal or security blanket.

"They'll end up paying more than it's worth to get it shipped," he said. "That I don't understand."

Hotel workers offered some tips for checking out without leaving anything behind.

If you have a cell phone, make sure it's in the hotel records.

Check the balcony, behind doors, behind the nightstand, in drawers and under the bed.

Don't pack in a hurry.

Survey the room before you leave.

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