Hotel Online  Special Report

 Chicago Edges Out New York as the Top Spot for
2004 New Year's Eve Hotel Bookings


New Orleans and San Francisco Round Out Top Three Cities
Via; New York Falls to Seventh Spot

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 23, 2004 - As the countdown to the New Year begins, one in five Americans (21 percent) plan to ring in 2005 away from home, according to a recent survey released by discount travel site

Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco top the list as the most popular
destinations for New Year's Eve hotel bookings on Hotwire. Surprisingly, perennial favorite New York City dropped from first in 2003 to seventh on the top ten list this year, while Las Vegas and Orange County gained in popularity for New Year's Eve hotels.

"New Year's Eve booking trends really reflect where the deals are this year," said Amy Bohutinsky, Hotwire's consumer travel expert. "New York City has experienced tight room availability and higher prices and as such, we're seeing fewer of our discount-seeking travelers booking Manhattan hotels.  However, some of the year's best deals are consistently found in Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans and Los Angeles.  The great values on hotels in these cities led to higher rankings on our top-ten list this year."

Whether travelers are braving the cold in Chicago or sharing champagne with friends in San Francisco, many Americans favor starting 2005 on vacation.  Nearly one in five adults (19 percent) who plan to spend New Year's Eve away from home will be on vacation while they count down the final minutes of 2004, according to the Hotwire survey.

Hotwire's top ten hotel booking destinations for New Year's Eve 2004 include:

     1.  Chicago (third in 2003)
     2.  New Orleans (sixth in 2003)
     3.  San Francisco (fourth in 2003)
     4.  Los Angeles (seventh in 2003)
     5.  Orlando (second in 2003)
     6.  San Diego (tenth in 2003)
     7.  New York City (first in 2003)
     8.  Orange County (11th in 2003)
     9.  Atlanta (ninth in 2003)
     10. Las Vegas (18th in 2003)

Rooms are still available in all top booking cities via, which saves up to 75 percent off published hotel rates, including hotels' own sites.

Below are examples of hotel rates recently booked on Hotwire for New Year's
Eve. (All prices shown are actual bookings made on Hotwire between December 8 - 22, 2004, for stays between December 31 and January 1, 2005. Hotel rates shown do not include taxes and fees.)

    -- 3.5-Star hotel, Chicago Loop       $72 / night
    -- 3.5-Star hotel, Atlanta Midtown        $78 / night
    -- 4-Star hotel, New Orleans Downtown     $84 / night
    -- 3.5-Star hotel, San Francisco Embarcadero    $89 / night
    -- 4-Star hotel, San Diego Downtown, Harbor Island    $92 / night
    -- 3.5-Star hotel, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills-Westwood-Century City $98 / night

Hotwire's hotel rates are so low, they're backed by the industry's most aggressive guarantee. Find a lower rate within 48 hours of booking, and Hotwire will refund double the difference. Hotwire offers deeply discounted rooms at more than 7,000 hotels in North America, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Harris Interactive(R) fielded the online survey from November 2-4, 2004 among 2,140 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 478 plan to spend New Year's away from home. Data were weighted to reflect the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95% certainty that the results have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points overall and +/-7 percentage points for results from the sample of those who plan to spend New Year's away from home. This online sample was not a probability sample.

About Hotwire is a leading discount travel site with consistently lower prices on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages.  Launched in 2000, Hotwire negotiates deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help distribute their excess inventory.  Hotwire is a wholly owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI). 

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Also See: Top 10 European Destination Markets Based on Electronic Room Nights During 3rd Qtr of 2004; Electronic Room Nights Up 10% for European Hotels / December 2004

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