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Classy Clearance Sale Gives Public Chance to Own Piece of Plaza Hotel;
Dinner Plates with Plaza Crest - $35 each

By Marissa Widdison, Daily News, New York
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

May 17, 2005 - History buffs and Eloise lovers can buy a piece of The Plaza starting Friday -- with pillows that cradled the heads of the rich and famous selling for the bargain-basement rate of $6.

Plates bearing a Plaza crest will set you back $35. The stylish bellhop's uniforms are $100.

And the king-size beds that once filled the ritzy rooms of the temporarily closed landmark are tagged at $750.

"These pieces have graced the guest rooms for years," said Plaza rep Lisa Linden, who is helping run the glam garage sale.

"Now we're hoping to give them a new life."

The hotel shut its doors April 30 for a two-year, $350 million makeover that will convert the storied building into a mix of 350 hotel rooms and 150 high-priced condos.

The sale starts Friday at 10 a.m. It costs $10 to get in the door.

Wanna buy the door itself? That will take $250.

"Shopping is shopping. But shopping at The Plaza for something from The Plaza? That's once-in-a-lifetime!" gushed Gayle Rievre, 28, of Manhattan, who plans to hit the classy clearance sale this weekend.

The liquidation has temporarily transformed several of the larger Plaza rooms into a virtual farmers' market of tony trinkets and leftover luxuries.

Tables in the Grand Ballroom are covered with kitchenware.

In the Baroque Foyer, pillows are heaped next to a "$6 each" sign.

National Content Liquidators Inc. set the prices "based on our past experience doing this sort of thing in New York City," said Michael Lunsford, the company's president.

"There are tens of thousands of items here," said Linden, who predicts they'll be wiped out by the Fourth of July. "Big things, little things. Both elegant items and more everyday ones."


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