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MARRIOTT ADDS A SPLASH TO SOUTHWEST SUMMER VACATION PLANS FOR A DROP IN THE BUCKET

 DALLAS, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Families wondering where to go or what to do this summer should take a look at the playground of the mighty Southwest. Marriott Hotels not only offer easy accessibility to a variety of family-oriented attractions in the Southwest, but their savings packages provide accommodations at a fraction of the regular price. For example, with the introduction of Marriott's new "Family Room" value rates, families can save up to 55 percent off the regular rate at participating hotels.
 As part of the "Family Room" package, kids stay free, kids 10 and younger eat free, and the whole family has more time for fun with a 3 p.m. late checkout. "Family Room" rates are available June 18 through Sept. 6 and start as low as $49 per night. Non-refundable reservations must be made by credit card 21 days in advance. Marriott will donate $1 to Children's Miracle Network hospitals for each "Family Room" night sold.
 "With locations in virtually every major city in the Southwest, plus Marriott's consistent quality, friendly service, and now our new Family Room' value rates, Marriott has something for everyone -- mom, dad and the kids," said Ann Boyce, regional director of field marketing for Marriott Southern Region Hotels.
 In touring the Southwest, families should consider the Dallas/Fort Worth area with a choice of five Marriott hotels, each with a swimming pool and family restaurant. Kids and parents can enjoy the Six Flags amusement park, Texas Rangers professional baseball and an outstanding selection of upscale shopping centers, including the Dallas Galleria.
 In Houston, families can have an "out-of-this-world" experience at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), enjoy thrilling rides at the Astroworld amusement park and see the Houston Astros professional baseball team play at the Astrodome. The city of Houston features seven Marriott hotels, all offering deluxe accommodations and indoor/outdoor swimming pools.
 For the adventurous traveler, Texas' state capital, Austin, is a perfect destination. From Barton Springs to the hill country, Austin is the home base for countless outdoor adventures, including swimming at Aquarena Springs and water skiing at many of Texas' deepest, clearest lakes. The Austin Marriott is situated on a scenic hillside in downtown Austin, a short drive from these outdoor activities and within walking distance of the Capitol and the Governor's Mansion.
 If the beach is your family's favorite vacation spot, the Corpus Christi Marriott can accommodate your needs. Located in downtown Corpus Christi, the hotel overlooks Corpus Christi Bay where families can rent jet skis and other recreational equipment. For nighttime activity, the hotel features a multi-level rooftop restaurant as well as comedians performing live at the High Tide Comedy Club.
 In addition to outdoor activities, the Southwest offers interesting history and folklore to discover. In El Paso, families can enjoy rich culture when visiting the nearby city of Juarez, Mexico, just nine miles from the El Paso Marriott. The hotel is also convenient to the Tiqua Indian Reservation and Old Mission Trails.
 In Albuquerque, visitors can browse through Old Town Plaza, known as the heart of the city's heritage and featuring more than 100 restaurants, shops and boutiques. Kids will enjoy the fascinating adobe architecture, and parents will treasure the Southwestern art and crafts. After a long day of sight-seeing, families can relax and have fun in the Albuquerque Marriott's indoor/outdoor pool, health club, saunas and game room.
 Just north of Texas, families can visit the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Remington Park thoroughbred horse racing track in one of the world's largest cities, Oklahoma City, stretching 621 square miles. Widely recognized as the city's finest hotel, the Oklahoma City Marriott has beautifully appointed guest rooms, outstanding restaurants and Russell's Lounge, one of the city's most popular night spots.
 Not far from Oklahoma City, travelers can take a step back in time when visiting Tulsa's most exciting musical themepark, Discoveryland! Featuring a nightly, outdoor-amphitheatre performance of Rodger's and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!," the park is equipped with an authentic Plains Indian village and trading post. The Tulsa Marriott is located only 10 miles from Discoveryland!, near museums, the Woodland Hills Mall and Oral Roberts University.
 If authentic culture and cuisine sounds appetizing, families should try the creole cooking in New Orleans. The fun begins with paddleboat river rides, horse and buggy tours, swamp explorations, plantation tours and the Aquarium of the Americas. The New Orleans Marriott is located in the French Quarter, within walking distance of many of the city's most popular tourist attractions.
 For country music fans, families might consider a trip to Nashville, home of the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland USA and the General Jackson Showboat. Located just eight minutes from these attractions, the Nashville Marriott features two lighted tennis courts, a volleyball court, a basketball hoop and an indoor/outdoor swimming pool for energetic family members.
 "We've designed our summer Family Room' program so that families can soak up the Southwest sun without burning a hole in their pocket," explains Boyce. "And, for those couples who want to get away for a quick vacation, Marriott's Two For Breakfast' weekend program is still available with low rates, plus breakfast."
 On average, "Two For Breakfast" rates offer a 25 percent savings this summer, with rooms starting as low as $69. Rates vary by hotel, include a complimentary breakfast for two and are available Thursday through Sunday nights.
 In addition to Marriott's "Family Room" and "Two For Breakfast" rates, several hotels offer individual summer specials. For example, families who want to enjoy two of Texas' major attractions should plan to visit San Antonio, home of Sea World of Texas and Fiesta Texas themepark. The "Ride the River" package at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk hotels offers accommodations as low as $89, Sunday through Thursday. Come during the week for the easiest availability and stay long enough to see The Alamo, stroll along the Riverwalk and shop at the Rivercenter shopping complex. Both Marriotts are located on the river for a spectacular view.
 Another hotel special is the Houston Marriott Astrodome's "Funnest Summer Ever" package, where kids are welcomed at a "Kid's Check-In" area and the whole family enjoys a poolside barbecue. Rates are as low as $69 through Labor Day, and the hotel is five minutes from whirlwind fun at Astroworld.
 To make hotel reservations for any of Marriott's summer specials, call the hotel of choice, your travel agent, or call toll-free 1-800-228-9290. Some blackout dates and important restrictions apply.
 -0- 6/18/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A list of participating Southern Region Marriott Hotels and rates is available. Photos available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Michele McMahon, 214-830-2645, or Jill Janicki, 214-830-2659, both of Temerlin McClain Public Relations/


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SM -- NYFNS1 -- 3389 06/18/93 07:32 EDT
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