Wanted: “Lost Landmarks” Hampton urges public to play detective
June 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsMEMPHIS, Tenn., June 01, 2007—Dorothy’s ruby slippers are listed as missing, Elvis’ first guitar also lost. Hampton Hotels have announced the launch of “Lost Landmarks,” an interactive program which calls on self-proclaimed sleuths to help investigate some of today’s most mysterious pop-culture disappearances. The Lost Landmarks launch is part of the complete redesign of the Hampton Landmarks site and aims to track down these – and other – famous artifacts from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America that have seemingly vanished into thin air.
The Lost Landmarks site briefs visitors with pertinent background information and photos of the elusive items. Then, functioning conveniently as an online forum, it enables curious visitors to submit new found clues or leads of where to look next. Some of the most boggling disappearances the public is invited to investigate include:
- Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers: After appearing in the colorful classic, The Wizard of Oz, these “magic” shoes, deemed the most valuable piece of Hollywood memorabilia, traveled around the country to raise funds for various children’s charities. In August 2005, they vanished while on display at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.
- The Brady Bunch Tiki Statue: Perhaps one of the most well-known props in TV history, the infamous tiki brought serious bad luck to the Brady family on their Hawaiian vacation. After the episodes called a wrap, the tiki reportedly changed hands several times, and its current whereabouts are unknown.
- Elvis’ First Guitar: The guitar that launched “The King’s” career was originally purchased in 1946 by his mother, Gladys Love Smith, from a local Hardware store in Tupelo, Miss. The guitar was last seen in 2005 after going up for auction in Tampa, Fla.
- Marilyn Monroe’s White Dress: The unforgettable dress, which flirtatiously billowed up over a New York subway grate in The Seven Year Itch – and defined the phrase, “Ooo-la-la” – disappeared while in the possession of Debbie Reynolds, who was to include it as part of her museum.
“We invite everyone from the somewhat curious to the expert artifact hunter to visit hamptonlandmarks.com and investigate these great pop-culture mysteries,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of marketing for Hampton Hotels. “These beloved pieces of pop culture have gone missing, unbeknownst to many people. We’re hoping with the online help of industrious fans, we can bring these Lost Landmarks back to where they belong and help preserve them for future generations.”
Lost Landmarks was created with the assistance of author and pop-culture historian Chris Epting. The site features photos and excerpts from Epting’s recent book, The Ruby Slippers, Madonna’s Bra, and Einstein’s Brain, which is in bookstores now.
In addition, the site contains information on hundreds of “hidden” landmarks, more than 30 of which have been restored as part of the Hampton Save-A-Landmark program. Receiving a refurbishment of its own, the redesigned Hamptonlandmarks.com now includes more fascinating factoids than ever and new search capabilities for local landmarks. With fields that allow visitors to sort by country, state, city and zip code, as well as landmark genre, finding fun and quirky roadside attractions has never been easier.
About Hampton Hotels
Hampton, which includes Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, is a mid-priced leader in the lodging segment. Hampton is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, a leading global hospitality company with more than 2,900 hotels and 500,000 rooms in more than 78 countries, including 105,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection.