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Gummies to cocktails, hotels offer perks for Election Night

NBC News logo NBC News 10/27/2020 Harriet Baskas

Election Day, and perhaps the days and weeks to follow, may be especially tense this year for a myriad of reasons. To help ease the stress but still mark the day, some hotels and restaurants are offering discounts and perks for overnight guests and complimentary cocktails for those who have proof that they have voted.

Some hotels, and at least one museum, are even turning their lobbies and rooftops into polling stations.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a museum year-round. But at election time, the home of the 23rd president becomes a voting site.

During an Election Day tour, visitors can see historical voting machines and learn about the history of the voting process in the “Protect the Vote” exhibit while actors portraying the Harrison family await results from the 1888 election.

Some hotels around the country are turning ballrooms, rooftops and other large spaces into polling places where citizens can cast a vote or drop off a mailed ballot — all with adequate social distance.

In California, the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood is serving as an early voting and vote-by-mail ballot drop-off location from Friday through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The dining space on the outdoor rooftop is being refitted with voting booths so voters will have fresh air, social distance and great views.

“Working in conjunction with L.A. County, we will follow all Covid-19 protocols, including distancing the polling machines and sanitizing each one following use,” the hotel's general manager, Nick Rimedio, told NBC News.

Guests who vote on-site will receive a 15 percent discount on special menu items, including sliders adorned with American flags and a "Bubbly Pilgrim" cocktail. In the lobby, the hotel’s resident artist will be working on a new Election Day inspired mural.

The historic Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles, which was funded by women in 1926 and served as a YWCA women’s hostel in its early years, will serve as an official polling place from Friday to Tuesday, with voting booths set up in the hotel’s Gran Sala event space.

In Texas, from now through Election Day, the Line Austin hotel is offering a $1 cocktail, beer or wine for visitors who show proof of voting.

In Denver, from now through Nov. 3, a red, white and blue "Rock the Vote" cocktail will be complimentary to guests who sport their "I Voted" sticker and purchase a menu item at Local Jones restaurant in Cherry Creek.

In Houston, Hugo’s, Caracol and Xochi restaurants will be treating voters who wear their “I Voted!” sticker to a complimentary red, white or blue margarita.

Vote cookies available from Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery. (Courtesy Bayou Bakery) © Provided by NBC News Vote cookies available from Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery. (Courtesy Bayou Bakery)

The Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, in Arlington, Virginia, will have two special candidate-themed sandwiches on the menu Nov. 2 and 3: a catfish filet for fans of President Donald Trump and a sliced roasted turkey sandwich for former Vice President Joe Biden. Each sandwich will come with a complimentary “Vote” sugar cookie with red, white, and blue icing.

The Hoxton hotel in Portland, Oregon, will be hosting a political trivia night on Nov. 3, with an evening-long happy hour and comfort-food snack fest. For those anticipating a late night or who just want to stay in bed until the election results are tallied, the hotel is offering 30 percent off rooms.

The Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, is offering a “Not at a Crossroads” package on Nov. 3 to guests who show proof of voting. Perks for overnight guests include CBD gummies, "Painkiller" cocktails and a variety of candies and snacks.

In Washington, D.C., guests at the Kimpton George Hotel who show an “I Voted” sticker or an early voting equivalent will receive a treat in the form of a gift, an upgrade or a late checkout. Guests can also enjoy a glass of bubbly during "Wine Hour," or some whiskey from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home.

At the historic Smithton Inn in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, the Election Day special rate includes a complimentary bottle of wine for guests who show proof of voting, and on-site yoga on Nov. 4 “to help you find some inner peace no matter what the outcome” — as well as the option to extend the stay to Wednesday night for $20.20.

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