Hotel’s deal: Free parking if you write a nice letter to the newspaper

The staff at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise thought it was odd that they were getting so many letters from people thanking the manager of the Hotel Saranac for letting them park in his lot for free.

“We were even getting letters from people we knew didn’t like him,” says Enterprise managing editor Peter Crowley, who also handles the letters section, “among other things.”

“We generally try to publish every letter we get,” so all of the thank-you notes have run in the 4,000-circulation, six-days-a-week paper.

While working this week on a story about a Craigslist ad for the hotel being pulled, Enterprise reporter Chris Knight found out what was going on: Hotel manager Sewa Arora was trading free parking for thank-you letters to the paper.

Arora admitted to the Enterprise Tuesday that he’s requiring people who ask to use his parking lot to send letters to the newspaper, thanking him for the favor. …

“I want that good deeds should be mentioned, but they’re not mentioning it, so I’m saying yes, you do that,” Arora said, of requiring users of his parking lot to submit thank-you letters. “I want people to know what we are doing for the community. They don’t appreciate it.”

I asked Crowley how many thank-you letters he’s published over the years. He initially estimated 10, then revised that to five and added, “One is running tomorrow.”

Yes, he says, he’ll keep publishing them.

* Ad for Hotel Saranac pulled from Craigslist, letters deal revealed (
* Hotel Saranac owner should be appreciated (