Holiday Inn Oceanside invites Cubs fan

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POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- A hotel here has extended an invitation of sorts to the fan who diverted that fateful foul ball before Chicago Cubs left fielder Moises Alou could catch it during the National League Championship sixth game and set in motion a meltdown that helped the Florida Marlins ultimately beat the Cubs, gain the division title and a ticket to baseball's World Series.

The Holiday Inn Oceanside Pompano Beach said the fan, since identified as Steve Bartman, could take a free, three-month vacation at the property.

"An oceanfront retreat in sunny South Florida is the least we could do for the fan that saved our season," said Phil Goldfarb, president of the Holiday Inn Pompano Beach. "As dedicated Marlins fans, it is our honor to return the favor."

The vacation would include accommodations, free air fare via Spirit Airlines, a dinner at Dan Marino's Restaurant, martinis at the Martini Bar and a water taxi ride on the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway, Goldfarb said.

All the fan he has to do is call the hotel's public relations firm, Malkus Communications Group, which is providing the air fare, at (954) 523-4200. The offer is valid immediately, the hotel said.

"Certainly this is a tragic event for the Cubs fan and he probably needs an escape, so our PR firm will pay his airline ticket and most of his getaway to South Florida will be taken care of by local businesses," said Chuck Malkus, CEO of Malkus Communications Group.

The Chicago Cubs, who have been shut out from the World Series for 58 years, seemed to be within striking distance of beating the Florida Marlins during game six of the National League Championship in Chicago Oct. 14. Bartman, a Chicago Cubs fan tried to catch a foul ball before Alou could get his glove around it.

It became the turning point that set in motion several mishaps that helped the Marlins to win the game and force game 7, where the Cubs, who were initially leading the series three games to one, were defeated 9-6.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

The Atlantic condo sweetens the pot

By Kimberly Scholz

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- In addition to the stay at the Holiday Inn Oceanside Pompano Beach already offering a three-month stay to Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who attempted to catch a foul ball during game six of the National League Championship Series, offers continue to come in from other area businesses to sweeten the pot for Bartman.

The Atlantic condominium complex, a five-star condo-hotel under construction here, is offering Bartman the use of a $400,000 unit for three months. The property is expected to be completed by spring 2004. If Bartman can handle the stress until then, he can string together a six-month vacation in South-Florida -- paid for out of the pockets by Florida Marlins' fans.

While in town, Bartman also can enjoy a dinner at LuLu's Bait Shack, martinis at the Martini Bar and a water taxi ride on the Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway. Air fare is via Spirit Airlines.

"I consider this guy a hero," said Daniel J. Melk, developer of The Atlantic. "To show our appreciation, we'd like to extend his visit to South Florida to include a three-month stay at a five-star luxury condominium hotel where he can relax and escape the chills of Chicago."

But Marlins fans just might want to wait until the World Series is over until Bartman makes his way down to Florida. Who knows? The "Cubbies curse" might follow him down and jinx the Marlins, too.

To contact reporter Kimberly Scholz, send e-mail to [email protected].

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