McCain Loses Election, Biltmore Wins Publicity

Although Sen. John McCain lost this year's presidential election, the hotel where he delivered his concession speech, The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, no doubt won some valuable exposure, as a record-setting 70 million-plus viewers watched election returns Tuesday night, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The Arizona Biltmore, which served as McCain Election Night headquarters, has hosted every president since Herbert Hoover. Prior to Election Night, the hotel was expected to host 60 media trucks and more than 2,500 local guests, according to The Arizona Republic, which reported on Tuesday that more than 90 percent of the hotel's 739 rooms were booked by reporters, campaign officials, Secret Service officers and other VIPs.

"There's the potential of having our name put out to all these countries," Biltmore General Manager Andrew Stegen told the Republic prior to Election Night, citing media reports from reporters who began filing stories there last weekend from within the resort's two ballrooms—the 24,576-square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom and the 15,159-square-foot McArthur Ballroom—and outside of its 30,000-square-foot conference center. "That's obviously huge exposure."

McCain, who was married at the Biltmore in 1980, watched Tuesday night's election returns from his home base inside the hotel's 1,157-square-foot Goldwater presidential suite. At approximately 11:15 p.m. EST, he delivered his concession speech in front of supporters on the resort's famed Squaw Peak Lawn—exposing the hotel, his backdrop, to thousands of at-home viewers.

President-Elect Barack Obama, Tuesday night's victor, delivered his acceptance speech less than an hour later, at 12 a.m. EST, from Chicago's Grant Park, another events venue that enjoyed a large boost in free publicity during Tuesday night's widespread election coverage. In fact, Chicago is currently in the process of bidding for the privilege of hosting the world's ultimate "special event"—the 2016 Olympic Games—and Tuesday night's coverage was widely expected to showcase the city as a viable and vibrant venue.

"In the bidding war for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago's hand just got hotter," reported The Chicago Tribune, which also observed, "The Land of Lincoln will enjoy another 'presidential halo effect' on its tourism industry."