Hotels pump up savings with fuel-friendly deals

With gas prices in some part of the country tipping $4 a gallon, it’s no wonder some people think they have to fill the backyard pool and stay home barbecuing all summer. But think again.

Top-name hotels like Comfort Inns, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites, Hyatt, Quality Inn & Suites, and Radisson are among some hotel chains offering packages which include free gas cards to guests.

With a tankful of packages named Fuel-Friendly Deals, Fuel Fun, Re-Fuel and Re-Energize, Gas It Up and Park to lure families to the road and take the edge off filling up the tank, they hope to lure people fretting over high fuel costs out on the roads again.

Gas-spree deals were first sighted in Spokane, Washington where gas prices in April spiked to $4.20 a gallon.  Rates have dropped slightly since then.  Luxury-rated Northern Quest Resort & Casino was the first to offer a $50 Chevron gas card with each booking. If that’s not enough to get you there, the property is also offering a $20 food credit and a 20 percent discount at La Rive Spa this summer at the only tribally-owned AAA Four Diamond resort in the Inland Northwest.

In the region of Colorado Springs, dozens of business are participating in the "Tank Full of Summer Savings" to help ease the pain at the pump, including major attractions such as Noah’s Ark white water rafting and dining spots like Colorado Springs Food Tours.

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Offers range from full tanks with breakfast to gas cards worth $20, $30 and $50. Once again the recipient of the coveted and prestigious "The Best of the West and Rockies Award," a title St. Mary's Inn had held onto each year since 2008 by, is offering guests $25 when staying two nights or more.

Mention “Fuel Friendly Deals at Colorado Vertical Helicopter Tours for a10 percent discount on your flight above Pike’s Peak, the Garden of the Gods or the Royal Gorge. (For more information call 719-648-5580.)

Florida’s Sanibel Harbor Resort Hotel on Sanibel Island has an incentive that covers a gas credit of $50 with each night’s stay plus a rental car and family-fun amenities. Ask for promotional code ZJL when you call 800-228-9290.

Loews Hotels in Annapolis, Atlanta, and Nashville are offering the  "Go Green, Save Green" package featuring complimentary overnight parking and a free electric charge for guests’ electric vehicles.

Book Chicago’s luxury Amalfi Hotel’s re-Fuel and re-Energize package for a $50 BP gift card for visitors close to the city’s icons like Millennium Park, Wrigley Field or the Magnificent Mile.

For price sensitive travelers who want to stay in the same neighborhood, consider Essex Inn’s Park, Stay & Play. Book a two-night stay July 1 through September 3, 2012 and get a $25 gas card, free hotel parking and two free John Hancock Observatory tickets. It’s their way of saying “tanks for your stay.”

Still craving a literal taste of Chicago? Take a short walk to Grant Park, the venue for the Taste of Chicago five-day food fest, from July 11-15. Featuring for the first time this year, a gourmet-tasting tent starring celebrity chefs from Top Chef, Iron Chef and Master Chef such as Stephanie Izard, Tony Mantuano and Graham Elliot, not to mention live performances with Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Death Cab for Cutie and Dierks Bentley.

Later in the summer Lollapalooza returns August 3-5 with live music and local eats, or stop in for the 54th annual Chicago Air and Water Show rocks the lakefront August18-19, the largest free show of its kind in the United States.

Headed to the Big Apple this summer?  Anxious to show off its $21 million renovations, the Historic Warwick New York Hotel is luring guests with the Gas It Up and Park Package, a gas card and complimentary parking pass. The Midtown luxury property built by William Randolph Hearst, reportedly for his love Marion Davies, hosted glamorous Hollywood celebrities in the 1920s and ‘30s is just around the corner from The Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center.

With these deals, it's worth it to gas up and hit the road.