Cheap sleeps: Check out what's new at budget hotels
Microtel chief Roy Flora was on a plane when he got the idea: Select a guest when visiting his lodgings and reward chosen ones with a free stay. "I've done it about 50 times," he says. "I look for someone who may be on a restricted budget (perhaps using an AARP card or notably rate-conscious) and I say, 'Put away your credit card and cash. It's on my bill.' " One couple in their 70s "looked at each other and started to cry," he recalls. They had brought a granddaughter to Atlanta for spinal surgery and were on a tight budget.