NEW YORK HOTEL BUSINESS. has learned as part of the welcome home celebration for the 24-member crew of the U.S. spy plane held for 11 days in China, Texas billionaire Ross Perot put a call in to Best Western International (BWI) president/CEO Jim Evans Wednesday, April 11, asking BWI s help in hosting the families of the returning flight crew.
Evans agreed and contacted Marsha Chatman, general manager of the 80-room Best Western Harbor Plaza, in Oak Harbor, WA, a short distance from the crew s home base at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
Sixteen families called the hotel home for four nights, where members of the national press interviewed them. In fact, Douglas “Ozzie” Osborn, father of designated hero pilot Lt. Shane Osborn, paid a visit to the Best Western to watch his son give an interview on national television.
“We were delighted to share in this homecoming and play a small part in this very special family reunion,” said Evans. BWI picked up the tab for the families stay.
The families are expected to check out tomorrow, Tuesday, April 17. (4/16/01) Stefani C. O Connor