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Big duck bringing flock of 'quackages' to Pittsburgh

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A giant 40 foot-tall Rubber Duck is pulled up the Ohio River near the West End Bridge, Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The four-story high Rubber Duck floats up the Ohio River before its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The three-story-wide Rubber Duck floats up the Allegheny River as it makes its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The Rubber Duck produced makes a tight fit beneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge as it makes its way up the Allegheny River on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
The Rubber Duck is pulled up the Ohio River near the West End Bridge, Friday Sept. 27, 2013. The duck is the creation of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman and kicks off the American debut of his Rubber Duck Project and the start of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Susan Eperthener of Bethel Park (left) and Stephanie McElheny of the North Shore, wait with their duck hats the Rubber Duck being pulled up the Ohio River toward the North Shore, Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Hugo Robbibaro and his daughter, Ruby, 8, of Brighton Heights get a good vantage point on the West End Bridge to watch the Rubber Duck head up the Ohio River on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
The Rubber Duck is pulled up the Ohio River near the West End Bridge, Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The three-story-wide Rubber Duck floats up the Ohio River before its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Zara Hickman, 26, of Denver waits for the 40-foot-tall Rubber Duck with her own rubber duck, 'Chuck' on the North Shore, Friday Sept. 27, 2013. Hickman traveled to Pittsburgh to see the duck.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman watches his creation, the 40-foot-tall Rubber Duck as it makes its way up the Allegheny River to the North Shore for its debut in America, Friday Sept. 27, 2013.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A man walks down the main cable of the Clemente Bridge during an event featuring a giant 4- foot-tall Rubber Duck being pulled up the Allegheny River near the North Shore, Friday. It was unclear what the man was doing on the bridge, but officials said he was not part of the entertainment.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The Rubber Duck produced by a Dutch artist floats up the Ohio River before its arrival in Pittsburgh on Friday Sept. 27, 2013.

A visit from a four-story Rubber Duck is a tourism opportunity that does not happen every day, says Connie George, vice president of communications for VisitPittsburgh.

“We're getting calls every day about the duck,” she says, explaining the strategy at getting area hotels to offer packages centered on the appearance of the Rubber Duck Project during the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

The special “quackages,” will bring a newer, more leisurely attitude to the Omni William Penn, says Bob Page, director of marketing for the Downtown hotel, which has a fairly strong business trade through the work week.

“It gives people one more reason to come into the city,” he says.

The Omni changes from a business attitude to a more casual one at the end of every week, he says, and the Rubber Duck visit will provide yet another reason for family stays.

“There is just so much fun to the duck's first visit to North America,”says Julie Abramovic, public relations manager of the Fairmont Pittsburgh, Downtown, is difficult “not to get behind it.”

National and international news coverage does not hurt either, she says.

“We are so very grateful to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for bringing the Rubber Duck Project to Pittsburgh,” says Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh. “Our partners are very excited about it.”

Here are some overnight quackages to look for:

Embassy Suites: The Lucky Duck Package at the Coraopolis location includes accommodations in a True Two-Room Suites, complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and complimentary two-hour reception. Upon arrival, you'll receive a miniature rubber duck that will reveal a prize, ranging from bonus Hilton Honor Points to dinner, dessert or a complimentary night's stay at the hotel. And, take your $10 in Free Slot Play to Rivers Casino on your way to view the Rubber Duck Project. Don't miss the 4-foot-by-5-foot rubber duck floating in the Embassy Suites' Koi Pond. Details: embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/offers/index.htm

Fairmont Pittsburgh: Guests staying at Fairmont Pittsburgh the weekend of Sept. 27 to 29 can make a donation of their choice to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and then choose a rubber duck from the lobby display. Prizes include drinks in Andys, a 30-minute massage and an appetizer at Habitat. One lucky duck will win a one-night stay. Everyone walks away with a rubber ducky. Details: www.fairmont.com/pittsburgh

Holiday Inn Express Waterfront: The Quack Package offers 20 percent off the regular room rate. Details: 412-205-3904

Omni William Penn Hotel: The Quack Package includes deluxe accommodations, breakfast for two, Cheese & Quackers' Amenity, Rubber Duck souvenir and a map to the Rubber Duck Project. Stay another night and receive 25 percent off the second night. Details: www.omnihotels.com

Priory Hotel: The Quacktastic Special! runs Sundays to Thursdays through Oct. 20. Book a queen room for $109 and a king room for $129. Details: www.thepriory.com

Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown: The special quackage includes a “Duck-view” room, breakfast buffet for two, two tickets for a Just Ducky tour and a duck souvenir. Details: 877-999-3223 or www.wyndhamgrandpittsburgh.com

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320--7852.

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