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A First-Hand Account Of A Wonderful 'Whirl' Through The City

On Thursday, June 17th, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association and SEPTA hosted the third annual event, "Wonderful Whirl Through Philly". The goal of the event is to familiarize hospitality personnel with venues they may want to recommend to their guests and to also familiarize them with the convenience of SEPTA and the Independence Pass, which is ideal for visitors to the city.

Forty-five participants representing nine hotels and SEPTA formed seven teams who competed in a day-long scavenger hunt. Susan Dannenberg from SEPTA's Customer Service and Advocacy Division participated and reported back to us at 1234 Market Street. Dannenberg's teammates included employees of Holiday Inn Express, Marriott Courtyard, and Omni hotels. Her comments appear below:

We started our day in the lower level lobby of SEPTA's headquarters at 1234 Market Street. Participants received Independence passes to gain access to the SEPTA system for the day. Name badges with colored lanyards designated the seven teams. Each team had representatives from several hotels and SEPTA. After a SEPTA sponsored breakfast of coffee, tea, juice and assorted pastries the teams received their first clue and were off and running.

The black team took the Market-Frankford Line to Second Street and walked from there to the museum, taking in the sparkling sunlight off the Delaware River on this picture-perfect day.

Our first clue led us to the Independence Seaport Museum, where we answered many questions regarding the exhibits. Bonus questions led us to explore the Olympia ship and the Bacuna submarine. Once all the questions were answered (except the one we could not find despite the seven team members best efforts) we took a picture of the team in from of the museum and received our next clue.

Other sites visited included: The Walnut Street Theatre, Reading Terminal Market, Campos Cheesteaks, a tour on the Market-Frankford Line of the mural arts program's Love Letter murals, Fork, Franklin Square for nine holes of mini-golf, Three Sirens, More Than Old, Iron Works Gym, and DiNardo's. Our team found the hospitality at DiNardo's too enticing and with time running short we were unable to make it to the final sites: Betsy Ross House, Independence Visitors Center, Panorama, Viv Pickle and Hanana and Posy.

All the teams reconvened at The Plough & The Stars pub on South Second Street, where Suzanne Geyer, Associate Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association MC'd the closing events including announcing the first, second and third place winners of the scavenger hunt and winners of the raffle prizes. The participants enjoyed light fare courtesy of The Plough and The Stars and a much needed rest. Shortly before 5 p.m., many participants headed to Market Street, hopped on the Market-Frankford Line for one last trip back to Market East and headed home to put their tired feet up.

A whirl through Reading Terminal Market.

Mini-golf at Franklin Square.

A break in the action.