Manchester native's website smokes out hotel rooms
Manchester native Shawn Bradley recently launched smoketels.com, a website that helps smokers book hotels that allow them to light up. (COURTESY)
Smoketels.com claims its viewers have instant access to more than 100,000 hotels worldwide — and 250,000 hotel rooms.
Since he launched his site Feb. 2, the 1995 Central High grad has recouped his initial $25,000 investment.
The fan of Marlboro Lights said he founded the site after he became frustrated with hotel booking sites that "don't make it easy to follow."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 42.1 million adult smokers in the United States in 2012 or 18.1 percent of all U.S. adults.
Bradley, who founded the company Smoketel LLC last November, estimated about a dozen New Hampshire hotels can be found on his site.
The Super 8 Manchester Airport on Brown Avenue is one of three Manchester hotels listed on the smoketels.com website.
Kathleen Kemp, that hotel's front office manager, hadn't heard of smoketels.com and said finding smoking rooms is not difficult.
She said her hotel has 25 of 93 rooms classified as smoking rooms.
"Ours are very popular, and that's why we haven't done away with them," she said, saying construction workers often stay there.
Bradley, who visited Manchester family members during last Christmas, said his company has access to a giant global network of hotel rooms, and "we only extract smoking inventory into our site."
He declined to say how many rooms he books a day or what percentage of each room's rate he keeps.
The site has scored attention in national media, including a light-hearted look by the Conde Nast Traveler website.
Bradley said the site has received more than 700,000 hits in its first month. A 30-second commercial is running on YouTube.
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