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Yosemite businesses prep for a royal visit?

By MOLLY TOWNSEND
The Union Democrat

    Some Tuolumne County businesses are rolling out the red carpet for their common guests in an effort to build on excitement over a possible Yosemite visit by Prince William and Kate Middleton.
    Peggy Mosley, owner of the Groveland Hotel on Highway 120, said her hotel will be offering a royal-themed package for couples and honeymooners through the month of July, riffing on the possible visit.
    The “Royal Romantic Retreat” will include a night in an elegant suite, plus champagne and strawberries, chocolates, a bubble bath package for an in-room spa tub, and $50 dinner voucher for a total of $499.
       An in-room dinner and breakfast with mimosas will also be served, Mosley said.
    For more information or reservations visit www.groveland.com or call (800) 273-3314.
    The Hotel Charlotte on Main Street, Groveland, plans to offer a complimentary “royal dessert” — a decadent chocolate brownie served with ice cream and whipped cream for guests July 6-13, said owner Lynn Upthagrove.
    Upthagrove’s guess is that William and Kate won’t be passing through Groveland, and no advance notice would be given if they did.
    But on the off-chance, they would receive a royal welcome, she said.
    “Anytime royalty comes to California it’s a big business.”
    Prince and princess are rumored to be making a stop at Yosemite between July 8 and 10 as part of a California stop that will include a visit to Los Angeles friend and soccer great David Beckham.
    St. James Palace Press Office in London has not released an itinerary yet. Nonetheless, many south county merchants speculate the royal couple will stay at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.
    Some celebrity news publications have put the couple’s staying in the hotel’s sixth-floor Mary Curry Tresidder Suite, where Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip stayed during her 1983 visit to the park.
    “I would say they are going to secure the Ahwahnee Hotel, and we’ll probably never know until after it happens,” said Kristy Brower, administrator with the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce in Groveland.
    Brower doubts, however, that they would be passing through Groveland en route to Yosemite if that were the case.
    As of yet, no reservations have been made for the duo, nor have any royal-themed deals been set for the Ahwahnee, said Lisa Cesaro, spokeswoman for DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the hotel’s operator.


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