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Just cross the Waibaidu Bridge to get to the Hyatt

PRIZES dropped out of the sky last Friday when Hyatt on the Bund celebrated the return of the Waibaidu Bridge.

With the help of 500 of its chefs decked out in full regalia, the high-end hotel released 2,000 balloons from the bridge, each containing gift certificate prizes at the hotel.

Its "Million Wishes" promotion gave away more than 1 million yuan (US$146,448) worth of prizes, and some lucky winners rushed to the hotel to claim their prizes just minutes after the balloons were released.

The Waibaidu Bridge crosses Suzhou Creek, connecting Huangpu and Hongkou districts where the river flows into the Huangpu River.

In March 2008, as part of extensive road reconfiguration along the Bund, sections of the bridge were moved by boat into a shipyard for extensive restoration.

The restored bridge was reopened to pedestrians on April 8 and was opened to vehicular traffic three days later.

On hand to mark Friday's event was the hotel Resident Manager Peter Hildebrand who said the return of the bridge was a boost because it was an important access point to the hotel.

"This event was to celebrate the return of the bridge, but really the bridge is so important to us because people know, if they are on the Bund, to cross that little bridge to get to us," he says.

Hildebrand says the reconfigured road network at the Bund would improve access to the hotel.

"It is a great bridge and has a wonderful history but for us its return is a sign of good things to come, which is the new roads and infrastructure around that area," he says.

The prizes included 200 Peking duck meals at the Xindalu-China Kitchen and 40 weekend stays at the hotel's river-view rooms.

Other winners received spa treatments, 750-yuan vouchers to the hotel's hair salon and one of 200 monthly memberships to the fitness center.


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