Jimmy Kimmel Oscar gag gives boost to Arizona holiday resort

Mark Bridges and Dame Helen Mirren on a jet ski at the OscarsImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Mark Bridges ended up on the jet ski, with Dame Helen Mirren

Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscar night hosting duties have resulted in an unintended boost for an Arizona holiday resort.

Kimmel mentioned Lake Havasu as part of a gag to encourage Oscar winners to keep their speeches short.

He offered the winner with the shortest speech a free jet ski, and then added two nights’ accommodation at the Lake Havasu Days Inn to “sweeten the pot”.

The hotel then offered any nominees who didn’t take home an Oscar a free night’s stay at the location.

“We think you’re all winners,” the official Days Inn account tweeted.

A representative of the Lake Havasu hotel told The Wrap that Kimmel’s Oscar night mention had come as a surprise and that it had since received “an insane amount of calls”.

The spokesman said the hotel had received in the region of 50 to 75 additional calls following the “cool publicity.”

Google recorded a surge in searches for Lake Havasu after Kimmel mentioned the resort during the telecast.

Image copyright Google

Mark Bridges, who received the Oscar for best costume design for Phantom Thread, picked up the jet ski and promise of a trip after his acceptance speech lasted just 36 seconds.

“Can you believe it?” Bridges exclaimed after the ceremony. “I came for an Oscar and went home with a jet ski.

“You just never know where life is going to take you.”

The costume designer added he didn’t yet know how he would transport the jet ski home saying: “Tomorrow’s another day, we’ll figure that out.”

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Media captionMike Bridges was magnanimous at BOTH his night’s wins

Lake Havasu Visitor Center told TMZ they would even extend Bridges’ stay to an all-expenses paid trip, provided he spoke to local colleges during his visit.

Some thought Kimmel was poking fun at the town, a popular destination during America’s “Spring Break”, which labels itself “Arizona’s Playground”.

Among the attractions Bridges, and any of the other Oscar nominees, could see at the Arizona holiday resort is London Bridge, which was dismantled and relocated to the city in 1971.

Lake Havasu City founder and entrepreneur Robert P McCulloch placed the winning bid of $2.46m (£1.78m) for the concrete structure, after the bridge had started to sink in the River Thames.

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