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Thursday, October 8, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Olympic Surprise: Free Rooms In '94

AP

OSLO, Norway - The owner of a slightly rundown hotel surprised Norwegians when he announcing his price for a coveted room during the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer.

Free.

"I don't need the money," Ove Nielsen, owner of the Bellevue Sportell in downtown Lillehammer, said yesterday.

Rates for rooms in Lillehammer, a town of about 24,000, during the Games reportedly have soared to $690 a night.

"I have nothing against the other house and hotel owners in Lillehammer trying to press as much as they can out of the Olympics," he said. "But I have almost no debt, and live frugally. So I turned off the meter for the Games."

But Nielsen said it won't do much good to try to book a bargain room. He already has invited his regular guests so he can share the Winter Games with them.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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