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Full of tricks -- and treats




RUSSELL -- The trick was on the trick-or-treaters.

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RUSSELL -- The trick was on the trick-or-treaters.

For the first time at "Haunted Hotel" for trick-or-treaters on Halloween, an ambulance pulled up in front of the main entrance of Fossil Creek Hotel and Suites on Wednesday afternoon, lights flashing. EMS personnel were there to hand out treats.

Barry Carter, general manager and part-owner of the hotel, noticed the number of kids entering the hotel for goodies started to dwindle. He found out mothers with their children saw the lights flashing, and thought something happened. Trick or treat.

"They were sitting over here, texting, finding out if something happened over here," Carter said. "Ambulance had their lights on; thought something actually happened over here. So they were afraid to come over."

Make note to self: No flashing lights next year.

Other than being able to laugh at that one glitch, Carter was ready to proclaim the ninth annual Halloween event at the hotel a success.

"It's a safer environment for all the kids," Carter said. "We got a really good turnout. Last year, we had about 650 kids go through here."

Local businesses set up shop in guest rooms at the hotel and hand out candy as the kids walk the hallways.

One business, Morgan Jade Studio, had a cauldron sitting on a table in the hallway, filled with candy, not eye of newt soup. In her first year since taking over the full-service salon, Alicia Seirer was there handing out candy.

"I think it's an easy way to get a little exposure and advertisement, just by handing out candy," said Seirer, who renamed the salon after taking over.

There were all kinds of costumes, from a butterfly to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, to Superman -- you name it.

Seirer said there seemed to be a lot of vampires this year.

It was all ages, too, from tweens to a 10-day old baby.

"I think it's a neat idea," said Betty Dockendorf, who was there for the first time with her two children. "That way, the kids don't have to go out; they're safe."

Carter said a management company for the hotel when it first opened came up with the idea.

"It turned out real well for us," Carter said. "It's fun seeing the kids all dressed up."