Gadhafi Likely to Stay at Swanky Pierre Hotel

Scraps plans to pitch tent, sources say

By Jennifer Millman
|  Thursday, Sep 10, 2009  |  Updated 9:20 AM CDT
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Gadhafi Likely to Stay at Swanky Pierre Hotel

AP

C'mon, the Pierre ain't so bad.

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Well, it's more comfortable than staying in a tent.

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, faced with massive protests over his plans to pitch a tent in New Jersey, will probably end up staying in the posh Pierre Hotel when he comes to the Big Apple -- his first U.S. visit -- for a UN meeting, police sources told the Daily News.

The autocrat and his cronies have also ponied up for some suites at a few of the city's other swankiest spots like the Hilton and the Plaza for the convening of the UN General Assembly, which starts Tuesday. Gadhafi, ever fashionably late, isn't supposed to get there until the following week.

Gadhafi once brought an entourage of camels and horses to a hotel in the former Yugoslavia, where the managers permitted him to pitch a tent on the front lawn. That animal accompaniment likely won't be allowed at the Pierre, despite its location quite close to Central Park (we're not sure camels are allowed in Central Park, anyway).

"We don't allow camels and horses at The Pierre – a Taj Hotel," a hotel employee told the News.

A concierge told the paper "I had no idea" the Libyans were planning to stay there.

Attention, Fifth Avenue shoppers. Fear not that Gadhafi will crash your Juicy Couture or Saks adventures. He's going to have NYPD and Secret Service following him around 24/7; people like him and his posse "don't have free rein," a source told the News.

Gadhafi had threatened to pitch a ceremonial Bedouin-style tent on the grounds of the Libyan-owned house in Bergen County, sparking a howl of protests across the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey lost 38 residents in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The attack, which killed 270 people, is widely believed to be the work of Libyan intelligence.

Gadhafi gave a hero's welcome to Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man arrested in that attack, when he was released from a Scottish prison and sent home.

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