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Hilton hotel brings 'Joy' to Mission Valley

Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 15:00:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The Hilton in Mission Valley has been bringing joy to the area during the holidays for 30 years, but the hotel’s popular light display is not a very easy one to put together.

The 352-room hotel on Camino del Rio South has been turning on its lights to spell Joy since 1990, and general manager Jayson Zimmer told 10News that 83 rooms facing Interstate 8 are involved, and it takes a lot of coordination to pull off every year.

“Turning the light on is very easy to do in the room; the most difficult thing is the coordination because our hotel runs sold out nearly every day during the month of December,” said Zimmer. “During that time, we have to hand letters out when the guests check in and let them know we’re partaking in ‘Joy’ and this is something we’ve done as a tradition in the hotel and we hope they will partake in the event us.”

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Guests who take part are asked to open their window drapes and turn their lights on at around 5 p.m., or just after sunset, each night. Rooms facing the freeway that are not participating are asked to keep their drapes closed.

Zimmer, the hotel’s general manager for the past four years, said the Joy display officially begins after Thanksgiving, and lights come on every night through Christmas Eve.

Just before the holidays, Zimmer said he receives many calls from locals or motorists who drive past the hotel on I-8, who ask when the Joy lights will turn on or tell him how much seeing the lights means to them.

“I think it’s that feedback and that request from the community that makes us want to do it every year,” Zimmer said.

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Zimmer also said many guests who find out about the Hilton’s holiday project are excited at the prospect of taking part in the display.

“It’s really a coordination between the guests and our team here. It’s exciting and difficult, but we love the challenge,” said Zimmer.