Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Magnitude 6.2 Earthquake Leaves at Least Six Dead in Central Italy: Report
- Read the Cover Story: The Final Five: Their Amazing Journey!
- Watch the Final Five Turn Into Hungry Hungry Humans on Tonight Show
- Downton Abbey Creator Shares His Vision for What Happened to the Crawley Estate and 4 More Revelations from the Show
- Watch Britney Spears and James Corden Sing 'Toxic' in New Carpool Karaoke Teaser
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 19, 1981
- Vol. 16
- No. 16
At Peter Falcione's Connecticut Hotel the Guests Get Along Swimmingly
So far as Falcione knows, his is the only hostelry of its type in America, and it evolved more out of accommodation than intent. "Every aquarium takes in fish for special customers," he explains, "but I found I had so many that my selling space was restricted. So I started the hotel in 1978."
His guests are checked in because their owners are away or because of house painting (the fumes can be fatal to sensitive tropical fish). Among his more unusual boarders have been a two-foot nurse shark whose aquarium was under repair and a free-spirited octopus whose owner feared it might climb out of its home tank while she was out of town.
Weekly rates on the American plan (two feedings daily) start, aptly, at a fin ($5) for 10-gallon accommodations and run up to $60 for the spacious (55 gallons) Neptune Suite, complete with complimentary coral. Reservations are required at the 32-unit hotel; major credit cards are accepted. "If a guest's bill is overdue," deadpans the innkeeper, "we sell him."
Falcione, whose mother ran a tropical-fish store in Philadelphia, attended Temple University and worked as a salesman before he and his wife, Patricia, moved to Norwalk in 1964 and bought the aquarium store five years later. The fish hotel, he concedes, is not a big money-maker, though bookings doubled in the past year.
Hotel amenities include custom matching of water with a guest's home aquarium and an around-the-clock temperature-monitoring system. Delicacies include a high-protein menu of worms and brine shrimp or a health-food diet of plants. Guests almost always check out healthy. "We've only lost two," Falcione says, "and both were inexpensive fish, so I replaced them. And," he adds with a conspiratorial wink, "their owners didn't even know."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!