For Immediate Release:
February 9, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Denver – Following a worldwide PETA campaign, locally based Millennium Hotels and Resorts—the owner of The Lakefront Anchorage hotel—has confirmed that the chain’s nearly 30 years of support of the Iditarod, the notorious dog-sled race in which more than 150 dogs have died, is ending this year.
The decision follows appeals from nearly 500,000 PETA supporters and a campaign including ads on buses in Anchorage, “Millhellium” ads in hospitality magazines, a billboard near Millennium’s New York Times Square hotel, and dozens of protests around the world, from Alaska to New Zealand to Paris.
“The champagne corks are popping around the world at the news that Millennium Hotels and Resorts is checking out of the Iditarod’s cruelty to dogs,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA can now turn its attention to the shrinking number of sponsors that are still willing to bankroll a race that runs dogs to their deaths.”
Up to half of the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it. During the 2021 race, nearly 200 dogs were pulled off the trail because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The leading cause of death for dogs on the Iditarod trail is aspiration pneumonia—caused by inhaling their own vomit—and the race’s official death toll doesn’t include countless others who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained next to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed in a PETA undercover investigation.
Millennium joins ExxonMobil—a former major sponsor that paid the race $250,000 a year—as well as Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and dozens of other companies in cutting ties with the Iditarod. Only a few major corporate sponsors, such as Liberty Media subsidiary GCI, remain—and PETA recently bought stock in Liberty Broadband to push it to drop its sponsorship.
PETA will be switching a planned protest to a party tomorrow outside the Millennium hotel in Chicago, and PETA Asia is canceling an ad campaign against Millennium in Singapore, where the chain’s parent company is based.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.