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Come face to face with our country’s forefathers in DC, book a luxury room for as little as $35 around the country, and ski for free in Maryland and Virginia.

DC’s Madame Tussauds museum has announced plans to create a $2-million presidential gallery by November 2010, featuring a wax replica of each of our 44 leaders. At a presentation Tuesday, DC mayor Adrian Fenty and a slew of local first-graders unveiled life-size doppelgangers of nine Presidents, while museum officials stated that new figures will debut in phases throughout the year. The museum also announced it will offer free admission through February 20 to any visitor who has the same first or last name as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

A room at the four-star Hotel Monaco with parking for less than $100? A night at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square for $169? As an especially icy winter continues to grip the country, hundreds of luxury and midrange hotels nationwide are slashing their rates—with some offering rooms for as little as $35 a night. Though you may have to shovel a path from your driveway to the highway to get out of Dodge, this is one of the most affordable times to get away. Click here to see a complete list of deals from coast to coast.

On March 1, Busch Gardens launches a Twitter feed featuring exclusive money-saving offers. According to the park’s vice president of marketing, followers of @BuschGardens_VA will be privy to frequently offered behind-the-scenes tours, free merchandise, admission discounts, and limited-time deals. In addition, the Wiliamsburg theme park is giving away a $1,400 prize package to one of its followers that includes two years of unlimited admission to Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, and seven other theme parks around the country as well as a pair of round-trip tickets to any destination serviced by Southwest Airlines.

After years of contract negotiations, nearly 30,000 ground workers at American Airlines announced this week that they’ll strike if a contract agreement isn’t reached between their union and the nation’s second-largest airline by March 8. The Transport Workers Union, which represents 28,000 mechanics and bag handlers at American Airlines and American Eagle, is seeking a pay raise and opposing changes in pensions and retiree health benefits for its workers. Coincidentally, employees at Germany’s Lufthansa Airlines are also in discussions over a possible strike; pilots are expected to walk out for four days starting Monday.

Area ski lovers looking to start training for the 2014 Olympic games (or those just wishing to hit the bunny slopes) should consider two great regional deals. In McHenry, Maryland, Wisp Resort Hotel’s Midweek Madness deal offers lodging starting at $59 per night and a free one-day lift ticket for stays booked Sunday through Thursday. Through March 14 at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia—a luxury resort and spa with eight skiing trails and 45 acres—the Ski Free package gets hotel guests free lift tickets for two for the duration of their stay (rooms start at $199 a night).

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