Saturday, February 24, 2018
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Party in your pajamas to break a world record

The world record for biggest sleepover pajama party belongs to a group of wide-eyed brownies from the United Kingdom, a group of girls and their camp leaders who in 2008 packed sleeping bags and pillows and slept in a shopping mall.

The new title-holders, if they succeed, will be older, rowdier, more scantily clad.

A local promoter named Ray Woods is attempting to break the Guinness World Record by throwing a massive adult pajama party Saturday at the Vista Inn & Suites on Bearss Avenue in Tampa. Woods' promotion company is called Cream Productions and shoots for a Playboy vibe with a whipped cream-and-cherries logo and lots of curvy women on his website.

His vision includes both guys and girls partying in everything from flannel pajama pants to lingerie, splashing in the pool in white T-shirts and then hitting the floor for shut-eye at the right moment to attempt the record. Jeans? Can't wear 'em. Jeggings? That's up to the doorman. You have to at least try to look cozy.

Woods started doing joint promotions for the hotel and the adjoining OFC Tavern. When the tavern closed, he was left with just a hotel to promote. He started thinking about events that made sense for a place where people go to sleep.

"We're going to throw a huge pajama party," he said. "It's 155 rooms in total. What better way to celebrate the size of the venue?"

He applied with Guinness World Records. They sent him requirements and gave him the go-ahead to attempt the record. He moved the party to Saturday, the same weekend as Wild 94.1's Last Damn Show concert and the NightMoves Awards for adult entertainment, hoping people would be in a partying mood and come by the hotel.

To beat Girlguiding UK, Cream Productions needs to meet some Guinness criteria:

The party must be at least 12 hours.

The lights must be out for five hours.

All participants must sleep on the floor with sleeping bags.

Games or entertainment and food must be provided.

Two independent witnesses must make a statement, and someone must provide film and photos.

The guest count has to be more than 1,626.

The Vista Inn, normally a stop for snowbirds, traveling businessmen and the occasional University of South Florida fraternity, doesn't have enough actual bed space to sleep that many people, said manager Matt Saraswat. But the party will continue out into the pool area and into the hotel conference rooms, where DJs will be spinning and Robert Strausser, a.k.a. local limousine businessman "Limo Bob," will be awarding a free ride in a stretch Phantom limo to the person who shows up with the biggest entourage. Woods said the event will be filmed for distribution on Dish Network.

The hotel isn't serving alcohol — the owners don't have the right license, Saraswat said — but people are allowed to bring their own. Saraswat is hiring private security companies, he said, and he's considering hiring offduty help from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office so it doesn't turn into an underage drinking festival.

After that, it's up to people to behave in their own rooms.

"The way I see it, there are going to be so many parties within a party, I'm not going to stand in the way," said Woods, 29.

At a certain point, an alarm will sound and everyone will lie down on the floor for the record. Then, after a certain amount of time, it's back to partying. While the lights are out, the party planners will pass out glowsticks and turn on gyrating light machines.

If they don't break the record?

"I'm going be disappointed," Woods said. "But if you don't succeed the first time around, try, try again."

At of the start of the week, he'd already booked 40 rooms.

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