Business & Real Estate

Citizen Hotel offering ‘Caricature Package’ with custom cartoon by The Bee’s Jack Ohman

Cartoonist Jack Ohman creates visitor-friendly guides like these for the Citizen Hotel every month.
Cartoonist Jack Ohman creates visitor-friendly guides like these for the Citizen Hotel every month.

If you like political cartoons, the Citizen is already the hotel for you, with nearly all the art in the lobby and guest rooms pulled from the work of local cartoonists. Now, they’re turning up their offerings for editorial enthusiasts with the “Caricature Package,” featuring sketches hand drawn by The Bee’s own political cartoonist, Jack Ohman.

The hotel decided to offer the package, which includes deluxe accommodations, to guests to make a deeper connection with the design and theme of the property, said Toby Valdez, the Citizen’s director of sales and marketing. Amenities of the package include a gift card to Gunther’s Ice Cream, in-room brunch, a book of political cartoons from The Bee and more.

The featured amenity is a personalized caricature from Ohman. Guests send in photos a few weeks ahead of their stay, and a caricatured version of themselves, drawn by Ohman, awaits them in their room when they arrive.

Ohman serves as the hotel’s artist-in-residence, who Citizen Hotel Director of Sales and Marketing Toby Valdez said was “next in line” for the proverbial throne. The hotel prominently features art from Rex Babin and Newton Pratt, two former Bee cartoonists.

Valdez said the hotel’s political cartoon theme pokes fun at everyone equally – the lobby features a large cartoon of a handshake, with one hand wearing a donkey cufflink and the other an elephant – and he wanted to bring it to the attention of guests.

“We asked ourselves, how can we bring this to the forefront of our hotel? We should get the guy who’s currently in the seat,” Valdez said. “... We love to keep things local, and he was the perfect choice.”

Ohman has also done holiday engagements with the hotel, including the 2018 edition of the Citizen’s “Naughty or Nice list”, an annual tradition that plays on the year’s news, and a “Letters to Trump” installation in the lobby in lieu of letters to Santa. He also creates a “postcard of the month,” Valdez said, which are placed in every guest room.

“It’s fun to do something for The Citizen, and I enjoy working with them,” Ohman said in an email. “It’s the only political cartoon-themed hotel in the country, to my knowledge, and it seemed like a good fit.”

Valdez said the package offers something for loyal locals as well as those in Sacramento for business or leisure, because it helps create a personal connection between the city and the guest.

“People don’t know Sacramento well enough, and we want to create that for them,” Valdez said.

The full “Caricature Package” includes a night of deluxe accommodations, one original caricature for up to two people by Ohman, a $25 gift card to Ohman’s favorite Gunther’s Ice Cream Shop and a copy of “The Sting of the Bee: 125 Years of Editorial Cartoons from The Sacramento Bee, 1857-1982”. The hotel also includes in-room brunch for two, overnight valet parking and wifi in the package.

Pricing starts at $419 for one night. Visit the Citizen Hotel’s website for more details and to check availability. Guests must submit photos three weeks in advance.

Hannah Darden covers breaking news and feature stories for The Bee and is a political science and journalism student at Sacramento State. A Sacramento native, she previously worked as editor in chief of her community college newspaper, the American River Current.