Tourist towns love trapping them some tourists, but a promotion about procreation was apparently going too far for one East Coast destination.
A letter sent to hospitality establishments in Ocean City, Md. asked them to get on board with the OC Makes 3! promotion – encouraging folks to come to town to make a baby for Valentine’s Day. The response?
Let’s just say don’t start dialing up a baby swimsuit maker yet. According to Ocean City Today, the hoteliers were so upset the town’s tourism department is denying it ever seriously considered the idea – although the paper has a copy of the memo sent out to folks in the hospitality industry that maps the whole thing out.
According to that letter, if a visitor’s stay resulted into a child come October or November, they would be up for a free stay in 2011 to come back to celebrate. You’d have to show a receipt proving a night’s stay on Valentine’s weekend 2010, plus a birth certificate for a child born (or adopted – they’re equal opportunity) between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30.
The promotion was to include Facebook and Twitter posts, e-news blasts and press releases sent out to national media with mayoral comments encouraging the world to come make a baby in Ocean City.
So what’s the problem? The Ocean City community doesn’t want people equating their town with a place where you blare the babymaking music and get down . . . literally.
“People could take this in any direction their mind wanted to take it. They could think Ocean City’s a nice place to start a family, or they could think we’re only about ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll,’” Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Executive Director Susan Jones told Ocean City Today.
OK, the idea might be sort of inappropriate in this economy to suggest people make more babies. Not to mention becoming a parent seriously puts a cramp on your vacation budget – you may as well tell your customers to save their money and stay home.
But there’s no question sex is on the menu for plenty of couples this Valentine’s Day. It’s not hard to fathom there will be babies born in October or November as a result.
Does this promotion seem tacky or is it much ado about nothing?
More by this author: