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Ithaca's Visitor Bureau Agrees — You Should Go To Florida Instead


As if we need the reminder - a lot of this country is trapped in the middle of a snowy, cold and miserable winter.


This calls for a vacation. Time to check out the tourism site for Ithaca, N.Y.


CORNISH: Hold up, Kelly - wrong music. Ithaca barely had a high of 20 degrees today.

MCEVERS: Whoops. Well, this is why the Visitors Bureau of Ithaca had a little fun with its website today. Instead of the usual Ithaca is gorges message, potential tourists were greeted this morning with this message of defeat.

CORNISH: "That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win." That's a quote, by the way. And then potential Ithaca tourists were directed to a far warmer destination.


CORNISH: The Florida Keys.

MCEVERS: It's a strategy that made waves - ha.

BRUCE STOFF: We had to take our website down today because it broke our website.

MCEVERS: That's the funny guy behind the campaign, Bruce Stoff, director of the Ithaca/Tompkins Convention and Visitors Bureau. He dedicated the stunt to frozen northeasterners.

STOFF: Those poor folks are just so frozen in place we thought some images of palm trees would brighten the day for them. And I'm torn about it because I'm an avid skier and right now the skiing couldn't be better. It's fabulous.

CORNISH: And down in Florida...

ANDY NEWMAN: (Laughter) I just don't believe it.

CORNISH: Andy Newman from the Florida Keys Tourism Council was pretty surprised about Ithaca's redirection.

NEWMAN: That's so unconventional. It's so unorthodox. Nobody in tourism marketing ever does that.

MCEVERS: But Newman can't blame northerners looking to balmy Florida for a break.

NEWMAN: The temperature is certainly in the mid-70s. There's a light breeze coming off the ocean and I'm looking at the ocean and it's very, very, very calm.

CORNISH: Yes, please. As for why Ithaca chose the Keys and not Miami or San Diego - geography.

STOFF: There's one city in the world that has a sign that says the southernmost city in the U.S. and that's Key West.

CORNISH: Ithaca does eventually want its tourists back once things thaw out.

MCEVERS: Which, at this rate, should be sometime around mid-July. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.