From the homepage of CNN.com's travel section

Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca has made national news for a lot of reasons over the last few years — many of them, like the Simeon’s crash or the Cornell suicides, negative.

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So it was a welcome change Monday to see that a joke from the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau — highlighted by The Voice yesterday — instead showcased 14850’s good humor to the wider world.

In case you somehow missed it, here’s the message that greets readers on arrival at VisitIthaca.com, which is run by the visitor’s bureau:

“That’s it. We surrender. Go to Key West instead,” the message says. “Due to this ridiculously stupid weather, Ithaca invites you to visit The Keys this week.”

Soon after The Voice’s story, Syracuse.com picked up on it. From there, it took off like wildfire.

Here’s a (likely incomplete) list of publications that covered the visitors’ bureau joke:

CNN.com: Ithaca, New York, tourism site: Don’t come here, go to Florida

USA Today: Ithaca: Visit Florida Keys instead because of ‘ridiculously stupid winter’

Travel Pulse.com: Ithaca, New York Tourism Site Encourages Travelers to Visit Florida Keys

Syracuse.com: Ithaca’s tourism website invites visitors to ‘go to Key West instead’

Miami Herald: Ithaca, NY tourism office: For now, go to Key West instead

CBS Miami: Ithaca Website “Surrenders” To Cold, Recommends Going To Florida Keys Instead

ABC Action News: Florida’s tourism numbers are way up, this probably has something to do with it

Fox News Radio: Ithaca, New York Tourism Site Surrenders To Winter Weather

From the homepage of CNN.com’s travel section

CNN.com spoke to Andy Newman, a spokesperson for the Florida Keys Tourism Council, who called the Ithaca visitors’ bureau idea the “wackiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life from a tourism marketing standpoint:”

“I didn’t believe he’d actually go through with it,” Newman said.

But considering the weather conditions in the Keys right now, he understands.

“It’s in the 70s, there’s no snow and no frost on the ground,” Newman said.

“Come on down. Why wouldn’t you?”


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.