Ithaca, N.Y. — Mayor Svante Myrick appeared on the MSNBC show “Up With Steve Kornacki” on Sunday to highlight tourism in Ithaca after the visitors’ bureau joke conquered the Internet last week.

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Myrick defended the joke and urged travelers to visit the area’s attractions, citing the Corning Museum of Glass and Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art as two principal attractions.

“I can’t take credit for the decision — Bruce Stoff has earned his salary and then some over at the Tompkins County Visitors Bureau with this idea and I stand firmly behind it,” Myrick said, sitting in front of a palm tree sketched on the snow behind him.

“In February, with this cold snap, people weren’t looking for us … (and) were not thinking about Ithaca, NY, so we had to find a way to draw attention to all the offerings we had.”

Kornacki pushed the mayor for his defense of the joke, which drew a bit of criticism. “Draw attention … by saying, ‘Go somewhere else?,’” he asked.

Myrick, however, said that the prank worked.

He added that Florida tourism agencies had agreed to offer free hotel nights in Key West that could be raffled off to charities of Ithaca’s choice.

“We’re a hardy people and we’re a people that are used to the cold weather and used to trying to take it in stride,” Myrick said.

Watch the video here:

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Jeff Stein

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