Philadelphia hoteliers are up in arms over the cover of this month’s Philadelphia Magazine, which features a handgun and the headline: ‘Murder. One terrifying night on the streets and why everything we’re doing to stop the shooting won’t work.’
The hoteliers are freaking because the glossy monthly is routinely distributed to some 6,000 rooms in nearly all Philly hotels. The city’s hotel association top cheese urged the city’s establishments to think twice before distributing the magazines.
"I recommend that you review your position on what effect this article and cover will have on your guests who are staying in your guestrooms," wrote Ed Grose. "I feel that sensationalizing the murder rate in our city will have a negative effect on our customers."
Talk about being in denial. Philly’s a very tough city. In fact, I successfully argued against sending our daughter to school there because, well, the place scares me. But, tossing out the offending magazines isn’t going to change anyone’s impression of Philadelphia. If anything, Grose’s move just draws more attention to the murder rate and reinforces the views of guys like me that we should avoid the place, if at all possible.
Philly’s murder problem is a citywide challenge that needs to be addressed by law enforcement and communicated to residents and visitors in an open, forthright way (and they really do need to rethink the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ moniker. Talk about a message not ringing true. Ouch!).
Rather than pulling the bed covers over their collective heads and trying to hide the crime problem, Philly hoteliers would be far better off providing "tips" to their visitors as well as other services that might reassure everyone in general.
Image and reputation are based upon actions. Sneaky, deceptive suggestions like the one made by Mr. Grose not only undermine the desired reputation, they create an entirely new consumer emotion: hostility. I, for one, would think twice about staying at any hotel that might, intentionally or unintentionally, send me in harm’s way.
Hat tip to Gene "Sunshine" Colter for this idea.
Boy, you guys are making it seem like Philly is Camden, NJ…that’s across the Delaware, people!!! Or even East St. Louis…now there is a town that scares me (and it’s inhabitants robbed the Family Truckster in “Vacation”).
i dont feel safe in philly from the second i step off the plane.
sounds like they need giuliani or bratton.
I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN PHILLY I LOVE MY CITY BUT THE CRIME RATE AND VIOLENCE WAS TO MUCH FOR ME TO BEAR SO I HAD TO MOVE MY FAMILY TO DENVER TO HAVE A BETTER CHANCE FOR MY KIDS TO HAVE A BETTER LIFE THAN I DID GROWING UP AND I GREW UP IN HUNTING PARK WHICH WAS A ROUGH AREA IN PHILLY I REALLY WISH THINGS COULD CHANGE FOR THE BETTER BACK HOME AND I PRAY FOR MY FAMILY THAT’S THERE THAT GOD PROTECTS THEM.
while i dont agree with what you say ill defend to the death your right to say it
Thanks Jimbo. Appreciate the insider’s look at Philly. Hey, what do I know? I’m just a Jersey boy. That said, Philly is one scary place, with or without Ben Franklin.
Repman, I like your last line about image and reputation being based upon actions. I reckon you’re living in the best example of this – New York City. I’d be interested to hear your take on how the city’s image and reputation was turned around. Giuliani seems like he was the driving force, but it can’t just be because of one man. If so, why hasn’t New York’s success been replicated in every city across the world?
You got a couple of things right, and, as a citizen of Philly, I hope I can offer some “man on the street” flavor.
This is a tough city filled mostly by a hard-nosed, working class bunch. Crime is running rampant in certain neighborhoods, and there is no end in sight. Why? Philly’s bureaucracy is a complete sham – even our own mayor was a target in an investigation for shady dealings at City Hall. Corruption runs rampant and even though every day there’s another report about the previous night’s murders, Mayor Street does nothing. Cops are eating their doughnuts.
You got it right by describing Philadelphia as a glossy rag. That’s because there is usually nothing but advertisements in its pages. And wouldn’t you know –half the editorial content (sometimes more) includes its advertisers. I’m still trying to figure out the connection between the article and advertising. I thought Larry Platt did nothing but build lists about what’s best in Philly. I bet next year a few of our hotels will make the list. Regardless, I’m pulling my hair out.
Rep, I think it’s a bit unfair of you to assume that every inch of this city is to be avoided. What’s not to like about actually speaking with Ben Franklin, visiting world-class art museums, walking South Street, viewing the Liberty Bell, visiting The National Constitution Center? The bars and resturants here are excellent. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea. There’s hope that once Rendell wins he’ll kick those butts that need kicking and turn this situation around.
As someone who lived in a so-so area of Brooklyn for 6 years and traveled all over NYC, I’m willing to state that some of the five boroughs are far worse off than Philly.
If you do ever get over your fear and decide to visit, just shy away from most of North Philly, all of Kensington and most of West Philly. Also, don’t you walk armed with your squash racquet and run a few miles every day? If so, you’ve got nothing to fear.
See you at Geno’s (I’ll be feeding our other citywide blemish – obesity).