20
Oct
09

Pittsburgh tourism agency unveils ‘Show ’em da door’ plan

PITTSBURGH: Today, the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that it is taking up a new strategy in order to cope with the growing number of groups and visitors coming to the city. The initiative is called “Show ’em da door.”

Under the new strategy, whenever high-profile conventions or visitors begin to make plans to come to the city, the bureau would redirect them to Detroit or Buffalo. If they insisted on coming to the state, directions would be given that would land them in Johnstown. Residents are asked to get into the spirit of things and give visitors directions to I-80 West or I-79 North whenever possible.

“I think this plan will pay off great dividends to the region,” said Joe McGrath, president and CEO of the organization. “By diverting them from the city, we give the residents a break from constant detours and road closures that these high-profile conventions and visitors bring. Obviously, we don’t want to intrude on PennDOT’s territory — it’s their job to inconvenience everyone.”

What da hell are yinz people bitchin baht?

"What da hell are yinz people bitchin' 'baht?"

Pittsburgh has recently become a ‘hot city’ for conventions. Many cite the city’s turnaround from having its steel industry shut down to becoming a leader in the medical research and development field, and transforming its dirty image into one of the country’s most livable cities.  But it hasn’t come without its pitfalls — mainly in the form of traffic roadblocks.  For example, Vice President Joe Biden was in Pittsburgh Monday to speak at the Allegheny County Democratic Committee’s annual dinner, resulting in traffic being snarled for hours throughout the region.

“Eff that guy,” said Jill Leonard, copyeditor at the Tribune Review. “I had to sit in traffic for an hour because of him. He’s an effing jerk. I’m still raging. A-hole.”

Last month, the G-20 economic summit spent time in the city — which  resulted in several sections of the city, as well as several highways, being shut down to residents.

“What a giant pain in da ass dat wuz,” said Chuckie Van Tresco, a North Side mechanic. “I still don git why they didn’t use helichoppers to jus fly over da Parkway an git to dahntahn. That was jist dumb. And then thar was ole Lukey sittin’ there sayin’ ‘Oh, I don know why no one ain’t comin’ dahntahn n’at.’ I dunno, Luke … maybe cuz some jagoff mayor let all ‘ese jagoffs run loose an shut everything dahn so he could be ignored by world leaders. Seriously … like the emperor of Japan wants to kick back with Lukey and Mr. ‘I want to jack up da drink tax.’ Riiiiiiight. They’re just a bunch of jagoffs. Each an every one of ’em.”

They don bother me cause they don fuck up traffic nat.

"They don bother me cause they don fuck up traffic n'at," Van Tresco said.

Other conventions and gatherings are more than welcome in the city. For example, a group known as the Furries has made the city their home for their annual convention. Furry enthusiasts enjoy dressing up as animals and scampering about in the city’s Downtown neighborhood.

Van Tresco seemed to sum up most Pittsburghers’ feelings about the group, saying “They don bother me cause they don fuck up traffic n’at.” However, he still takes precautions when the group comes to town: “I make sure I lock da doors so they don’t rape my dog inna mittle a night.”

But some Pittsburghers don’t mind the inconvenience that additional visitors bring. “Steelers Swag” store owner Mario Kesnuski says visitors to sports-themed events, such as the MLB’s All-Star Game in PNC Park or the NHL’s All-Star game in 1990, bring in desperately needed revenue to the city and his store.

“Oh dude,” Kesnuski said, “They come in here all drunk and buy anything with a team logo on it. See this shirt? I get it for like a buck, but mark it up to $30, and they buy it! It’s great! Bar owners are happy, I’m happy, everyone’s freakin’ happy. I really love it when drunk hot chicks walk by and flash me. It’s like freakin’ Mardi Gras. Gotta love it. Thank you All-Star games!”

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