October 07, 2005
Campaign Urges Tourists to Visit Alaska 'B4ITMELTS'
A new campaign to promote tourism to Alaska is reminding would-be travelers that if they plan to visit the 49th state, they'd better do so before it is swallowed up by the ocean. High-profile ads being displayed in Seattle, Los Angeles and Minneapolis feature a picture of a classic Alaska license plate and an irresistible vanity message: "Alaska B4ITMELTS"
By Cole Walters
A state once known for arctic tundra gets a tropical makeover
SEATTLE, WA—Been putting off visiting Alaska because of fears that the 49th state is too cold? Think again. This newly tropical destination features warm temps and waterfront views—from nearly every direction. Now a new campaign to promote tourism to Alaska is reminding would-be travelers to hurry up and visit the formerly arctic state before it melts into the ocean. To get the point across, the campaign has erected giant billboards in Seattle, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, featuring a picture of a classic Alaska license plate and an irresistible vanity message: "Alaska B4ITMELTS."
'The Temporary State'
Tourism officials in the state once known for glaciers and arctic tundra say that their goal is to convince tourists that if they want to experience Alaska for themselves, they'd better hurry up. "If you're planning a trip here, that's great," says Cedric Sewall, a spokesperson for Warm Welcome Alaska, a tourism group that helped to develop the 'B4ITMELTS' ad campaign. "Just don't put it off too long. If you've been married for five years and you're thinking maybe Alaska for a 20th anniversary trip, we're probably not going to be around then."
Bring your bikini
While the Alaska tourism board used to tell tourists to 'pack their parkas' before a trip to the famously frigid state, woolens are no longer necessary, say travel experts. Instead, visitors should 'bring their bikinis' to enjoy all of the water sports and other marine fun that this once frozen destination has to offer. And don't forget the sunscreen!
Fun for the kids
No trip to the new Alaska would be complete without a trip to the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. While you'll see the odd polar bear or seal bobbing atop the now underwater refuge on a slab of ice, the real attraction these days is the brand new ANWR oil development park. "It's a lot of fun for the kids," says park spokesman Bud Vails. "They can see miles of roads and pipeline being lain and they don't have to worry about stepping in caribou droppings."
Oil rigs at sunset
For more ambitious travelers, no visit to the largest state in the union would be complete without a day trip to see the extensive offshore natural gas developments that now dot the Alaskan coastline. Take in the dramatic vision of a towering rig thrown into stark relief by the setting sun—and take plenty of pictures to share with friends and family. Words alone can't describe the sense of piece and wellbeing that comes of watching the harvest of the deep repositories of oil and natural gas Alaska is known for.
Sipping the new state drink
If the mere thought of all of that sightseeing leaves you feeling thirsty, then it's a perfect time to enjoy the new Alaska state drink, a potent blend of gin and black Sambuca known as an Oil Slick. For those travelers who don't think they'll be able to make it to Alaska 'B4ITMELTS,' try this recipe at home.
Alaskan Oil Slick
2/3 ounce gin
1/3 ounce black Samubuca
Strain over ice and pour into martini-style glass.
Optional: In blender, combine ice and water until slushy. Top Alaskan Oil Slick with 'Snowball Slush.'
October 7, 2005 | Permalink
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Is this ad for real? One of the worst tourist attractors I have ever seen. While it may be tongue in cheek, with the misconceptions people already have of Alaska, this adds to it. With this ad and information, who would want to visit Alaska. This complete ad is misleading and dishonest. Sure the ice fields are slowly melting but definitely not at the speed indicated in the ad, and they won't be gone in your lifetime even if you are only 1 year old now. I've yet to be on any beach in Alaska where it was warm enough for bikinis, even in heat of summer. Neither are the oil fields the major attraction unless someone is a geologist, environmentalist or engineer. I've been here over 10 years and traveled around the state and have yet to see any oil or gas rigs other than in Prudhoe Bay. You still have to watch for Moose and Bear scat when hiking in the woods and the polar bears are only north of the Artic Circle. Alaska remains a huge state with many beautiful sights to enjoy including glaciers, snow topped mountains. Alaska is and will remain a beautiful spot to live in or visit.
Posted by: Charlotte Shive | Oct 12, 2005 3:07:43 PM
We have souvenir postcards for you already, http://ykalaska.blogspot.com/2005/10/campaign-urges-tourists-to-visit.html
Posted by: Tuusiik | Oct 8, 2005 5:06:40 PM
Portage Glacier, near Anchorage, used to be right up against the highway. A perfect tourist attraction - a close-by drive-up glacier! And then it retreated and created a beautiful lake that they built a visitor center on, and had boat rides up to the face of the glacier.
And now it is gone. Fully retreated back up into the ice fields. buh-bye.
Posted by: Bob Davis | Oct 7, 2005 10:40:52 AM
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