Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: email@example.com
Ely, Minnesota, population nearing 4,000, is hoping to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Crews are starting now to drain Miners Lake to create the first in-ground Olympic Stadium. They'll also be carving seats into the rock. (Sounds like you're going to need stadium pillows if you plan to sit all day!)
How will the little town manage to host a million visitors or find the money to build an Olympic Village, aquatic facility and more? Easy. Meat raffles and help from the economic stimulus package. Prices will be kept low for visitors too. Guests will be offered tent and canoe combo packages, perhaps with s'mores thrown in. "Talk about great rates," gushes a press release on the news.
Yes, yes, yes. The announcement is an April Fool's joke. Just like last year's, which said that Canada was annexing Ely. But the town's little prank got it national exposure in USA Today and on television as far away as Ft. Myers, Florida.
And I'm writing about this year's whopper here. Someone is doing a very nice job promoting Ely, and should get kudos for marketing prowess. Or at least for providing a good laugh.
According to the press release on its planned prank (sent to media types two days ago to do with what they would), Ely is part of one million acres of "unspoiled Northern Minnesota wilderness" famed worldwide. Yet, many state residents still have not visited. "So, we're getting up in their faces with some new pranks."
Today, April Fool's, the city is running radio spots announcing its last-minute bid (a couple of years late) to the International Olympic Committee to be the site of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. A faux press conference video was to be posted.
Hm, I wonder what kind of meat I'd win and where I find the raffle tickets? Good luck with your bid, Ely.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.