With talk of fresh seafood, clear blue mountain lakes and Atlantic beaches, Gov. Harry Hughes has bombarded radio audiences in four states in a $56,000 advertising campaign telling them that Maryland is the place to go on vacation.
But the pitch wasn't enough to sell Harry Hughes. He'll be going on vacation this month in Delaware.
"It's a family tradition. His family has been vacationing in Rehoboth Beach for 100 years," Hughes' aide Regina Friedlander said. "I don't see any problem with that at all. The governor has a private life, too."
But publicly, on a dozen radio stations in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Norfolk and Charleston, W. Va., Hughes has been luring potential visitors with these words: 'Whatever you want to do this summer on your vacation, you can have more fun doing it in Maryland."
Still, the Hughes family will spend two weeks vacation in a rented cottage in Rehoboth, and one week in nearby Bethany Beach, also in Delaware, according to the governor's wife. "We like the small-town atmosphere of Rehoboth. We're small-town people," Pat Hughes explained.
The Hughes radio spot was part of a broadcast campaign by the state Department of Economic and Community Development to boost summer tourism in Maryland.
The commercials produced a "tremendous response" on the state's toll-free tourism information number where calls doubled after the ads began running, according to Philip Viener, the department's advertising manager.
Viener said the governor was "very enthusiastic" about taping the commercials.
Then why couldn't the governor be talked into taking his own advice?
"You mean he's not?" The surprised Viener asked. "I vacationed in Virginia," Viener admitted. "But I had an excuse. My family lives there." CAPTION: Picture, Gov. Hughes: Rehoboth vacation is "a family tradition." By Margaret Thomas - The Washington Post.