According to WKSU’s Amanda Robbins, some people accused the initiative of being disingenuous, a suspicion Jim Mahone, a marketer who helped launch the campaign, confirms: “Never in any of these conversations did we purport to be a moral compass… It truly was just about a business decision.” And with $55 billion travel dollars, gays are always a good business decision…
Mahone goes on to hypothesize as to why people – gay and straight – scoffed at the idea:
The only conclusion that I can make right now is that if we would proceed, we would be pink-washing Summit County and that’s certainly something that we’d never wish to do. Every experience that we promote, be it family, African-American, they’re coming here with the assumption that they are going to experience what we’re marketing.
Meanwhile, known homosexual and activist James Lehman tells Robbins that there’s no way a city can suddenly turn “gay friendly”:
For whatever reason, if an area draws a fair number of gay people and theyy get together in their coffee shops, [etc], that’s what makes the gay friendly community, right there. You can’t have committee meetings and then say “This is what we want”. It just sort of has to happen naturally.
Kind of like gays themselves.
As for visiting Akron, we’re not sure it’s high on our list of travel destinations. Besides, everyone knows Cleveland rocks.