-- It appears the people charged with enticing travelers to Ithaca, New York, have thrown in the towel.
A pop-up photo of palm trees complete with a link to a Florida Keys tourism site reads:
"That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?
Due to this ridiculously stupid winter, Ithaca invites you to visit The Florida Keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out. Really, it's for the birds here now. (Still want to Visit Ithaca? Are you sure? Ok, click here.)
P.S. Send us a postcard."
Visitors Bureau Director Bruce Stoff said, "We just reached the breaking point this last weekend. The skiing is great now, the best Ithaca has had in years, but we don't blame people for dreaming of palm trees."
When he contacted people at the Keys website to which the Ithaca site links, Stoff said, they were "taken aback."
"They didn't really take us seriously," he said.
But Stoff was quite serious and changed the Visit Ithaca site Sunday evening. And the idea to tell people to stay away from the destination has resulted in far more attention than the destination's used to getting in the winter months.
Temperatures in Ithaca this week will dip into the single digits. The Keys? Today's high is 76.
"Come see us when we thaw out," Stoff said.