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Thread: Selling Out

  1. #1
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    Default Selling Out

    Recent article regarding Fundraising for the ATC.
    Apparently the hotel is pushing our experiences as a publicity/advertisement/fundraiser.
    Is it good or bad? I understand the need to raise money, but selling you soul is always problematical. Does this deal cross the line? Where exactly is the line?
    Your comments would be appreciated.
    https://amp.knoxnews.com/amp/1334537002

  2. #2

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    Any education about the outdoors and outdoor activities is a good thing. Hopefully it encourages people to give and to start hiking.

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    i dont care about them opening a business-----but i care about the name...

    the only other person i've heard called the trail, the "appy" has been the hipster doofus at work trying to be a hipster......

    i cant recall in any of my other times any other one calling it by that name......

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    I don't know the history of this project, but the news article made me think the developer was going to create an AT themed hotel no mater what (after all, the ATC doesn't own the marketing rights to the AT do they?).
    So it sounds like as a part of this theme, the hotel wanted to create a small AT museum. Since the ATC is responsible not only for trail maintenance but also education, it doesn't sound like selling out but taking advantage of an opportunity to better fulfill a part of their mission.

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    (after all, the ATC doesn't own the marketing rights to the AT do they?).


    not to the name, but to all of their copyrighted stuff.................and thats easy to get around by not using it.....






    it doesn't sound like selling out but taking advantage of an opportunity to better fulfill a part of their mission.


    thats how i kinda view it..........

  6. #6

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    This doesn't really bother me in the big scheme of things, but I must admit that encouraging guests to make up trail names induced my eyes to roll.

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    ...Take the pink blaze hallway to the honeymoon suite...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bumpy View Post
    ...Take the pink blaze hallway to the honeymoon suite...
    will there be a green blaze hall to the pothead rooms?

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    I think it's a neat idea. It seems unlikely that it would affect the amount of people on the trail overall, except perhaps in the immediate area of the Smokies. Maybe it would convince a few to give a thru-hike a go, and I imagine that they would have about the same success rate as all the people who give it a shot in the wake of a new film about thru-hiking.

    But I think in large part, it will appeal to the people with some pre-existing connection to the trail but who aren't actually interested in backpacking. I have family members, friends, and coworkers who were intrigued by my thru-hike, but are not particularly outdoorsy. I imagine they would enjoy this: spending time in Gatlinburg and the Smokies, learning about the AT, and most importantly sleeping in a comfy bed out of the rain each night. If ATC can provide information to this audience and receive support in return, it's a win-win as far as I'm concerned.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
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  10. #10

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    Think they'll have thru-hiker rates?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thedude18e View Post
    Think they'll have thru-hiker rates?
    And maybe work for stay?


    They should slack pack.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  12. #12

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    Fits right in to gaitlinburg's general over the top tourist trap theme....

    Plenty of hotels, restaurants and other places do their little 'community corner' or tie in to the locale themes as a part of their current business strategy and often simply swipe the street cred or even convince the town to participate for free for gracing them with their project. Even chains realize people don't like chains and look to "localize" their projects.

    Kinda hard calling a donation based organization 'sell outs' for accepting donations or working with donors for mutual benefit.
    I can understand some don't like the ATC 'promoting' the trail... but it does need promotion. There is about to be a large generational turnover in volunteers that needs replacement if the trail will continue as it is into the future.

    This looks like it was sincerely done and actually gives something back to the trail immediately and in the future. They could have gone with a generic trail theme or gently skirted around the ATC and not paid a penny. Coulda cheesed it up easily too and most tourists wouldn't notice the difference.
    From beers to t-shirts and even all the hostels or others who profit from hikers lots of folks 'rip off the AT' with products or services as it is a public entity... the ATC actually getting some money back, merchandise and a some precious square footage set aside in the hotel devoted to the trail seems like a win to me.

    If not to you... I'd suggest the simple solution I employ... stay the hell out of Gaitlinburg

  13. #13
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    As long as they don't start selling naming rights to National Parks to generic, faceless, multi-national conglomerates, like run-of-the-mill golf tournaments, college football bowl games, NFL stadiums, etc.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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    I have noticed that most of the younger generation (hipsters?) really don't care about history. I teach history at a local university, so having a history theme throughout the place is probably a waste. If you go to their website, there is no mention of the AT what so ever just look at our rooms, we are in Gatlinburg and reserve your room today. Looking at their room pictures and seeing that they start at $99.00, I doubt any hiker will be using this place. The news article shows the new Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains, which shows tents that have never seen use on the AT, but by golly the Appy Lodge will haul your butt out there. It may be nice that the ATC gets some funding from "some Appy merchandise purchases benefit the ATC, Ogle said. The Appy has made a contribution to ATC and will offer a "round up" program for gift shop purchases and will hold an annual fundraiser for the organization".

    Right now I am up in the air about the benefit to the ATC, but it sure sounds a little fishy to me. If he does what he said, it may work out.
    Blackheart

  15. #15

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    What? An Appalachian Trail themed hotel in Gatlinburg? What's next, an Appalachian Trail themed festival selling food and trinkets?

    Among the corruption, graft, and affronts to decency involved in this mess:

    AT related history photos and information in the lobby, how insulting. Whatever will become of the standard dust covered pamphlet shelf hawking whale watching 500 miles distant, trolly car rides, aqua parks, and communal dining establishments.

    Room decor of natural wood with red/black plaid, an affront to anyone who appreciates the fine esthetic fabrics and color combinations of the Knights Inn that brought purple velvet and black furniture into vogue.

    Pricing of rooms in the low $100 range. Clearly this won't capture many thru hikers around 2,000 potential customers per season, instead targeting Mr. and Mrs. America numbering in the millions annually driving through town looking for a different place to stay that isn't a national chain or having plywood bunk beds.

    Staff choosing a "trail name" for themselves flies in the face of honor and dignity, what would Disney Corp think of having someone copy their policy of employees choosing "stage names". Why, this could lead to children getting nicknames at school. An abomination.

    Spending a night in a tent provided by a hotel should be illegal, with mandatory community service requirements if caught. How dare anyone sponsor tents for people who have never thru hiked the AT, never mind not ever spending the night in one. What if these people actually enjoy the experience. What on earth are they thinking offering this?

    A sign-post referencing various places along the AT at the hotel, we all know what direction that takes us.

    Profit sharing mechanisms with the ATC for some merchandise sold in the gift shop. Tip of the iceberg for corruption and illicit activity potentially paying for trail related services, disgusting.

    I can see the outrage.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    As long as they don't start selling naming rights to National Parks to generic, faceless, multi-national conglomerates, like run-of-the-mill golf tournaments, college football bowl games, NFL stadiums, etc.
    Why not take the money (especially if multi-millions)? Those of who really use things know what the real names are and will continue to use them.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Fits right in to gaitlinburg's general over the top tourist trap theme....

    Plenty of hotels, restaurants and other places do their little 'community corner' or tie in to the locale themes as a part of their current business strategy and often simply swipe the street cred or even convince the town to participate for free for gracing them with their project. Even chains realize people don't like chains and look to "localize" their projects.

    Kinda hard calling a donation based organization 'sell outs' for accepting donations or working with donors for mutual benefit.
    I can understand some don't like the ATC 'promoting' the trail... but it does need promotion. There is about to be a large generational turnover in volunteers that needs replacement if the trail will continue as it is into the future.

    This looks like it was sincerely done and actually gives something back to the trail immediately and in the future. They could have gone with a generic trail theme or gently skirted around the ATC and not paid a penny. Coulda cheesed it up easily too and most tourists wouldn't notice the difference.
    From beers to t-shirts and even all the hostels or others who profit from hikers lots of folks 'rip off the AT' with products or services as it is a public entity... the ATC actually getting some money back, merchandise and a some precious square footage set aside in the hotel devoted to the trail seems like a win to me.

    If not to you... I'd suggest the simple solution I employ... stay the hell out of Gaitlinburg
    What would the other "Bill", Bryson that is, say?
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  18. #18
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Bill Bryson pretty much had his say about Gatlinburg in A Walk In The Woods and The Lost Continent.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    Bill Bryson pretty much had his say about Gatlinburg in A Walk In The Woods and The Lost Continent.
    And we've had our say about Bill Bryson all over this forum!
    Be Prepared

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    How is this "selling out"? Are you saying the ATC is selling out by joining forces with a private for-profit entity? The owners of the hotel are just trying to make a buck, like every other entrepreneur. It's the American way. Are you pissed about Jellystone Parks? I recently stayed at the Glacier Park Hotel in Montana. It's outside the park, privately owned and uses the park's name all in a hope to make money. It was great.
    Be Prepared

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