On a typical day in winter, VisitIthaca.com receives roughly 1,500 hits, but today the website's page views have soared to nearly 80,000. All because it told its visitors to "not come to Ithaca."
Bruce Stoff, director of Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that because of the heavy traffic, which crashed the website, the pop-up was taken down Tuesday afternoon.
Since Sunday afternoon VisitIthaca.com displayed a pop-up saying, "That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West, anyone?" and encouraging people to fly away from the winter woes of Ithaca in upstate New York.
Stoff said that after being frustrated by constant snowstorms and bone-chilling temperatures, his team came up with the idea of encouraging people to visit the Florida Keys. "We broke down. We don't get a lot of winter business anyway, so we thought how could we make this fun."