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The Southern Tourism War of 2013: Enterprise, AL vs. Covington, GA

Covington, GA

I've written briefly before about how my hometown of Covington, GA has played host to Hollywood productions for nearly six decades. Currently, The Vampire Diaries films here, and the show has brought with it a unique brand of tourism. A local couple takes Vampire Diaries fans on tours, and fans camp out to watch hours upon hours of filming around town. The cult nature of the show lends a kitschy vibe to the cottage industry it has produced in Covington.

Our local Chamber of Commerce recently debuted an ad spoofing the vampire culture in Covington at a baseball tournament that took place here in town. The ad features a vampire who takes a mother and daughter on a tour of Covington. More importantly, it features many of our town's beautiful sites. It's clever, funny, and well made (other than the vampire's ridiculous accent) - no sane person would take it for anything other than a spoof.

And then there's Kyle Mooty, editor of the Enterprise Ledger in Enterprise, AL. Mooty got his  undies in a bunch over the ad, and he expresses his ridiculous indignation in an editorial with the sensational (and stupid) headline, Covington, Ga., Where Killing is Promoted. Mr. No-Humor Mooty writes:

Not that Covington’s Chamber of Commerce was planning on rolling out the red carpet for me anytime soon anyway, but the video has scared me away from that town forever. No, the lame-acting vampire who stalks a mother and daughter and eventually consumes (we are led to believe) the mother, hardly scared me, it was the fact that some higher-ups in the town actually approved the video to be used as a promotional tool for the town. Who wants to be in a town with leadership that careless?


It would be akin to Brentwood, Calif., showing the chase of O.J. Simpson in his buddy’s Bronco as a promotional tool for that Los Angeles suburb.

Let’s go ahead and have Cincinnati promote the fact that Charles Manson was born there, Chicago promote that O’Hare is considered the most dangerous airport in the U.S., or Pinos Altos, N.M., promote the fact that one of its residents was killed by a mountain lion in 2008. Oh boy, Mom, let’s go hiking in Pinos Altos.  While we’re at it, let’s see a commercial for the Big Apple telling us to visit New York City, the best possible place in the U.S. to catch the flu. Or St. Louis, which can say it’s only a short drive across the Mississippi River Bridge away from East St. Louis, Ill., considered by many as the worst town in America.

News flash, Kyle: Vampires don't exist! All the other examples you mentioned are terrible events that took place in the real world, but a television series about vampires doesn't quite touch them.