In the Loop

In the Loop: March 28, 2008 Archive

Breaking news: Canada makes a bid to buy Ely

Posted at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2008 by Jeff Horwich (12 Comments)

I guess being so far from the action can leave you feeling a little...detached. Dejected.

Apparently the residents of little Ely, Minnesota have decided they've had enough of life on the fringes of Minnesota, and are threatening to up and move to Canada (about 25 miles away).

In The Loop sources have supplied an early copy of the town's pending news release:

ELY, MINN. -- April 1, 2008 -- Today it was announced that Canada has made an unprecedented offer, as a boost to tourism, to purchase the famous Boundary Waters town of Ely, Minn., and relocate it north of the U.S./Canadian border.

In a prepared statement, the Premier of Ontario pledged Ely will retain its worldwide reputation as the entryway to the Boundary Waters, though now from the other side, as well as its legendary lakes, resorts, restaurants, gift shops and museums, including the world-famous International Wolf Center.

Reportedly, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has entered into negotiations with the Minnesota DNR and the Governor's office to arrive at a satisfactory price. Sources close to the deal say that Ely will become Ely, Ontario as early as 2009.

Well...not exactly.

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It's part of a pretty clever ad campaign whipped up for April Fools week, including some fake news spots that might make me do a double-take if I heard them on commercial radio:

Other spots simulate a bidding war for Ely, among Nebraska, Uzbekistan, and a tycoon who wants to move the town to his private island.

The message, of course: Get up to Ely while you still can!

Somehow I don't think the press will actually bite on the story (God help any poor little newsroom that sincerely relays this release without checking it out!) but it's a good attention-getter.

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