Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.
In the 1960s, the giant I-95 interstate highway was built parallel to the Delaware River. All residents of Philadelphia—America's first great seaport—were cut off from the water. The few pedestrian bridges built across the highway have helped. But in the '60s, roads mattered; people did not. For years, city politicians and private developers have been muttering about gentrifying the banks of the Delaware and making it people-friendly.
Some hobbyists are train spotters and plane spotters. I am a yacht-spotter. What triggered this column was seeing Lady Sandals, a mega-yacht at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River. I Googled Lady Sandals—135' and once owned by Nicolas Cage. Google supplied dozens of interior and exterior photographs of the ship. At that same pier, I spotted McFarland, a massive dredger operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. I chatted with a member of the crew and was invited aboard for a tour the next day.
Philadelphia is a sports-crazy city. Peggy and I used to go to a Phillies baseball game two or three times a year. Comcast/NBC has the Phillies' TV rights. Now all Phillies games are blacked out to Dish Network and DirecTV (which we have) subscribers. I occasionally listen to Phillies games on the radio while doing crosswords. The Phillies are hurting bad
My wife, Peggy, and I are hooked on watching the Philadelphia Eagles on television every week during football season. It's a fun few hours.
A very successful businessman I know has been a New York Giants season ticket holder for more than 35 years. Even though he moved to another city, he's hung onto his seats, giving them to family or selling them through his broker at a fat profit when he can't attend a game.
Recently my friend got a bill from the Giants for $40,000--a one-time payment for two "personal seat licenses," giving him the right to buy season tickets for those seats in perpetuity. The money is needed, claims management, to help finance the new $1.6 billion stadium, even though many fans are feeling more like bankers than ticket holders.
Is it smart business to screw somebody who's been a loyal customer for 35 years?
Believe it or not, in some cases the answer is yes.
The 139-word Bloomberg News release—that Pinnacle Entertainment is selling shares for casino funding—ends on a sour note. Pinnacle lost out in its bid for a slot machine parlor in Philadelphia to the proprietors of the largest casino complex in the world, Foxwoods, which is owned and operated by Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot tribe. The new Foxwoods Casino—slot machines only—that won the license, will be sited on the west bank of the Delaware River, roughly 1-1/2 miles from our 1817 row house in South Philadelphia. My neighbor, novelist-actor Steve Zettler, wrote a letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer that oozed sanctimony. “It goes beyond the obvious