Back in July, the owner of a The Red Hen, a small restaurant in Lexington, VA (about a 3 hour drive from DC) kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family out of her restaurant because she works for Donald Trump.
Resistance players were ecstatic. Trump supporters demonstrated.
Well, maybe Nike should take a look at what's going on in Lexington, because it might be a warning sign.
According to the Roanoke Times, a Lexington area tourism council has had to dip into its emergency fund to beef up its marketing campaign because tourism dried up after the controversy.
It seems that it's a lot of Republicans who support the little cute touristy shops and hotels and restaurants in the Lexington area. And they stopped showing up.
From the Roanoke Times:
Rockbridge Regional Tourism agreed to spend an additional $5,000 per month from the office’s emergency fund from July through September.
The tourism office receives 0.8 percent of the lodging and meals tax collected from each locality. About 20 percent of its annual budget, which is around $800,000, is put into a reserve for emergencies.
Typically the money is saved. But each locality agreed the region was in desperate need of positive coverage after The Red Hen incident.
Director of Marketing Patty Williams said the area is still feeling effects from the controversy — the tourism office received a letter Thursday from a family in Georgia who said they would never come back to the area because of what happened. And during the immediate aftermath of the incident, the tourism office received thousands of phone calls and emails.
“For a town our size, it was a significant impact,” Williams said.
Maybe Nike should take notice. What happened to Lexington because the owner of a restaurant decided to let her politics and personal feelings override everything else is pretty swift and real.
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Lexington, VA - July 6: On the second night after the Red Hen in Lexington opened after nearly two weeks of being closed and having protests in front all was quiet as dinner service started, Friday July 6, 2018. Two weeks ago, Saturday White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant by it's owner. (Photo by Norm Shafer/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images).