The city council in Ocean City, Md., has stirred up controversy while admittedly trying to nab headlines with a free gas promotion aimed at tourists.
But critics fear the buzz created by the free gas might actually have a negative impact on the resort community.
The plan to give $100,000 worth of gas to tourists has been called an out-of-the-box marketing move by supporters and a shameless gimmick destined to fail by opponents.
The city council has proposed giving away a free gallon of gasoline for each night a person stays in an Ocean City hotel, but how the city government will pull this promotion off is still up in the air. The city has yet to determine where they'll be getting the free gas and how they plan on dispensing it.
"It's going to be a real challenge to try to figure out how to do this equitably, do it in a positive way, and do it in such a way where people are going to get value from it and not feel like it was some bait and switch", said Ocean City tourism director Debbie Turk.
No date has been established for the gas giveaway, but even supporters say they realize the free gas will likely run out in one summer's afternoon.
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