Many Americans use Sept. 11 as a reminder to be thankful, to remember loved ones and to honor the fallen, but some businesses are also using the day to offer 9/11-themed discounts.
This year, the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho, is offering special rates and deals as a "Thank you to our heroes." The deal includes hotel rooms for $91.11 and a food voucher for $9.11.
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The offer is valid for ID-carrying members of the active military, military veterans, doctors, nurses, first responders, EMTs, firefights, police, sheriff, state patrol, US Marshals, air traffic controllers, FBI, 911 dispatchers, volunteer firefighters and EMTs.
"On special days we always try to do something in special recognition of men and women in public service," Bob Bostwick, head of the hotel's public relations department, told The Huffington Post. "It's disturbing to think that this would be taken differently. Make no mistake, this is not a money maker. if anything, it would probably lose money."
These kinds of offers can be risky from a public relations standpoint, however. Bostwick acknowledged that his office had received a couple of negative emails and phone calls since the promotion was published, but he stressed that the motivations for the promotion were "heartfelt" and were never meant to offend.
Last year, a 9/11 anniversary coupon offered by New York Sports Club, offered certain active first responders discounted gym memberships. But the deal drew the ire of many of the first responders the ad was supposedly meant to honor.
"There are certain things you should never advertise from," James Ryder, a retired police officer who worked identifying Ground Zero remains, told the New York Daily News at the time. "It's disgusting."
The debate over how to best honor the occasion, especially when potential profit is involved, is probably not going away any time soon. Last August, a massive Village Voice feature investigated reports that various individuals and organizations were using the attacks for personal gain.
What do you think? Are deals like the Coeur d'Alene's touching, or tacky? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Photo courtesy of The Consumerist