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CHICAGO, Ill. -- The branding of large public facilities has become commonplace: Busch Stadium, Petco Park, FedEx Field, HP Pavilion and Pepsi Center, to name a few. That trend is now spreading to the travel industry.
Not only has Google struck a deal with the state of Hawaii to "re-slogan" Kauai as "The Google Garden Isle," Sir Richard Branson, in an arrangement with the International Oceanographic Organization, the group overseeing the world's oceans, will change the name of the Atlantic Ocean to the "Virgin Atlantic Ocean".
Even so, it was a surprise to many travelers who showed up at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport this past month to find that it had been renamed "Ronco Field." A similar experience greeted air travelers in New Jersey. There they found that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has operated Newark Liberty International Airport under a lease with the City of Newark since 1948, changed the airport's name to "Goldman Sacks International Airport."
And the trend seems to be continuing. Err Travel has learned from reliable sources that Denver International Airport is in talks to change that facility's name to Coors Rocky Mountain High Aerodrome.
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is also getting on the bandwagon. But instead of waiting for corporate suitors to approach it, the airport sponsored a contest among its travelers for their help in naming one of the world's busiest airports.
The winning entry, selected by the airport commission was "Chicago We-Know-Snow International" submitted by Joni Gewiphed of Ramell Heights, Ill. For her win, Ms. Gewiphed received an all-expenses-paid vacation for two at a La Couvier Hotel Resort of her choice, first-class, round trip transportation on JetRed, and $100,000 spending money.
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