Gurney's Inn

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Paradise Lost

Dear Independent Editor,

The July 5th issue of The Independent carried a column titled "Welcome to the Jungle." This column, in my opinion, includes derogatory and demeaning comments about "day trippers" and their negative impact on East Hampton.

Quotes from the column described day trippers as a "new animal that has been unleashed in the jungle (of East Hampton)." Other quotes included, "this species of out-of-towners rarely buys anything," "With the benefit of tourism comes the pitfalls of insanity" and "If we can't beat the wild beast, do we join them? Proceed at your own discretion." If these comments were meant to be satirical, they were NOT humorous to me.

At a time when the image of the Hamptons is being challenged as celebrity-centered, overpriced and a spoiled "paradise lost," these statements are untimely and unfair to day trippers and the contributions they have made to establishing the Hamptons as a world-class destination. East End Chambers of Commerce and Tourist Promotion Agencies have always encouraged day visitors and have stressed the significant financial and other benefits that they bring.

On the personal side, I first fell in love with the Hamptons as a day tripper and then came for 40 years as a long-season South Fork summer resident. During the past five years, I have been part of the exciting growth and development of the North Fork — the "New Paradise Found." The incredible wineries, attractive restaurants and expanding entertainment venues credit day trippers as a key factor in creating a visitor friendly point of destination.

I am now involved with major projects bringing more live entertainment and related events to the North Fork as I have done for over 20 years in the Hamptons. The credo of the East End has always been "day trippers welcome."

It would be a good idea if Hampton leaders would expand and not limit efforts to welcome day visitors. Because of the importance of this issue, I would welcome ANY comments or ideas at

Editor's Note: The column, Internally Yours, was written by one of our summer interns, Erin

July 11, 2006


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