Why I hadn’t already written about this topic is beyond me.
Until ten years ago, I lived in an area served by both the New York City and Philadelphia television markets. But having grown up with parents who were raised on New York stations and watched them by habit, I was raised doing the same. I love going back to my pre-September 2006 (that’s when I moved away from the area served by this television market) VHS tapes and recorded DVDs and finding stuff that I remember about watching television from the New York market. I love New York, and last October, I took a day trip there for the first time since 2007.
I may have only been there for the day, and didn’t need a hotel, but there was always this one commercial that made me (and many other kids from the area) want to stay at this one particular hotel in the heart of Broadway.
That was well-known 1980s commercial was the long-running Milford Plaza commercial, memorable if only for the catchy jingle and talented “staff.”
With the catchy jingle (to the tune of Lullaby of Broadway), as sung by the friendly staff of the Milford Plaza (who are obviously actors and not actual hotel staff), the perks of staying here are glorious.
Uploaded by Tigercat919
The promise of service in the heart of everything!
That singing and dancing! This was place was the dream destination of all kids in the 1980s!
And it no longer exists.
No, seriously. When I was planning my day trip to New York last year, I looked this place up, and all I got were this commercial and links for “Row NYC,” which is the hotel’s new name under new management and renovations. In a way, it makes me sad that if I ever do stay in New York City overnight, I’ll never get to stay at the Milford Plaza. But I’ll always have fond memories of the hotel I never go to experience, thanks to the jingle I’ve never gotten out of my head.
And speaking of jingles I’ll never get out of my head, and places I’ll never get to experience…
Uploaded by Ted Dennison
Oh my goodness, this song! The promise of that quaint and perfect couples getaway, that guest who does the back flip off the diving board, a pool in your hotel room! Golf! Tennis! Live shows! DANCING! That jingle! Call 1-800-441-4410, we’re freakin’ going to Mount Airy Lodge.
Sorry guys, this is another one of those splashy places all kids in the New York City market (and probably in the Philadelphia market too) knew that no longer stands as the place it was known to be in these commercials. Its original heyday of the 1960s and 1970s was highlighted by 1000 acres of everything, and was the premiere honeymoon hideaway. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors, velvet canopy beds, and heart-shaped bathtubs were the norm. Did you see kids in the commercial? I didn’t. Was the jingle really the very reason we wanted to stay here so badly?
This commercial came at a time of decline for Mount Airy Lodge, and the version you see here went into foreclosure in 1999, before closing for good in October 2001. So, the end of my childhood (I turned 19 in October 2001, and was a freshman in college) came at the end of a Poconos legacy.
We’ll be optimistic that their love outlasted Mount Airy Lodge’s life.
The Mount Airy name did make its return, in the form of a casino that opened in 2007. I still see commercials for it, but it’s not Mount Airy Lodge, and you don’t have to bring your love for everything. Because you probably love gambling and that’s why you’re there. And to think, that was where we were all going to go on our honeymoons.
There are pictures on the interwebs (especially Pinterest) of Mount Airy Lodge’s decline after it went into foreclosure and was reclaimed by nature.
I used to work with a woman who told me she cringed over that commercial, and one of our funniest conversations involved the heart-shaped hot tubs. I told her about a photo I saw online of a heart-shaped hot tub along the side of the road up in the Poconos, and she was all “ewwwww!” about it.
She says “ewwwww!”, I say it’s time to renovate my house and make way for this beauty.
And yes, use of this necessitates the use of the Mount Airy Lodge jingle.
They do have places like this in the Poconos (heck, they have a scary, low-rent version in the next town over from me), but nothing will ever be as famous in my eyes (or earworms) as Mount Airy Lodge!
After watching both of these ads, I feel nostalgic and sad that two places I believed I was going to visit when I grew up no longer exist in the way these commercials depict them, but then reality hits and I say, “did I ever really want to stay at Mount Airy Lodge?!”
But that Milford Plaza would probably have disappointed me and my extremely high expectations.
Just for the cameras, folks.
Allison is hardly the seasoned tourist (though she loves to travel!), but commercials are a big thing in her life, and as an impressionable kid, they really sparked her imagination and desire to be in the thick of everything. Today, these commercials are campy nostalgia, but they’re great memories of a time gone by. Allison loves nostalgia, and waxes much nostalgic on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s also on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
She had to mute the commercials while taking screenshots, the earworm factor of these ads are too fierce!