ROANOKE, Va. – A 1970s dating show has put Roanoke on the map.
In an episode of “The Dating Game,” the prize for the winning contestants was a getaway to Hotel Roanoke.
After recently watching that episode, a writer for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum, tweeted on Monday: “LOL, just watched an episode of The Dating Game in which the prize was a trip to glamorous... Roanoke, VA. That seems more like a punishment.<Preparing to be ratio’d by Roanoke.>”
Later famous author Stephen King chimed in, tweeting: ”First prize: A week in beautiful Roanoke! Second prize: TWO weeks in beautiful Roanoke!”
First prize: A week in beautiful Roanoke!— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 8, 2021
Second prize: TWO weeks in beautiful Roanoke!
In response, thousands tweeted, which made Roanoke a trending topic.
Some bashed the city, but many others came to its defense, including Gov. Ralph Northam, VDOT, The City of Roanoke and New York Times best-selling author Beth Macy.
Actually, you would love my city of 30 years! Great outdoor amenities and an undercurrent of grooviness that’s just enough to keep it interesting. Loved my recent semester in Williamsburg, but still I couldn’t wait to return to my mountain town, home of world’s largest neon star.— Beth Macy (@papergirlmacy) February 8, 2021
Del. Sam Rasoul extended an invitation and a meal, on him.
It’s not every day that my hometown, Roanoke, is trending on Twitter. Let’s make sure it’s for all the right reasons.— Sam Rasoul (@Sam_Rasoul) February 9, 2021
I invite you to visit @City_of_Roanoke and DM me when you do - I’ll cover your first meal.
(You’ll want to watch this until the end). pic.twitter.com/0UcnBNn6kV
On Tuesday afternoon, Rasoul spoke with 10 News near the Mill Mountain Star.
“We want people to come and visit Roanoke and see just how beautiful it is and how many amenities we have,” explained Rasoul.
Catherine Fox with Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge said the support is overwhelming.
“People who are on Twitter, seeing this from a statewide, national, international level, it really does shine a light on our area at a time we could all use a little positive,” said Fox. “Seeing this type of support is so important.”
From the Star to the mountains to the restaurants and more, Roanokers downtown told 10 News that the Star City deserves the spotlight.
“We’re a small city, compared to other big cities so any time that we’re getting that recognition, I like it,” said Brandon Taylor, a 27-year-old who lives in Roanoke.
“Totally think that it is deserved. There are so many cool things to do here,” said 22-year-old Roanoke native Ellee Walker.
Hotel Roanoke decided to join in on the fun by offering a Trending Tuesday Giveaway. On Valentine’s Day, one lucky couple will win an overnight stay and breakfast. Proving that Roanoke can be a romantic getaway, even 50 years later.
With #Roanoke trending, thanks to @StephenKing and @emilynussbaum, we are giving away a Romance Package of an overnight stay with breakfast! Head over to our Facebook to enter! Winner selected on Valentine's Day! @VisitVirginia @visitvbr @City_of_Roanokehttps://t.co/QGBF7ysNiu pic.twitter.com/1005vbdhqU— The Hotel Roanoke (@TheHotelRoanoke) February 9, 2021
“This was one of those moments where we get to showcase positives,” said Hotel Roanoke General Manager Brian Wells. “A date here at the Hotel Roanoke is a grand idea! We’re pretty excited about it.”
The giveaway winners will be selected at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14. The getaway is good for a year.