Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Unwitting scalper gets invited back

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Cincinnati-area hotel owner extended a hospitable hand to a University of Louisville student who was fined and had her basketball tickets confiscated last week when she tried to sell them below face value.

Mark Schutte, executive director of the Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau and an executive with Red Roof Inns, read about Genny Cox's ordeal in Saturday's Enquirer. After her team was eliminated from the Conference USA tournament Thursday, the 21-year-old Louisville woman tried to sell the $35 tickets for $30 on the U.S. Bank Arena's plaza. She was approached by an undercover police officer, who took her tickets and left her with a $200 fine.

Schutte wrote Cox an e-mail on Monday, saying he was "embarrassed for my city." Schutte said he plans on giving Cox and three of her friends the red carpet treatment, which includes Kings Island tickets, a $100 gift certificate to the Montgomery Inn Boathouse restaurant and a VIP suite at the Amerisuites hotel in Blue Ash.

"I would like to think that a little common sense would have prevailed in that situation," Schutte said, referring to police ticketing Cox even though there are no signs on the U.S. Bank Arena plaza warning against selling tickets. "They say that when somebody has a bad experience, they'll tell 10 people about it. Hopefully, she'll have a great experience in Northern Cincinnati and will tell 10 people about that."

Cox, who had said last week she never wanted to come back to the city, said Tuesday she is overwhelmed by the offer and is looking forward to giving the Queen City a second chance.


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