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Residents urged to stay in L.A. during Carmageddon II

As city and transportation officials continue to hammer home the “eat, shop and play locally” part of their Carmageddon message, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board will launch its #405things Twitter campaign Wednesday to nudge Angelenos with some ideas —and discounts.  

After last year’s closure of a 10-mile section of the 405 Freeway, some Westside business owners complained that sales were down after officials urged residents to stay home.

With another closure planned for this weekend, city leaders have stressed patronizing community businesses, especially those in walking or riding distance.

“I do think people learned last year that it’s OK to leave the house and get out and explore some new things,” said Susan Lomax, a vice president for the tourism board. “This weekend is the perfect excuse to get out and do some of those things that you don’t have a chance to do during your normal busy life.”

The tourism board is using its Twitter handle, @discoverLA, to promote the social media effort. Lomax said they provided ideas on where to go last year, too, and saw increased traffic to their website.

The effort adds to a similar campaign from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which developed an interactive map with about 300 places residents can enjoy this weekend at a discounted price.

Gary Toebben, President of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said he appreciates Metro’s effort to make the weekend “fun.” 

As for the tourists that picked this weekend to visit L.A.?

“We have been working through our offices worldwide to tell travel agents and tour operators about this one-time situation and certainly to make sure there aren’t any concerns that this is an ongoing event,” Lomax said.

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-- Matt Stevens

Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter and Google+

 
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