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Opening Arguments

Stealth junkets

With congressional committees ostentatiously flaying companies that accept bailouts then take lavish trips, "junkets" suddenly have a very bad name. Business representatives are now deathly afraid that someone, somewhere might think they occasionally have a good time. This is bad news for places like Las Vegas and Hawaii, but, apparently, very good news for Indianapolis:

Public outrage over corporate junkets has stole a big chunk of business from the Tampa Bay area's largest resort - and put it into Indianapolis' lap.

Officials at the TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Fla., learned Friday that a meeting for 150 employees of a Wells Fargo & Co. subsidiary — scheduled to begin Sunday — was canceled.

And it has been rescheduled for later in the year in Indianapolis, according to a report in the St. Petersburg Times.

A stealth junket! You can almost hear the corporate planners: "Let's change the meeting to Indianapolis. No one would ever believe we were going there to enjoy ourselves." And it suggests a whole new campaign for Indy: "Bring your corporate warriors to Nap Town. All the fun you can stand, and no one will ever know." I bet Fort Wayne could even get in on some of that: "Enjoy a whole new level of camouflaged camaraderie. Our hotel isn't finished yet, so your loved ones will think you're bored out of your minds, but they won't even be able to contact you!"

Thhis is all very upsetting to Las Vegas, which is starting to lose major tourism money because of canceled trips. The mayor even wants an apology from President Obama for saying mean things about the city. But don't feel too sorry for the Sin City folks. They have friends in high places.