Visitors look at a detailed copy of a Mayan hieroglyphic text known as the Dresden codex in Guatemala City October 22, 2007. The original document, which dates from the 13th century, turned up in Dresden, Germany in 1739 where it is currently held in the Sachsische Landesbibliothek. The Dresden codex is one of three Mayan codices to have survived the book burnings by the Spanish clergy during the 16th century. (Photo : Reuters)
While some may be worrying about the end of the world this week, businesses are taking advantage of the upcoming "doomsday" to promote their products and services. According to CNBC and the Los Angeles Times, hotels and restaurants are promoting Mayan apocalypse specials just in time for one last hurrah.
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In San Diego, The Keating hotel is offering an "End of the World" package for $666, which includes a last meal and fitness classes for outrunning zombies, CNBC reported. Christos Brooks, the Keating's standards and operations director, told CNBC that the package has led to 15 rooms booked. The hotel is also promoting a post-doomsday special, Brooks added.
The Curtis Hotel in Denver offered a similar package, called the "Party Like There's No-To-Maya" for $12,021, the news outlet reported. The package, which did not end up selling, included an entire floor rental, with anti-radiation tablets, freeze-dried food and gas masks.
Restaurant chain T.G.I Friday's is promoting its own end of the world special. The food chain is hosting "Last Friday" celebrations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Washington D.C., the LA Times reported. Event goers will be able to sample the special "End-of-the-World" Menu, which includes a Mayan Margarita, the Last First Bite appetizer, the Rib-Eye to End All Rib-Eyes entree and the Final Countdown dessert (Whiskey Cake).
Fast-food chain Carl's Jr. is also offering a doomsday-inspired meal choice, the Times reported. Last week, the West Coast chain posted a photo of their 12x12x12 Burger on its Facebook page with the caption, "If it's not the end of the world, then it's definitely the end of your hunger. #burgergeddon #baconpocalypse #cheesetastrope." According to the Times, the burger consists of 12 burger patties, 12 slices of cheese and 12 bacon strips.
According to Chekitan Dev, an associate professor of strategic marketing and brand management at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, the highly talked about Mayan doomsday predictions "allows marketers an opportunity to 'piggyback' their offers on the highly publicized event."
"With the media creating a lot of hype, a lot of the market preparation is already done for product and service marketers so it's then a matter of capitalizing on this media opportunity," Dev told CNBC.
American entrepreneurs aren't the only ones taking advantage of the impending apocalypse. In Russia, RT.com reported that towns around the country were selling doomsday survival kits (vodka included) and tours to heaven or hell.
The doomsday conspiracies are based on misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar, which is set to end its thirteenth 349-year cycle on Friday. According to the rumors, the end of the calendar signifies the end of the world through cataclysmic events. However, both scientists and governments have assured people that the world will not end but that the Mayan calendar will instead enter its fourteenth cycle, or b'ak'tun.
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