April Fool’s Comes but Once a Year


April 2, 2014

Quite a few more readers than we expected were fooled by yesterday’s story reporting that Town Council was selling the Inner Harbor for $10. We thought we had planted enough clues to make everybody realize it was a joke, but in retrospect we realize the story was close enough to reality to be somewhat believable.

For example, after the first sentence reporting the $10 sale, we wrote: “The original offer was $1, but was raised ten-fold as a demonstration of goodwill by the buyer.” But that’s exactly what happened with the old school property: the buyer originally offered $1 and then raised it to $10.

The next clue was the Harbor purchaser: J. David Schmick of St. Petersburg, Russia, owner of Sketch-Along Resourcing LLC. Readers who have closely followed the sale of the school and park property know the buyer was J. David McCormack of Petersburg, Virginia, owner of Echelon Resources LLC. But not everyone remembers that, so it wasn’t enough to give the hoax away.

But then we reported that Schmick planned to turn the Shanty into a Hong Kong style floating restaurant, and that he might rebrand it as a McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant. If that wasn’t a giveaway, we thought that surely the Disney waterslide, jet ski race course, and ferry boat casino would not pass the reality test. An added clue was that Charade Adventures LLC would operate the ferryboat casino. The contract to buy the old school was with Echelon Resources, but the town actually sold it to another McCormack company – Cheron Ventures. [Read more…]