When I walked past the shuttered ESPN Zone last week, I spotted a sign affixed to the outside door. Curious, I went up to check it out.
Turns out, it was a note talking about how ESPN Zone is closed and stuff -- except in corporate jargon.
Whereas most local businesses would put out a hand-written note saying "We're closed, suckers!" or maybe even nothing at all (the long-closed Ullswater still had an "open" sign outside the last time I drove by), ESPN Zone went all-out.
Maybe a little too far, in fact. Here's the opening graph of the letter, which was dated June 16 ...
ESPN Zone operations in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. were discontinued today. The Los Angeles and Anaheim locations will remain open and operated by AEG and Zone Enterprises of Anaheim respectively.
It goes on with a couple graphs from some bigwigs about how regretful it is, and how ESPN Zone remained "a long term business challenge." Then they thanked their employees, vendors, customers and everybody else who made it "a first class entertainment and dining destination."
While I was standing there absorbing all this, a group of kids walked up and tugged on the door. It didn't budge. One of the kids skimmed the letter but didn't understand it. After a few seconds, another kid realized what was going on.
"It's closed!," he said.