TV personality Kelly Ripa says P.E.I. her top choice for family destination

Dave Stewart
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'I think about it, I dream about it,' Ripa tells WestJet's Up Magazine

Kelly Ripa and her daughter Lola pose with an Anne of Green Gables doll during Live! With Regis and Kelly's broadcast from Charlottetown in 2010..

There’s no question that Prince Edward Island left quite an impression with TV personality Kelly Ripa.

The host of Live! with Kelly recently told Up Magazine that P.E.I. is her favourite destination when it comes to family getaways.

“Prince Edward Island has stayed with me,’’ Ripa told the magazine.

Ripa travelled to P.E.I. in July 2010 for four episodes of what was then Live! With Regis and Kelly.

Now, it’s one thing for people to say nice things about places when they are there but it’s quite another for someone to bring it up later, totally unprovoked.

The magazine simply asked Ripa if she could only pick one destination to take her family to, where would she go?

“It’s left its mark on me. I think about it, I dream about it,’’ she tells the magazine. “I remember seeing my children happier there than they’ve ever been. We did amazing things but we did the real things that matter in life: we took walks, the kids played in the ocean.

“We did things that didn’t require gadgets and equipment. Because we are raising our kids in New York City, we love the wilderness and I think children need that. We like to bring them to unspoiled places.’’

Her comments were the talk of social media, giving P.E.I. a bit more exposure after the provincial government spent $800,000 to bring the morning talk show to Charlottetown.

Tourism Minister Robert Henderson said the province has received good value for its money.

“We made an investment, took a chance,’’ Henderson said.

“The comments she and others have made afterwards and now they’re continuing to do that just puts Prince Edward Island a little more in the destination spotlight as a place for people (to visit).’’

The show broadcasted from Confederation Landing Park for four days in July 2010. Part of the show involved Ripa and the now-retired Regis Philbin visiting different locales around the Island.

It’s estimated that had government purchased four hours of advertising and broadcast advertisements in areas where the show is viewed, it would have cost $28 million.

At the very least, the hope was that people would become familiar with where P.E.I. is.

Henderson said the province estimates the economic impact the exposure gave the show was around $5 million. In fact, the province’s tourism website crashed soon with people logging on out of curiosity after the shows aired.

“The exposure that the Regis and Kelly show gave us was kind of a once-n-a-lifetime opportunity.’’

Needless to say, the province would be open to teaming up Ripa again.

“I would certainly say if contact can be made and Kelly was interested we’d certainly like to build on this a little. At least we know she’s receptive to saying good things about the province of P.E.I.’’

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, New York City, Charlottetown Confederation Landing Park

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Recent comments

  • What would Kelly Ripa think?
    November 05, 2012 - 06:58

    PEI is a wonderful place to be, but not so much to Plan B. As we all know, Plan B has ceased to be a road and is quickly becoming a permanent symbol. And, what does it represent, what does it say to visitors and residents? Would Plan B - in all its truth - attract or repel Kelly Ripa to this place? I suspect 90% of Islanders would be able to guess the answer to that question . . . but not Robert Vessey.

  • Andy Adams
    August 31, 2012 - 07:31

    PEI is a wonderful summer destination and Kelly Ripa's recommendation is thrilling. PEI has much to offer for a family for a vacation. Since our family moved to PEI 27 years ago, we always stayed home to enjoy the summer fun in PEI and travelled south in the winter! It was just too much fun to be in PEI in the summer and we could always have a better vacation here than anywhere else!

  • Commenter
    August 17, 2012 - 16:29

    Just because we do not neceassarily agree with you , it makes it negativity? Not everyone is swayed by so called celebs and the expense of getting them to attempt to do the job of tourism. You can read the news...badly.. or whatever .and still be seen as a brilliant beacon and celeb to guide the masses.We use the words celebrity and hero much too freely these days! Remember, the tax payers are the ones paying in the end.

  • V herring
    August 17, 2012 - 14:29

    Why is it that Islander's seem to like negativity when it comes to their beautiful Island? If it is so bad why are you there???

    • peiguy
      December 05, 2012 - 23:01

      Because they are too cheap to pay the bridge toll. Notice how we pay to leave. Must be a way of keeping the tax base up hehe. Just kidding

  • Kristen
    August 16, 2012 - 18:23

    Just came across this article while researching "info" about PEI for our up-coming visit there in September. It was the Regis and Kelly show from PEI that got my family interested in checking this place out! We'll be driving up from Boston for a two week vacation. Can't wait!

    • peiguy
      December 05, 2012 - 23:07

      We will have some hospitality for you when you arrive, travel safe , dont forget to bring a smile. P.S. dont worry about the grumpy folks on these comments They wont be around ...they'll be busy writing someing silly on a blog while sitting in their kitchen in their underwear. hehe they live down the block from me.

  • Billy MacDonald
    August 15, 2012 - 13:19

    Been and lived in many places, PEI is where I'm the happiest. Nice Story

  • carllie
    August 14, 2012 - 01:15

    If Ripa dreams about PE Island and is her favorite vacation destination why has she not returned with her family instead of choosing to go to Colorado, Venice and various islands for vacations. Fine it is her favorite when her trip is paid for but when she has to pay for a vacation she chooses to go elsewhere.

  • SAP
    August 13, 2012 - 15:22

    Maybe she will talk to some of the the Chinese citizens who are upset about the PNP situation for us?

  • jimbo
    August 13, 2012 - 12:51

    I wonder how many of these pompous asses that sit back and criticize the efforts of our government tourism people and volunteers actually do to enhance our lovely Island or our workforce! If truth would be known one would probably find absolutely nothing. Because there are to busy being negative about everything in their life. It's no use saying anything else because it would be wasted on the likes of them.

  • Island Girl
    August 13, 2012 - 11:07

    An $800k spend only to have Kelly Rippa refer to PEI as "the wilderness". Value for money?

  • SG
    August 13, 2012 - 10:59

    (Needless to say, the province would be open to teaming up Ripa again.) I find it difficult to understand why the Gov. would be willing to bear the expense of bringing Ripa to PEI again while our News Reports state our economy is suffering, Islanders' job opportunities are at an all time low, the recent increase in Government lay offs, etc !

  • Whatever
    August 13, 2012 - 10:56

    If you wine and dine us, and give us royal treatment and send us to Alcatraz I am sure we can belt out a few high notes as well. We will probably give gushing reviews. PEI is nice as most places in Summer and a frozen tundra in Winter. And Tourism PEI should not be so quick to hitch their wagon to a celebrity star. A few years ago Jon Stewart mentioned PEI on his show but his evaluation was much less glowing. Guess he wont be coming as a waited on celeb guest any time soon.

  • Good News Story
    August 13, 2012 - 10:55

    Great to hear about her positive experience. To build on both ANN's and For the Record's comments - I agree with Ann in that it was a very positive experience for a huge public figure like Ripa to speak so good about it, it just isn't necessary to tempt fate by taking on the huge expense of organizing something with Ripa again when her vision of the island is already in a positive enough place that she'd choose to speak freely about it like that. On the same note, this kind of exposure is HUGE for the province, and other acts/shows/public figures should be explored with the same concept but in a different format exposed to maybe different or varying demographics. Shows that appeal to the parents, stay at home Moms, grandparents, Canadian entertainment as well as American. There's no shortage of channels of communication and opportunities for Branding - it's just a matter of pursuing the proper ROI efforts to do so

    August 13, 2012 - 10:34

    Let's remember , it was Robert Vessey who facilitated this entire event as Toursim minister.To all who suggested it was a waste of money bringing Regis & Kelly to PEI ... small minded thoughts will result in small results.

  • Ann
    August 13, 2012 - 10:03

    I am thrilled that Ripa enjoyed her time on PEI but I think it would be a mistake to team up with her again. Her children's enjoyment seems to be the root of her happy memories and that's because they were the perfect age to enjoy the PEI simplicity. As they get older they may not enjoy the simple things as much and we all know how bored/cranky children can sour vacation memories. They also had good weather and no big problems arose. So let's enjoy her happy reflections and glowing reviews instead of trying to roll the dice again. The next time they may not come up in our favour.