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Scranton is Real, and So is Our New Office-Themed Mural!
Have you heard? The fourth mural in a series of public art works developed through Scranton Tomorrow’s Mural Arts Program is now complete! Even before the Hagopian Arts team put the finishing touches on The Office: The Story of Us mural at Rear 503 Lackawanna Avenue last week, fans from across the country began showing up to bask in the glory of Dunder Mifflin’s hometown. The project is made possible with support from Peacock and generous community sponsors.
The news is so big among Dunderheads that we may just have to send a Wuphf about it! Super fans will remember Wuphf.com is the fictional website and communications tool created by Ryan Howard (B.J.Novak) on NBC’s hit comedy, The Office (Season 7, Episode 9).
The project’s popularity is no surprise to Curt Camoni, executive director of the Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau (LCVB). As the premier sponsor of the mural, the LCVB team recognized early on that this would be a golden ticket of tourism for the region. “The Office is, and has been, an enormous economic driver for Scranton and Lackawanna County for well over a decade. This new mural not only commemorates the iconic show in its fictitious home, but it gives Office fans from around the globe another reason to visit Lackawanna County,” he said.
Realizing the show’s continuing popularity years ago, the LCVB team created The Office Self-Guided Tour. The downloadable map highlights local businesses and real locations featured in the show with notes indicating the season and episode each site was mentioned. “The Office Self-Guided Tour has been extremely popular for us,” Camoni said. “Fans can follow the map directly on our website, download it, or pick up the Visitors Bureau brochure and make their own itinerary. It has been the most frequented page on our site for the past five years, with nearly 70,000 visitors last year alone, and we have distributed tens of thousands of brochures.”
Dunderheads can now add a stop at The Office: The Story of Us mural to their itinerary. Featuring highly-rendered, realistic black-and-white portraits of 17 cast members, famous quotes from the show, local landmarks referenced in the series, and colorful geometric shapes, the mural is 86 feet wide by 27 feet tall. While visiting Downtown Scranton, they can also explore the city’s historic architecture, shop in more than 75 retailers, dine in 50 restaurants, cafés, and pubs, and enjoy the art and culture unique to the Electric City — all within walking distance of the mural.
All this tourism is good for the local economy. “Scranton has become a must-visit destination for die-hard fans,” Camoni said. “They stay in our hotels, spend money at our businesses, and post their photos on social media, further promoting our area. The attention and economic impact that The Office has brought to Lackawanna County is immeasurable and invaluable.”
Camoni has observed that super fans span a wide age range, which is to be expected since the show has been wildly popular for nearly two decades. “They love the show and they love quoting their favorite lines and episodes. More importantly, they have no expectation that our community and its people will resemble anything depicted in the show,” he said. “They just want to visit places like Alfredo’s for the ‘good pizza,’ Cooper’s, Backyard Ale House, and so many more, talk with others who love the show, and, of course, take a picture with the Scranton Welcomes You sign.”
Add a few selfies at the new Office-themed mural along the way, and we think the fan experience in Scranton is coming together just perfectly, or, as Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) would say, “perfectenschlag” (Season 8, Episode 14).
The celebration of Scranton Tomorrow’s latest mural produced through its Mural Arts Program will continue this fall with a formal Dedication Ceremony and Meet and Greet with the Artist on October 6 (First Friday!) at Rear 503 Lackawanna Avenue, Downtown Scranton. To learn more, be sure to follow Scranton Tomorrow on Facebook and Instagram and visit our website at scrantontomorrow.org.