The Bliss Business

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The resorts publish a daily newsletter describing events and activities. Morning possibilities can include learning the Hustle beside the big resort pool, or for the more aggressive, target practice with M-l’s and M-16’s. There is poolside bingo and a couples’ mini-golf contest. For others, there are pinball machines, an archery range, and a gift shop full of pine-stuffed pillows, glasses with funny things written on them, and a truly staggering variety of sexual and Polish jokes realized in plastic. The special drink for the evening is the “Bacardi cocktail,” which costs one dollar. Dinner begins promptly at six o’clock, and although dress is informal, the letter hints: “We enjoy when our couples dress for Dinner and Dance, it makes you feel good too. .. .” After-dinner entertainment includes a “fine comedian you’ll enjoy,” a pair of country-western singers, a baritone reminiscent of Julius La Rosa, and an ecumenical dance band whose repertoire wavers between the sedate and the very agitated.

Diane Hannan, honeymoon consultant for this unique group of hotels, says that today’s clientele is much more sophisticated than that of fifteen years ago. The median bride’s age has risen from eighteen to twenty-one, and the grooms are twenty-six instead of twenty-one. The social director no longer has to explain the facts of life to distraught girls, arbitrate fights, or persuade tearful wives not to return to their mothers. Instead, he reassures the guests that they are enjoying themselves. Under his guidance they can relax, safe and secure in the middle of America’s deepest pile and finest plumbing. And on top of that, they are not alone.