Zach Mader, Jeff Illes Win “Spring Break” Contest

Philadelphia City Paper’s Zach Mader vanquished all contenders in the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ Classified Advertising Network’s “Spring Break” sales contest that ended Thursday. As a result, Mader, who has never traveled beyond North America and doesn’t currently own a passport, will enjoy a one-week trip to the destination of his choice among 40 possible options. The contest prize includes round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for two.

After weighing the alternatives, Mader has decided to go to Prague. “Fiji was actually my first choice, but I didn’t want to spend all that vacation time traveling. Prague is just a few hours away,” Mader says.

Because City Paper generated the most new AAN CAN revenue during the contest period, the paper’s classified manager, Jeff Illes, also won a trip for two to the destination of his choice. Illes hasn’t yet zeroed in on a destination but is toying with the idea of going to Berlin or Rome. He hasn’t identified a traveling companion but says he is “willing to be bribed.”

“Zach worked really hard on the contest, and the customers required a lot of relationship building and service. It’s gratifying that all that hard work paid off. And it’s a good lesson for the rest of my staff,” Illes says.

AAN CAN finished the second quarter at $294,862, which is more than $108,000 over budget. The “Spring Break” contest brought in more than $40,000 in new business during that three-month period.