Taylor Swift Good for Cape Cod Tourism? Well, She's No Shark (or Bear)

Singer's summer with boyfriend Conor Kennedy on Cape Cod has been well-documented, but it's no match for the real local stars

By Joal Ryan Aug 24, 2012 1:00 PMTags
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Have you heard how Taylor Swift has spent her summer vacation at Cape Cod?

Of course you have.

It's been well-documented: the PDAs with boyfriend Conor Kennedy, the doings here, the doings there and the wedding she may, may not or, um, may have crashed.

But if it sounds as if the country-pop star has overrun the area like the sea monster from Jaws, locals say the opposite is true: Swift is no killer shark.

Or bear. 

"The bear and the shark—now that is what everybody talks about in line at the supermarket," says Marietta Nilson, a longtime Cap Cod resident and real-estate agent.

The bear would be the 180-pound black bear that was spotted trolling the famed Massachusetts coastal region. The shark would be the menacing great white (or great whites, plural?) that has prompted beach closures and left a swimmer with 47 stitches.

When asked which creature—the bear, the shark or the singer—has been the summer's top local news star, Cape Cod Times reporter Robert Gold says Swift has to settle for the bronze. 

"The bear is No. 1," Gold says. "[It] was such a strange occurrence."

It's also the occurrence that's been moving merchandise, well, T-shirts. Swift, meanwhile, hasn't even really brought in the paparazzi. (Not that that's been a complaint.) According to Gold, local freelancers have had no trouble supplying the outside world with all the star-dates-a-Kennedy photos it needs. 

"It's not like the roads have been clogged with people trying to find where she was," Gold says.

Unlike bear sightings, after all, stars on the Cape are no novelty.

"We tend to have an influx of local and national celebrities in our area for the summer season," says Michael Otto of the British Beer Company in Hyannis.

Swift and Kennedy have been spied at the pub this summer.

"We have played it pretty low key the few times she has come in," Otto says. "I don't believe we have [had] guests coming in because Taylor Swift was spotted here." 

But in all fairness, if Swift isn't a shark or a bear, then she isn't a Cape Cod slouch, either.

"She has had an impact on the visitors coming to the area," reports Jessica Sylver, president and CEO of the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce. "We have had many visitor[s] asking about the singer and her new home here."

Unfortunately for looky-loos, reports of Swift's real-estate purchase, of a house near the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, proved false. Fortunately, the area's perennial draw remains.

"People are going to come here for the same reason they always do," Gold says. "The beaches."

No offense intended to the shark, the bear and Swift.