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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — From restaurants to vacation resorts, families with small children are finding it harder than ever to go out on the town.
That’s because as baby boomers age and others opt not to have children, more people are finding it more difficult to deal with the noise associated with other people’s children.
While offering products that risk being perceived as “anti-kid” has long been a marketing taboo, U.S. demographics have shifted in such a way that restrictions are now supported by aging baby boomers.
Robert Klara has written about the trend for AdWeek magazine and told KNX 1070 it’s yet another consequence of an increasingly stressful economy.
“Those of us who are working are being asked to work harder than ever before, and it follows that when we decide to go out and have a little bit of leisure time for ourselves, we really need to decompress more before,” said Klara.
Klara adds that in today’s climate, “a screaming kid becomes something I think is in some ways more offensive and more rankling” than in years past.
The shift in strategy seems to be paying dividends: hospitality businesses are looking to offset economic challenges by reserving at least some portion of their services exclusively for adults.
“The economy is still stumbling, and people have been cutting back on their leisure spending,” said Klara, “so if you happen to be a brand or a company that depends on leisure spending for its revenue, you’re going to be looking to offer just about any new kind of amenity you can, and a guarantee of a quiet, all-adult time seems to be one of those amenities that’s emerging.”
The idea of keeping adults and kids’ areas separate isn’t exactly new: many churches have a longtime practice of offering a “quiet room” for those patrons who are accompanied by small children in order to avoid disrupting services.
“Here you have the church that seems to be several steps ahead of the private sector in realizing that people need quiet and peace to do whatever it is that they’ve come to do,” said Klara.