I agree 100 percent that tourism must move to a regional effort. Regional should be Clinton, Essex, Washington, Warren, Saratoga, Hamilton and perhaps Franklin and Fulton counties as well. The main volume of motels and restaurants are concentrated within 30-35 miles of the Northway.
New, innovative ideas are required, both to entice tourists and to update and offer both traditional and new events each year. I suggest that the various regional chambers and tourism bureaus cooperate on a region-wide basis — sharing ideas, mailing lists, joint advertisements. Further, these groups need to take advantage of all media forms to best promote the region; definitely a regional website as well as tying into I Love NY and similar agencies.
Tourism must both entice and excite visitors about visiting and returning. Think of the Great Escape season pass concept. The prospective visitor must be given compelling reasons to come to northeast New York rather than go abroad or on a cruise. Tourism grants abound, but it is a lot of work and the use of professional firms is great for a large effort, but smaller efforts are important. Perhaps SUNY Adirondack can develop training for writers of small business grants (under $50,000)?
Increasing revenue per visitor (not just price increases), wide diversity of events, targeted promotion, easing traffic congestion and a central database indexed and cross-referenced in multiple ways to make finding activities simple and fast. Also, keep inviting diverse media and sending out press releases.
I have watched a new business go from zero to reasonable success in 16 months just to our north, but in the greater Lake George region; admittedly a unique entertainment venture, but one expanding and gaining good traction. Pragmatic and innovative attitude required!
Gary Evans, Fort Edward