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GUEST COMMENTARY: Feathers ruffled? Nah.

January 18, 2010
Kimberly Rielly, director of communications, ROOST 
On behalf of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism in Lake Placid, I’m sincerely impressed with the amount of attention our new name has received as a result of the release. We certainly welcome fresh ideas and appreciate creative thinking; however, we wish we had spent more time talking about why our new name matters, and why it doesn’t, so that our message wasn’t diluted.


    We realize that it is human nature to resist change. We also know that the acronym ROOST is kind of funny. So, we shouldn’t have been surprised by the uproar that our release evoked.


    All kidding aside, though, we’re writing this now because tourism is vitally important to us, and to our community, and we want you to know we changed our name from the Lake Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau to the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism after careful deliberation.  


    Why the new name matters. Because we are not in the county bureau business as our old name implied. We are a Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. At its heart, sustainable tourism is about finding a balance that uses the economic energy of tourism to build a better community, where the resident benefits from improvements. That’s our goal for each community in our region, and our new name lets us say what we are, and have been about for years. Here in Lake Placid our new name is ROOST/Lake Placid, and our office in Crown Point is ROOST/Lake Champlain.  The new name matters because it says what we do. We’re in the sustainable tourism business for Lake Placid and each place that we support.


    Why it doesn’t matter. Many organizations like ours who focus on destination marketing use the same logo as their primary destination. You would see the marketing logo appear on the letterhead of the organization responsible for the destination marketing.  Frankly, we’ve been just as guilty -- using Forever Adirondack as the logo for our office as well as the county marketing initiatives, and we feel this is where the confusion lies.


    In our marketing, the name of the organization has never been important to our mission. Our job is to entice visitors to visit these regions of Essex County.  In the past, ads in which the Forever Adirondack logo appeared were intended to market the destination, not our office.


    In the future, our marketing strategies will lead with Lake Placid and its new brand identity. It’s unquestionably our flagship destination. No traveler will be inherently inclined to Google ROOST.  They will google the destinations we represent, not this organization. The Web sites that they will find remain lakeplacid.com, whitefaceregion.com, schroonlakeregion.com and lakechamplain-region.com. The visitor centers will remain the Lake Placid Visitor Information Center and the Lake Champlain Visitor Center.


    But, with our sustainable tourism marketing hat on, ROOST will continue to help foster the infrastructure and planning required to allow Lake Placid and the other destinations within the county to thrive under their own brand -- and each community’s brand belongs to that community, not this organization.


    By separating our organization from the marketing message, we (ROOST) will step out of the way so that Lake Placid and our other destinations can be seen more clearly, not less.


    We don’t mind the jokes but don’t want something very serious to be lost in the process. Because we are focused on building a better future, we wish we had spent more time saying how ROOST, even though it’s only a name change, will better define what we seek to do each day for this region.  Achieving sustainable tourism equals achieving a successful year-round economy -- a concept that can positively impact just about everyone who lives here all year, or visits for a few nights.


    Before we sign off, we want to remind everyone that we can all attract more people to flock to Lake Placid. If anyone asks you how they can learn more about spending time in Lake Placid, here’s our quick guide:


    Find our destination online at lakeplacid.com. Ninety percent of travel plans are researched online.


Find us on the phone at 800-44PLACID


    Find us at the Lake Placid Visitor Information Center, which is on Parkside Drive and will be in the new conference center in 2011.


   


    For a more comprehensive look at the body of work that ROOST does for the region, we urge interested parties to review our 2009 annual report, now available online at lakeplacid.com/2009.
 
 

 

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