What’s a DMO? For that matter, what’s a CVB, and who in the world is ROOST?
ARTC, ANCA, IDA, LPBA, LPCA, DEC, VIC, LPN, ADE ... the list of acronyms for the various organizations throughout the Adirondacks is seemingly endless, but there are a couple that I’d like to spell out for our tourism-dependent business communities.
Let’s break it down: the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is also the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST). Both names belong to the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) responsible for the promotion of Lake Placid and Essex County to the leisure travel market.
As the communications director for the Lake Placid CVB/ROOST, I’m practiced at describing our role in promoting a fairly huge chunk of the Adirondacks. And, I’m always happy to interpret and explain what we do, and how businesses and organizations in Essex County can take advantage of the programs that comprise our marketing strategy.
I’ll start with a little history lesson, because our organization’s name has changed a few times since its beginnings in 1950.
Over the last 60 years, our organization has continuously adapted to stay ahead of the changing destination marketplace. Originally incorporated as the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce in 1950, the organization has added appropriate “Doing Business As” (d.b.a.) monikers as needed.
These changes include a significant move in 1982, when the organization adopted the d.b.a. Lake Placid Convention Bureau, and added an internal department in order to better serve the convention and meetings market.
Until 1991, the organization was responsible for marketing the Lake Placid region. At the same time, Essex County had a tourism director tasked with promoting the county as a whole. In 1991, as a cost savings measure, the LPC&VB combined with the county's tourism director and assumed the responsibility of collectively marketing the entire county as the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau (LPECVB).
In 2009, the LPECVB became one of only 101 organizations worldwide to achieve the status of an accredited Destination Marketing Organization by Destination Marketing Association International. Accreditation programs are becoming increasingly popular for organizations that wish to define standards of performance and measure compliance.
In 2010, the LPECVB board of directors unveiled the organization’s new (and current) name, Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (LPCVB/ROOST) which reflects the concept that in order for the region to achieve economic success through tourism, promotion of the existing product must be balanced with sustainable growth.
The ROOST/Lake Placid CVB is a 501c6 not-for-profit corporation that is responsible for promoting the Schroon Lake, Lake Champlain, Whiteface and Lake Placid/High Peak regions to the traveling public via traditional advertising, communications and by harnessing the power of electronic media.
In addition to leisure travel promotion, the CVB is responsible for sales and marketing for the Conference Center at Lake Placid and town-wide conventions. We employ 14 staff, and operate a main office in Lake Placid and one in Crown Point.
When the organization absorbed the Essex County Tourism department in 1991, and became the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, it began receiving funding from the county in accordance with its annual contract.
That changed in 2000, when an occupancy tax was enacted for Essex County through the State of New York, providing funding for destination marketing efforts through a 3 percent tax on overnight rooms, and ultimately eliminating the need for allocated county funding for tourism promotion.
The occupancy tax is collected by the lodging properties, and 5 percent is retained at the county for administration, with the remaining collections transferred to ROOST to promote Essex County to the leisure travel market.
As part of the contract with Essex County, the ROOST must show a return on investment (ROI) of at least 60:1. To calculate this ROI, we have contracted with the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), based at SUNY Plattsburgh to conduct an independent, third party Leisure Travel Information Study since 2004.
The Leisure Travel Information Study is based on a survey of the previous year’s trackable leads database. New leads are added on a constant basis; walk-in visitors, phone and mail inquiries, bingo cards from magazine advertising, and web signups provide a snapshot of the respondents to the previous years’ overall marketing efforts. As of 2010, a five year rolling average has shown that for every dollar the organization spent on marketing, visitors to Essex County spent $97.
For my part, our communications department works to attract travel writers and appropriate media from our target markets to visit our area and write about us from a firsthand perspective. As such, we’re always looking for businesses to host these writers and/or provide services (in return for great editorial coverage). If you'd like to be included on our go-to list of businesses that are interested in taking advantage of appropriate PR opportunities, let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We try to keep up with all the county-wide goings-on, but it doesn't hurt to make double-sure that we have any pertinent information about our destinations, so that we can swiftly respond to media inquiries.
ROOST maintains several websites to promote our destinations, including lakeplacid.com, whitefaceregion.com, schroonlakeregion.com and lakechamplainregion.com.
Even if you or your business are not Tweeting, be assured that we consistently promote events, opportunities and images of our amazing part of the Adirondacks on a consistent basis via several accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
It’s all about you. ROOST, when spelled out, includes the words “Sustainable Tourism” for a reason. In short form, the goal of Sustainable Tourism is to: Increase economic activity, with minimal environmental and cultural impact resulting in increased positive quality of life for residents.
That’s our M.O.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions by email at email@example.com — I’ll reply ASAP!
For more information about all of these destination marketing programs, for news and other resources of interest to tourism marketing partners, and even more information about our organization, visit our website at www.roostadk.com.
Kimberly Rielly is the
communications for the Lake Placid CVB/ Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism