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Lake Placid takes a leadership role in destination marketing

March 31, 2016
Editorial , Lake Placid News

During the inaugural Adirondack Destination Marketing Summit on March 3, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and Adworkshop further established Lake Placid as one of the world's leaders in destination marketing.

The ROOST-Adworkshop team hosted more than 200 people at the Lake Placid Conference Center. Many were from the Adirondack Park, but many were not, showing that there is a market outside the Park for learning about destination marketing. The modest menu of workshops and speakers gave tourism professionals and business owners a unique chance to learn the latest marketing techniques from the people who do it best.

We are lucky to have Adworkshop in Lake Placid. They continue to amaze us with their marketing achievements, which were recognized on March 11 by the Albany Ad Club by giving them nine ADDY Awards, including "Best in Show" for the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council Real's Adirondack Stories video series.

We are also lucky to have the ROOST team, which is based out of the Lake Placid Conference Center and spearheads the destination marketing for a good portion of the Adirondack Park.

Even though this year's Adirondack Destination Marketing Summit is a culmination of decades worth of work on the part of ROOST CEO Jim McKenna and his crew, we can see they are in a new phase now. By taking on more marketing efforts for regions beyond Lake Placid and Essex County, the organization has grown in the past several years, creating jobs along the way. And their future is bright. We not only see them sharing marketing knowledge and with their partners in the Adirondack Park, we see them reaching beyond the Blue Line, even beyond New York state.

We can see a time when the ROOST-Adworkshop team builds their regional summit into an international conference for destination marketing, even if it's just reaching across the Canadian border to create a Can-Am summit. Lake Placid could be bringing in experts and participants from all kinds of destination marketing sectors from around the world. There is already an international presence for sports. Why not for other fields?

In Lake Placid, the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games, we've seen what happens when small towns dream big. There's no reason why we can't dream big when it comes to home-grown conferences. Destination marketing could simply be the beginning.

We could take what we know best and turn it into educational experiences for professionals or academics. Why not a Maple Summit, a Sports Development Summit, a Sustainable Economic Development Summit or a Wilderness Guide Summit? We have unique strengths in the Adirondack Park, and we could be turning those strengths into educational opportunities that will bring more business into the region. It could help market the Adirondack Park as a destination for a variety of unique conferences and summits.

We're not talking about attracting conferences; we are talking about creating them. It could be an entirely new tourism-based business sector in the Adirondacks. Of course, the feasibility of such an idea would have to be studied, but we think it's worth looking into.

We are lucky to have many government jobs in the Adirondack Park, especially the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. But that's not enough. We can't put all our eggs into the public sector basket. We need to diversify if our economy is going to grow. We need private investment.

When it comes to sustainable economic development in the Adirondack Park, we can't wait for the state of New York to create it for us. That's not what they are designed to do. Governments can only help create the environment by which economic development can take place and thrive. It's up to the business community and entrepreneurs to put their ideas into action. The private sector has to step up and invest in the Adirondack Park.

There is plenty of opportunity here, as ROOST and Adworkshop have demonstrated with all their work. The Adirondack Destination Marketing Summit is only the latest example of how they are creating opportunities for the Adirondack Region. The success of this event makes us eager to see what they have in store for next year.

And we hope they inspire others to share their expertise with the world by creating unique educational opportunities at conferences that will bring even more business to the Adirondacks.



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