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Tupper Lake considers tourism, awaits grant
March 30, 2014 - Greg Hitchcock
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Lake Placid, N.Y. (ROOST), whose members are experts in destination tourism marketing in the Adirondacks, was the sole bidder of a Tupper Lake Tourism Marketing & Planning Services Request for Proposal (RFP).
This three-year strategic tourism plan’s goal is to stimulate the local economy by creating jobs, attracting entrepreneurs, and broaden the tax base, thereby improving the quality of life for Tupper Lake’s residents.
Adam Boudreau, President of the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, said the way the community has managed marketing is deficient in many ways.
“We are behind the times. We look at surrounding towns and seeing how they are capitalizing on their resources in tourism,” Boudreau said. “I feel that we are lagging behind.”
Currently the town and village entrusts marketing tourism to the chamber, a function Boudreau said the chamber is not competent to handle.
“Everything has been done half-way because we don’t have the funding or man hours to accomplish anything in its entirety,” he said. “We have to take care of our members - that should be primary.”
ROOST began as the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce and steadily grew as a premiere Adirondack destination marketing firm with marketing contracts that include Essex and Hamilton counties, and Saranac Lake.
Boudreau said the firm is already marketing the area surrounding the community of Tupper Lake, so to him it made sense to contract with ROOST as well.
Tupper Lake is situated near the center of the Adirondack Mountains.
“What we’re saying is why not jump on board?” he said.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) reported in an Environmental Impact Statement that visitors to the Adirondacks play a critical economic role to the state and region.
The agency stated that services that benefit most from tourism are food, automobile, and lodging, and other services supplement it including recreational equipment supply stores.
According to James McKenna, Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) based in Lake Placid, N.Y., sustainable tourism is an economic growth tool that benefits whole communities while taking care not to overtax the land, people, or resources.
“We can utilize tourism to benefit the quality of life for everyone, this is how our organization looks at it,” McKenna said.
“We have to look at where the Adirondacks are going to be the most competitive right now,” he said. “Our best asset is our land and what we have to do is put all the other amenities in place so we can take advantage of the land.”
Boudreau said some residents think that Tupper Lake is turning its back on Franklin County of which the community forms a part, which he thinks is heedless speculation.
“No one bases their vacation on the county,” Boudreau said. “What we should be doing is marketing a region, not a county where vacationers come back a second time.”
“Truthfully, it is time to move forward,” Tupper Lake Town Supervisor Patricia Littlefield said.
That is the reason why, she said the town board passed a town resolution supporting the contract with ROOST pending on a $30,000 grant requested by the village.
Littlefield said the grant would reduce the taxpayers overall burden from $80,000 to $50,000.
“Our marketing and our Web site, were fine for what it was from the beginning, but ROOST is going to build up the site and make it better and keeping it up. They will be managing the site daily,” she said.
“The main reason why people come to Tupper Lake is if they are able to access what we have to offer on our website,” she explained.
“When people Google the Adirondacks, I want them to see all they can do in Tupper Lake – the canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and the skiing” Littlefield said.
“ROOST has all kinds of connections and they are out there. We will be getting a much bigger bang for our buck,” she said.
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Adam Boudreau, President of the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, said his community is falling behind marketing the Adirondacks. Photo/Greg Hitchcock.