‘Be a tourist in your own town’

JOHNSTOWN — A new initiative for the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce geared toward working people in this area was outlined Wednesday for Fulton County officials.

Chamber President Mark Kilmer reported on the “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town” initiative to the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Development & Environment Committee at the County Office Building. He gave the monthly tourism report in the absence of chamber Director of Tourism Development Anne Boles.

“Anne developed this,” Kilmer told supervisors.

The new initiative involves trying to encourage people who work in Fulton County, but live outside the county, to take the “long way home” and explore Fulton County. He said that, for example, many teachers and business people in Fulton County actually work in Saratoga County. He said the effort may help out with local revenue.

Kilmer said the hope is these local employees will drive through the county’s downtowns to local restaurants, or shops and businesses on Routes 5, 29, 30 and 67 before heading on the state Thruway. He said he will have a draft logo for review and more details at the committee’s April 28 meeting.

“We’re going to try that out this year and see how it goes,” Kilmer said.

Elsewhere in his report, he promoted a Fulton County app for smart phones. He said the chamber is looking into companies to assist with the app design. He said the app would be especially helpful for safety on the Great Sacandaga Lake.

“Hopefully that will be done soon,” he said.

Fulton County Restaurant Week is now set for June 5 through 11, Kilmer said. The kickoff will align with the Southern Adirondack Wine Festival scheduled for June 5 in downtown Gloversville. Restaurants will be asked to participate via letters, press releases, and social media. This year, Kilmer said the lunch special for restaurant week will be two courses for $15; and dinner — three courses for $25.

Kilmer reported the Fulton County Visitor Center in Vail Mills reopened March 20. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Memorial Day Weekend. Then it will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

He said the Farmer’s Market at the center will start in a couple months, and is currently accepting applications for vendors.

Kilmer said items are needed for the Fulton County tourism promotional bags for the upcoming spring, summer reason. This is a free opportunity and businesses help stuff “goody bags” by providing their items such as brochures, coupons, flyers and promotional items.

“It could be discount coupons, anything they want to give us to put in there,” he said. “We’d like to get those out by Memorial Day Weekend.”

Kilmer said the chamber continues to work on new brochure development and ideas. The chamber will be conducting a Fulton County Hiking Challenge A form was designed and a logo is in progress.

“We’ve identified five trails we’re really going to promote,” he said.

A new tab on 44lakes.com and social media deals with “Fulton County Reel Legends.” Kilmer said this is a new avenue being launched in April to share fishing stories and pictures online to promote fishing spots in Fulton County. Fishing enthusiasts will be encouraged to share stories and pictures about their legendary days on Fulton County’s lakes.

Kilmer also reported on chamber headquarters at 2 N. Main St., Gloversville. He said the downtown office added three more employees.

“In good times, the Gloversville office is very busy,” he stated.

On the infrastructure side of the office, he added, “We had new fiberoptics put into our building.”

He said the chamber’s Riverfront Center office in Amsterdam will be moving into a different office.

By Patricia Older