CVB March Meeting
Today at 10am, the Lake George Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted their first monthly meeting via Zoom, the online video communications platform. The Lake George Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Chamber of Commerce, were happy to host this platform to be able to provide the local hospitality industry stakeholders with important information relating to the issues surrounding COVID19 and its effects upon our region. With 29 participants on the call, the CVB/Chamber is happy to have had so many people join us to discuss the current situation and answer any questions.
For members who were not able to join in, today's meeting started with updates in our region, what was still moving forward and events that have been cancelled. Many locations have lost events during the spring. One of the most notable being the Hudson River Whitewater Derby, IREVA Volleyball Tournament, NE Barbershop Harmony Society, and the ADK Winery Dinner. With restaurants being restricted to take out only, members were reminded of the #TastyTakeout promotion the Lake George CVB/Chamber is offering to help businesses stay open while dining rooms are closed. Gore Mountain offered prizes for the promotion so check out our Facebook for updates on our #TastyTakeout contest.
For hotels, the focus is promoting for the summer season in hopes everything returns to normalcy. Hotels are encouraged to take this time to create virtual tours and reach out to existing clients through social media.The videos could have multiple uses including adding them to Expedia, which Rebecca Whaley brought up. Rebecca works for Expedia in the Lake George Area. If you have any questions for Rebecca, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With large events such as Americade, the Adirondack Wine and Food Fest, Prime Time Lacrosse Invitational and Firecracker Baseball’s Battle of the Borders tentative still for June and July, we are all hopeful that these events will run as planned and that tourism in our region will continue to support the local economy. We will keep all informed if any changes to these large events will occur in the future.
Throughout the discussion, there were numerous topics and questions which arose from the group including questions about the re-opening of beaches in Lake George, cleaning standards during and post COVID19, adequate staffing hotel cancellation policies. Should hotels waive cancellation fees to people who cancel vacation plans or lost their job? How generous should your business be regarding this difficult topic? Keep an eye out for a survey the CVB will have out soon to help out. We will also look into the other questions which were brought up during the discussion and share out the information as we get answers back.
Recently, the county released a statement aimed at non essential travelers coming up from the tri-state area, amidst safety concerns from high levels of traffic and spreading of the virus to avoid putting undue stress on the local healthcare system, and requesting self quarantine for 14 days. Businesses have seen this growing concern first-hand and are seeing some bookings on the rise from these locales. Hotels have taken steps to stay safe such as closing pools and gyms and it was brought up that hotels might need to take additional precautions such as leaving room keys on front desks and offering assistance over the phone while also limiting room service during peoples stay. This is in hopes of being 100% zero contact. Hotels and resorts should state that business is not “as usual” in our area and these precautions are necessary for the health and safety of their employees and for the community at large.
An interesting topic brought up are what precautions and plans are needed, in the event hotels need to be utilized as hospital rooms. What do we need to do to plan for this? We hope to hear from the state soon on this as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and will share whatever direction we are given from the State.
Finally, in the event The Lake George Area experiences an oversaturation in Q3-Q4, the CVB is closely monitoring event cancellations and postponements and will be requesting over the course of the next week or two, what availability is still open and where (including capacity and type of event.) While we will continue to mitigate losses and postponements, knowing what space we have available, when it is available and getting to the information quickly will allow us to pivot efficiently and keep our region stronger. Members are encouraged to update the CVB on events booked or rescheduled for the fall. We hope to help everyone plan for a boost in tourism as we move forward. Thank you to everyone who joined the call and we look forward to talking with you soon. Stay safe!
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