Envisioning a bright 2020!
Below is our Outlook statement for 2020! We have so many exciting new community development programs in addition to growing our existing initiatives.
By Gina Mintzer
The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce operates within three areas of business that impact the tourism economy.
First and foremost, the Chamber is a business to consumer organization that is always accepting new members. The Chamber drives tourism to the region with a multi-prong approach while connecting visitors and locals with Chamber member businesses. Chamber programs include the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail and the Women in Business and the Semi-Annual Lake George Region Restaurant Weeks now in its 14th year. The Chamber will attend seven travel shows around the Northeast this fiscal year. Every year the Chamber produces a Travel Guide with a circulation of 70,000 and a strategic distribution plan. The Chamber is also producing a Community Resource Guide — featuring Chamber Members — that will be distributed to people and businesses planning to move to the area.
The Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau (LGRCVB) is a division of the Chamber. As the operator of the CVB, the team executes a tourist and convention development program funded by Warren County Occupancy Tax funds. The LGRCVB promotes Warren County by bringing meetings, conventions, sports and other special events to the area.
Thirdly, the Chamber operates the Taste NY Market at the Adirondacks Welcome Center on the Northway between Exits 17 & 18 northbound. This program provides an outlet for producers in New York to sell products and gain exposure through the Taste NY vending market at the Welcome Center.
The Chamber’s mission is to drive tourism for our members and the region. We do this through everyday interaction with our members, the traveling public and stakeholders throughout our community that intersect with the tourism economy. We continue our focused effort to serve through financial oversight diligence, member satisfaction, outreach and marketing, and community involvement.
The region is in a major period of growth evidenced by an increase of branded hotels and the supply of guest rooms as well as in major real estate transactions and investments in the hospitality industry.
More than $100 million in real estate investments and transactions have been made in the region in the last five years, according to the Albany Business Review. This is clear evidence of the confidence that major hotel organizations and private-sector investors have in the growth potential of our community.
The economic benefits to our communities are significant. Even as the area absorbed 46,000 new hotel room nights:
- Hospitality revenue increased 2.5% over 2018, and 8.7% over 2017.
- Average daily rate (ADR) for rooms grew 1.6% since 2017. (STR, November 2019)
This is a testament to the effective sales and marketing efforts led by Warren County Tourism. The LGRCVB complements these efforts by focusing on attracting year-round and weather-proof business in the form of meetings, conventions, sports and specialty events. These events help our communities by generating year-round tourism revenue that is not weather dependent. Brining these events to the region cultivates future visitor business and helps the region grow year-round tourism business.
There is a significant opportunity to grow our region’s meetings and events market, specifically targeted to corporate, general and sports meetings and events, with a focus on a unified effort to increase the lucrative destination wedding market. In 2018, 768 weddings took place throughout the county with an average spend of $33,796 and aggregate sales of $25,955,328. Competition from other destinations is increasing. A focused, unified marketing effort will help bolster and protect a valuable market segment.
The recent investments in the region have not only added attractive new properties to our portfolio and raised our national profile but have helped generate the additional revenue necessary for existing properties to reinvest and modernize, to improve their marketing and outreach and increase their yield.
The LGRCVB helps the owners of new and existing properties and the community at large by bringing in new and re-engaging existing meetings and events business; expanding year-round job opportunities for local residents by helping owners train and retain front-line employees and managers; helping smaller non-branded properties increase overnight room bookings and assist in their reputation management and, more importantly, building the equity of these properties as long term owners evaluate their succession plans.
Over the last 3 years, the LGRCVB has externally enhanced awareness and credibility in the target markets as the resource for meetings, sports and events and internally, enhanced processes and procedures to sell, communicate, track and report ROI of all activities. New efforts, uniquely focused and dedicated with the goal of increasing year-round occupancy by 2.2%, will include the wedding market sales and marketing; continue focused efforts on mid-week association, SMERF, corporate meetings and events year-round.
New community development and marketing efforts will include a community wide, frontline employee focused tourism awareness training program and target marketing efforts on behalf of the smaller properties of 50 rooms or less and closer collaboration with Warren County Tourism with regard to tourism related metrics and research analysis and evaluation.
The Taste NY Market vending program at the Adirondacks Welcome Center consists of 9 vending machines. We will continue our outreach for regionally made products and collaborate with community entities to grow awareness and overall sales. This past year, we sponsored the fall Collaborative Cuisine dinner series at Seasoned, the SUNY Adirondack restaurant located in downtown Glens Falls. Another Cuisine series is scheduled for late spring and will feature three producers on the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail. Onsite tastings, a Food and Farms Expo, Lake George Fireworks presentation and market of Taste NY vendors and more , are among the ways the Taste NY program has connected with community over the past year and will continue these successes.
We believe all of these efforts will continue the growth of the tourism economy while enhancing the reinvestments in the tourism infrastructure, all in an effort to keep Warren County economically vibrant for residents and visitors alike.
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