Gore chamber looks to hone the region's image

NORTH CREEK The Gore Mountain Region/Town of Johnsburg Chamber of Commerce is looking to expand its vision and more finely tune its mission and identity, new Chamber President Ed Milner said in a recent interview.

Milner said the region needs to brand itself as the type of destination that attracts more visitors who stay longer than a day.

The Gore Mountain Region has traditionally been a day-trip resort area, with only a portion of its tourism business coming from visitors who stay for several days, Milner said. One of our major economic needs is to change the focus of our visitors to longer stays, less sensitive to the variations of day-to-day weather variations.

Milner pointed to several new facilities in the planning stages that would offer overnight accommodations.

But reality offers a contrast. Plans for expansive resort communities with lodges, condos and vacations homes loom even as some local businesses such as Caseys North and Mountain and Border Town have closed their doors and rumors circulate that others will soon follow.

To draw the kind of tourists we want, and hold them for overnight and longer stays, there is a need to establish a better branding identity for our region, Milner said.

Doing so, he added, will allow the various interests and facilities to work cooperatively in developing a coordinated marketing plan where each entity, large or small, can share in the rewards of such a program.

To that end the Chamber held a series of focus group discussions earlier this month to more finely define itself and its goals and objectives. Using a grant from the occupancy tax

What do we offer visitors? Milner said. How can we do a better job of attracting the visitors we want?

Everyone has reasons why they chose to live and/or do business in the region, Milner said. The challenge is to communicate those reasons to potential visitors by defining the features that are unique to the greater Gore Mountain region; by defining the special benefits of the region that are attractive to visitors; and by defining the advantages the region offers over other regions with whom the Gore Mountain region competes.

Milner said the chamber will take the information gleaned from these focus groups and use it as a tool in developing a coordinated marketing plan and brand for the Gore Mountain Region.

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