Tangible results

The Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau is the destination marketing organization of Lake Placid and Essex County leading economic growth through tourism. As part of that mission we often reach out to area businesses to assist us in promoting the Lake Placid/Essex County experience to travel writers and other media outlets we invite to the area. Earlier this summer the Visitors Bureau worked with freelance writer Andrea Minarcek. Andrea came to Essex County (Lake Placid specifically) to familiarize herself with the Adirondack hiking experience. Andrea then wrote a wonderful article in Womens Health Magazine detailing her trip hiking in the Adirondacks and spending her non-hiking time dining, shopping, and exploring all that Lake Placid has to offer. You can find the article online at www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/hiking-at-lake-placid?page=1 It is easy to see this article was a positive one and that it would turn a reader on to our region and the unique offering we supply. The difficult task is measuring the tangible effects of this, or any media coverage we receive, and how it contributes to the bottom line and overall economics of our region. One specific property, the Winterberry Bed & Breakfast, can directly speak to the effect hosting a travel writer can have on a properties bottom line. As a result of the Womens Health article the Winterberry saw increased bookings in the months following its publishing, contributing directly to their summer season economics. As the article details, Minarcek stayed at the Winterberry Bed & Breakfast for the duration of her four days in the Adirondacks. Since then, Aggie Saunderson, owner and operator of the Winterberry B&B, has booked at least eight different couples to stay at the B&B as a direct result of the Womens Health article. People would call and say they saw the article in the magazine, or that their wife has seen the article, and then book a stay, Saunderson said. People have called from California, Cleveland, and Canada wanting to climb the Adirondacks and stay at the Winterberry. Whether they had already planned to come to the Adirondacks, or if the trip was a new decision, she continued. One thing they all said is that after reading the article they wanted to stay at the Winterberry. In the last two months Saunderson has been pleasantly surprised by the response the article has demanded and is quick to point out that the eight bookings she speaks of are just the ones she is aware of. I have no idea how many inquiries or bookings have occurred because of the article that I am not aware of, she added. One thing is for sure, Saunderson is a believer in our mission. This one article was the catalyst for at least eight bookings in the last month and a half at my B&B, she said. My experience working with the Visitors Bureau and travel writer Andrea Minarcek was a positive one. I would host another travel writer and would recommend others do the same. Chris Ward is the media/communications manager for the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau. He can be reached at chris@lakeplacid.com

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