As previously mentioned in past columns, the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau (LPECVB) contracted Longwoods International to conduct an image study that would provide in-depth analysis of what visitors and non-visitors perceptions of Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. The study also revealed the travel motivators by research market identifying the strengths and weaknesses of destination attributes. Armed with the raw data, the Branding Committee has been working to produce a Positioning and Messaging Platform based upon the travel motivators and hot buttons detailed in the report. In English, that means they have been taking the research provided and have evaluated how to best to include the Lake Placid lure while marketing our part of the Adirondacks to potential travelers starting in 2009. The information obtained made one thing very clear, there is a true lack of understanding by the general public that Lake Placid is, in fact, part of the Adirondacks, noted Chris Ericson, Branding Committee chair. This is a simple messaging problem. The Branding Committee has been working to couple Lake Placid and The Adirondacks into an outline which will form the foundation for the future marketing of the area. The Longwoods data provided to the Visitors Bureau earlier this year proved that both the Adirondacks and Lake Placid marketed alone were strong brands, but both would be exponentially better off if combined. In keeping with that valuable data the outline was founded on a focus statement that expresses what makes our area truly unique and no other North East destination can lay claim to: The resort atmosphere of the Lake Placid region of the Adirondacks. The premise is that if we link both names, we will be able to capture more attention in the marketplace. Once folks are provided with all the information on our area, they will find that we have a variety of experiences to suit their tastes and budget. Like it or not, the reality is people have different tastes. There are people out there that like the adventure of The Adirondacks but are just too urban to fully embrace that aspect of our offering, while others want to get away from their urban life and really rough it out in the wild. It is our job to speak to both of those types and get across the message that Lake Placid is in The Adirondacks for one; and that if you so choose you can have the exact vacation you've been dreaming of in the Adirondacks. In other words, we need to put the Adirondacks and Lake Placid either together or separately on their short list when deciding on future vacation destinations The Branding Committees positioning plan does have supporting or sub messaging. The Committee felt it was important to point out that the Adirondacks contains natural beauty and is closer than you may think, offering diverse lodging experiences throughout, and helps promote an active family lifestyle, where outdoor recreation and events abound. Now, partner that with the international flavor of Lake Placid (a year-round family destination) and site of two Olympic Winter Games - and we have a stronger offering to the traveling public. Mr. Ericson is sure both Lake Placid and The Adirondacks will benefit from the Committees work. I am completely convinced the committee did its research and came up with a messaging document that highlights the assets of this truly unique and appealing part of the world we all call home, he said. And will further expose our offering to the general public and entice travelers to the Lake Placid region of The Adirondacks in the years to come. Chris Ward is the Communications Manager at the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and can be reached at email@example.com.