APA and local groups look to tap marketing potential of Adirondacks

LONG LAKE - Chase Axinn sat at his workbench recently, slowly grinding a slab of high-grade steel.

"I make a knife that a guy can hand down to his grandchildren in a hundred years," he said as he worked. "My knives start as just bars of steel and I spend around 100 hours working them down into shape."

Like countless other area entrepreneurs, Axinn manufactures goods in the Adirondacks, and a local push by government officials seeks to back

his efforts.

The Adirondack Park Agency, the Adirondack North Country Association and many local governments are now developing a "Made in the Adirondacks" logo that officials say will tap the huge marketing potential of the region.

"The park is a world-renowned entity," APA Special Assistant for Economic Affairs Steve Erman said April 29. "There is huge marketing potential for local businesses - we feel there has to be some kind of brand for the entire park."

Although no design has been presented yet, officials said that the "Made in the Adirondacks" logo would increase the desirability of locally made products and level the playing field for businesses who are paired against cheaper foreign competition.

"The brand is nationally recognizable," Erman said. "This would work to not only strengthen current businesses, but to bring more businesses in - people want to live here for the quality of life, and we just have to show that business can be conducted here."

Erman said that the entities involved in the project are currently seeking seed money from the state.

There are a total of eight APA-sanctioned business parks in the Adirondacks - six in Essex County and two in Franklin County - and only one is without any development.

"Every structure in a business park is occupied," Erman said. "We need to move as quickly as we can on this."

Local government officials are also jumping on board with the concept, saying that the logo could greatly strengthen existing businesses while attracting new ones.

"Having an insignia that would advertise our local manufacturers would be good for everyone," Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said.

For Axinn, it seems like a good idea as well.

"I would inscribe it on my knives," he said. "It certainly would go a long way in changing my feelings about the APA, too."

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