Hamilton County approves new tourism marketing RFP

Lake Placid group hired for job

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) hangs out at an outfitter shop in Indian Lake during the Adirondack Challenge weekend in July.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) hangs out at an outfitter shop in Indian Lake during the Adirondack Challenge weekend in July.

— Members of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Thursday, Nov. 7 approved a resolution to hire the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), based in Lake Placid, to manage its tourism marketing program for 2014.

The ROOST/Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau — formerly known as the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau — currently provides tourism marketing for Essex County, the towns of North Elba and Harrietstown, and the villages of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Now the group will add Hamilton County to its roster.

“Obviously the two counties worked together in a pretty powerful way on Adirondack Day in Albany, so we’ve done some events and we’ve got some experience working together,” said Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber. “And I think it could be a really exciting time for us.”

The resolution was unanimously approved — 8-0 with Benson Town Supervisor Ermina M. Pincombe absent — according to Board of Supervisors Clerk Laura Abrams.

This move by the Hamilton County supervisors represents a split in the current county position of economic development and tourism director, which includes planning services on the county Industrial Development Agency.

The Hamilton County website lists many services provided by the office: websites, lodging, advertising, promotional literature, events, I Love NY matching funds, research, travel information, small business support, startups, expansion, financing, loans, advice, business and marketing plans, and regulatory assistance.

That’s a lot for one tiny office.

County supervisors are now re-evaluating the position after Economic Development and Tourism Director Ann Melious left the job earlier in the year and moved to California. Bill Osborne, who retired from the position in January 2011, has been filling in temporarily. When Osborne had the job, Farber said it was difficult for one person to find the correct balance between managing economic development and tourism. It seemed the county made great strides toward tourism marketing but more attention was needed for economic development. They found they were simply asking one person to do too much.

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