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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.

— “We did fortunately, with the North Country Regional (Economic Development) Council, have some success on economic development money for broadband and some projects, so it isn’t as if we didn’t make headway,” Farber said. “But Ann had the same basic experience that Bill had ... We’re going through another interview process, and we’re saying the exact same things that we did twice prior to the applicants.”

It was time for a breather. In September, members of the county’s Tourism and Economic Development Committee discussed splitting the jobs, even hiring someone else for tourism marketing. The supervisors decided to draft a request for proposals and see what options were available.

“We said, wait a minute. It’s time that we really took ourselves seriously and put the structure in line with what we’re saying,” Farber said. “How do we split this apart? How do we create the kind of bandwidth and attention that is necessary on the economic development side so that we actually accomplish some of what we’re talking about? How do we put some emphasis on tourism destination planning and the need for lodging and some of those things that we’ve given a high priority to?”

Hamilton County received and opened four RFPs for the tourism marketing contract and members of the Tourism Committee reviewed them at their Oct. 29 meeting.

“The Board of Supervisors has narrowed the field determining that the ROOST proposal offers the greatest benefit to Hamilton County,” the resolution states.

The contract is for an amount not to exceed $250,000, which includes $25,000 in administrative costs. The $250,000 is about the same amount currently spent on tourism in Hamilton County and includes matching state funds, according to Farber.

On Monday, Nov. 4, members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors unanimously gave their blessing to ROOST’s RFP submission to take over the tourism marketing program in Hamilton County. ROOST Executive Director Jim McKenna sees tourism marketing in the Adirondack Park as a regional approach, not an “us-versus-them” tactic for counties to steal visitors from each other.

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