OLMSTEDVILLE - After spending nearly three decades marketing athletic field surfaces, Olmstedville resident Ed Milner and his peers in the Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce are now marketing the Route 28 corridor as a year-round travel destination.
"This is the real Adirondacks, as apposed to neon and T-shirts," Milner said. "We really need to develop a brand for the entire region."
Some of the initiatives that the chamber is now advocating include a Central Adirondack Byway project that will lead tourists through towns like Newcomb and Indian Lake.
"There is much more than skiing here," Milner said. "We want to reach out to locals and newcomers alike."
Milner said that each Adirondack hamlet or town has its own flair and appeal, and their promotion should reflect the spirit of each of the communities.
Considering that the Warren County Tourism Department is typically focused on the Lake George region, Milner sees huge potential for boosting tourism in the state Route 28 area.
"If you come here it will be low-key, relaxing and afford a range of possible activities including fishing, hiking or shopping," he said. "Anything we can do to build that image - we have to come across as welcoming."
Throughout the Adirondack Park, private organizations and public agencies alike have long struggled to find ways to set communities apart from the others and boost tourism on off-seasons.
"We need to focus on a broader spectrum," chamber member Jill Broderick said. "It is our goal to promote the community as a year-round destination."
Nearly 70 million people live within a day's drive from the Adirondacks, according to data collected by the Adirondack Park Agency.
Over the last year, numerous business have opened around the mountains bringing jobs along with them.
"It is easy to find something for everyone here," Milner said. "It is our job to make sure that people are aware of it."