The Adirondack Balloon Festival has been named one of the top 100 events for 2013 in North America by the American Bus Association, county officials learned Aug. 1. Other local nominations for the award were the Last of the Mohicans Outdoor Drama and ‘My Summer Place: Georgia O’Keeffe,” a series of local events planned for 2013 that focus on the celebrated American artist who shared a summer home on Lake George in the 1920s with photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Noting that Warren County is obtaining more and more publicity as a destination, Kate Johnson added that CNN.com recently chose Lake George as one of its top five getaway destinations.
The Adirondack Balloon Festival has been named one of the top 100 events for 2013 in North America by the American Bus Association, Warren County tourism officials announced Wednesday Aug. 1.
County Group Tour Promoter Tanya Brand told county supervisors that the designation would give the balloon festival additional visibility among tour planners across the U.S. and in Canada.
“This is a big deal,” Brand said, noting that national media are likely to showcase the winners when the news is made public in a month or two. “The top 100 events will receive worldwide attention.”
She also noted that the Warren County Department of Tourism sponsors the American Bus Association tour operator binder, which is distributed to more than 250 tour planners. Not only will the balloon fest’s “Top 100 Event” award be heralded in color on the binder's front cover, but so will a variety of other destinations and attractions in the county.
Warren County, particularly Lake George, has also been gaining some national and international attention in other ways, Brand said.
County Tourism personnel recently hosted a representative from Audley Travel, a leading luxury and adventure travel agency from Great Britain. Their representative spent a day in the Lake George area and experienced a guided ride on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway, visited The Sagamore Resort and Boathouse Bed and Breakfast, stopped in at Lake George Holiday Inn as well as Oscar’s Smoke House in Warrensburg, took a dinner cruise on the Saint Sacrament, and stayed overnight at The Georgian.
The representative for Audley Travel, which is to open a Manhattan office next year, was enthusiastic and said she’d be recommending Warren County as a destination, Brand said, adding that she is hosting several more travel representatives soon. Included in these “familiarization tours” are such destinations as Prospect Mountain, Lake George Dinner Theatre, Fort William Henry, Pottersville’s Natural Stone Bridge & Caves and Railroads on Parade, Adirondack Winery in Lake George and downtown Bolton Landing and the Algonquin Restaurant just south of town.
Some area accommodations and attractions are already experiencing an increase in business this year, Brand reported. She said the Saratoga-North Creek Railway sold out their trips for two days this week, and they’ve booked train rides for 70 busloads of tourists to date for 2012. She also said The Sagamore Resort also sold out one recent weekday, and the Boathouse is sold out for July and August, and the Lake George Dinner Theatre is experiencing increased business.
Also, Brand reported that the International Coleman Collectors Club convention held in Lake George earlier this summer broke club records for attendance — higher than any of their other conventions held elsewhere for decades across the nation.
County Tourism Director Kate Johnson noted that CNN.com just posted Lake George as one of five top getaways for metropolitan New York city residents.
The website, complete with sweeping vistas of Lake George, touts the “classic summer nostalgia” of mini-golf, ice cream stands and T-shirt shops in the village, as well as The Sagamore Hotel as a premier place for family vacations.
“New York City dwellers might be shocked at how low restaurant prices are,” the website article says about Lake George Village eateries.
“Meals are comforting and good,” it continues, noting that the village is not necessarily a “foodie paradise.”