SCHROON LAKE - Schroon Lake now has a plan in place to promote tourism.
The Schroon Lake Tourism Destination Committee has completed a blueprint for improving local tourism with the assistance of a consultant from Egret Communications.
The plan is the result of 18 months of meetings and discussions. The project was part of a Smart Growth grant awarded to Essex County.
The blueprint contains specific actions, including the formation of a Tourism Council to operate under the auspices of the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce. The members of the council are Bob Mehm, Georgia Burkhardt, John Huston, Julie Sawyers, Roger Friedman, Roger Peace, Sharon Piper and Shawn Baker.
"The Tourism Council has reinforced the basic premise of the Tourism Destination Committee in that any actions that benefit tourism in our community translate into increased benefits for all residents," Friedman said. "The Tourism Council also recognizes the profound desire to maintain and nurture the unique sense of community found in Schroon Lake.
"The goal is to grow tourism by improving the tourism experiences which will result in increased revenues for our businesses and community, more tourism-related jobs and the opportunity for new start-up ventures," he added. "The Tourism Council understands that this is a long-term plan for the town of Schroon and its implementation will span many years."
The council has identified a list of action items, including:
- making the lodging product more current and competitive;
- improving the curb appeal between the Northway entrances north and south of Schroon Lake as well as to strengthen the destination's appeal by using architectural standards;
- improving Schroon Lake's online presence.
- building and expanding on tourism products and experiences that relate to the outdoors and the lake and those that are close to or within a short trip of Schroon Lake. This includes expanding equipment rentals for outdoor recreation;
- increasing outdoor events and making them profitable for Schroon Lake;
- making better use of surrounding state land;
- bringing dining, lodging and tourism to the lakeshore;
- creating incentives for new lodging development;
- attracting new tourism investment and incubating new tourism businesses;
- strengthening the destination's appeal by using music and the arts;
- building a closer, more symbiotic relationship between the destination and Word of Life; and
- building a closer relationship between the destination and the town's youth and the schools.
Friedman said several short-term goals have already been met. Bike rentals are now available on Main Street, the Schroon Lake Arts Council is holding weekly jam sessions at the Boathouse Theatre and a new chamber website is being designed.
Work has also started on snowmobile community connector trails to the north and south of Schroon Lake, partnering with the Word of Life for boat cruises on Schroon Lake and the possible addition of new lodging facilities and the reopening of existing facilities.
"If anyone in the Schroon Lake area is interested in the action items and would be willing to assist the committee members please contact me," Friedman said. "Together we can accomplish anything."
Friedman can be Emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.