TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga town board has endorsed a plan it hopes will attract tourists to the community.
Trustees formally adopted the Ticonderoga Quality Destination Plan during their December meeting.
The plan was formed by a group of local volunteers and a professional consultant. It includes 11 actions designed to boost local business through tourism.
"This is really exciting," former Ti Supervisor Bob Dedrick said. "We've been working with the Ticonderoga Main Street Partnership and that's going really well; now we have a second focus."
The town board also voted to seek grant funding to implement the plan.
The plan was developed by representatives of the Ti town board, PRIDE, the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Ti Historical Society, the Essex County Industrial Development Agency, Ticonderoga Central School, North Country Community College, the Ti Heritage Museum, the Ticonderoga Main Street Partnership, the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and local businesses.
Assisting was Egret Communications, a consulting firm hired through the county visitors bureau with grant money.
Ticonderoga was one of five Essex County communities to receive funding to develop a destination plan. The others are Schroon, Moriah, Wilmington and North Elba, which includes the village of Lake Placid.
"Through discussions with a diverse committee we developed actions we need to take and responsible parties to implement those actions," Dedrick said.
The supervisor noted Fort Ticonderoga attracts thousands of visitors to the communi-
See TOURISM, page 13
ty each year, but most of them are day visitors - many of whom never reach the hamlet.
"We feel downtown Ti can be a destination point that can compliment the fort as a destination point," he added. "We want to bring people from the fort into town and keep them here for a day or more. Lodgings, restaurants, all our businesses would be helped."
The plan calls for:
- creation of a steering council to continually review and update the destination plan;
- use of marketing to promote local activities and attractions;
- construction and operation of a replica historic French sawmill along the LaChute River as a tourist attraction;
- continued restoration and revitalization of the downtown area;
- efforts to attract and expand tourism-related businesses and creation of incentives for more lodging;
- appointment of a "point person" to lead efforts for funding private sector growth and government support of economic development;
- strengthening Ticonderoga's image as a history destination and planning more history-related events;
- recruiting and developing an active arts community;
- maintaining and extending the walk way along the LaChute River;
- maintaining and expanding public access to water-related and outdoor recreational activities; and
- providing hospitality and tourism training for local workers and residents.