Destination Master Planning Process in the Adirondacks
The Adirondack region has long been a tourism destination- especially for history buffs and the outdoor recreational set. However, due largely to aging infrastructure, many of the small communities in the region are struggling to attract their share of potential visitors in a very competitive destination marketplace.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB is the destination marketing organization responsible for promoting a fairly huge chunk of the Adirondacks. Several years ago, they spearheaded a destination master planning process to assess the product that region's communities offer to the traveling public. This process, facilitated by a third party consultant, resulted in the development of destination master plans for six communities, including Saranac Lake, Schroon Lake, Moriah, Ticonderoga, Wilmington and Lake Placid.
The primary challenge is to find ways to grow tourism in the greater region, while managing growth in the more established tourism base of Lake Placid. Further, the task in all communities has been to engineer tourism in ways that benefits area residents in terms of jobs and business opportunities. The process depends upon grassroots involvement, which was achieved by forming community tourism councils, who are committed to implementing short- and long-term action items outlined in the plans. In this way, the residents take ownership of the process, and pride in their accomplishments.
At this point, destination master plans have been developed for each of the communities and the community councils are in place. Although the individual plans identify unique challenges for each of them, they also contain some strategic consistencies. In very general terms, most of the challenges are based on the need for updated lodging, and the development of products that will facilitate a greater exchange of money to contribute to the tourism economy - such as increased sale of locally-made goods associated with the rich history and culture of the region.
The overall goals of the destination master planning process mirror those of the sustainable tourism credo; grow the existing tourism economy without negatively impacting the residents' quality of life.
There is great potential; the communities all share a relationship with the Adirondack Park, a valuable, built-in platform to deliver positive visitor experiences. Success is now largely in the hands of the enthusiastic residents that will ultimately benefit from the opportunities outlined in these tools for success.
All are welcome to review the documents associated with the Essex County Destination Master Planning process.
|moriah dmp v6.pdf||450.88 KB|
|ticonderoga dmp v7.pdf||391.53 KB|
|wilmington dmp v8.pdf||501.48 KB|
|Saranac Lake dmp v10.pdf||551.39 KB|