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Maximizing Visitors Conference to be Held at Holiday Valley

A team of Secret Shoppers recently toured a number of communities in Cattaraugus County, searching for municipalities and entrepreneurs to capitalize on the millions of potential travelers that reside within three hours of the Enchanted Mountains.

Come hear their findings and recommendations for ways Cattaraugus can increase visitor spending in the region. The workshop will be help at Holiday Valley Resort’s Main Chalet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 5.  Breakfast, lunch and a light snack will be provided by Cattaraugus County Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, with funding provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The morning session will outline what the Assessment Team saw and experienced, with the afternoon session focusing on ideas and best practices from around the country to spark our imaginations. Come with an open mind and lots of questions.

The workshop facilitators include Bill Geist from DMOProz and Josiah Brown, president of New York Welcomes You. Geist, who brings over 40 years of marketing experience and 30 years in the tourism industry together to lead the DMOproz as the chief instigator. Since launching his firm in 1995, he has worked with nearly 200 convention and visitors bureaus, regional tourism organizations and state tourism offices. Formerly the president and CEO of Greater Madison CVB, he was at the epicenter of a public battle to build a Frank Lloyd Wright Convention Center that has changed the face of Madison, Wis. His second book, “Destination Leadership” will be released in September and he is a contributing author of the Destinations International-sponsored “Fundamentals in Destination Marketing.”

Brown, president of New York Welcomes You, started his company over 13 years ago as a brand and mission to help the traveling world see that New York was more than just a big city. Incorporated in 2012, it now incorporates the New York’s Best Experiences Brand as well as Josiah Brown’s – aka, the New York Sherpa’s – tourism, marketing and brand consulting projects. The mission continues today to lift up local communities by introducing the traveling public to the world class assets, spectacular outdoors and welcoming people that are New York state.

Crystal Abers, director of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development Planning and Tourism states, “Our Department is very excited to provide this outstanding opportunity.  The workshop will be designed to provide motivation, education and eye-opening experiences to Cattaraugus County municipalities, community members and businesses. We hope that our municipalities will use this opportunity to participate in the workshop. The guidance they will receive will be invaluable!”

To register for the free workshop or for more information, contact Kate O’Stricker at 938-2320 or kmostricker@cattco.org. RSVPs required by May 25.

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