St. Lawrence County Chamber's tourism dinner in Massena draws nearly 70 people to hear about momentum, projects
Monday, June 26, 2017 - 9:22 am

Brooke Rouse, SLC chamber director, with Karan Cross and Mary Ann Evans, organizers of Mare’s Wares Arts Fest, and Melanie Kimber-Lago, presenter.

MASSENA -- Nearly seventy people gathered at the River Road Restaurant on the St. Lawrence River in Massena to celebrate tourism on Thursday night, June 22.

Hosted by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the evening included open comment on the tourism re-branding designs during happy hour, a presentation on current momentum in the industry, an extensive list of tourism related projects that have opened in the last year, highlights from the St. Lawrence County Trails Coordinator, Frederic Remington Art Museum and Nicandri Nature Center and presentation of the two annual awards.

Executive director Brooke Rouse, commended the audience for their hard work and commitment to providing visitors with unique and memorable experiences, and for those in the process of exciting tourism projects in their communities.

Rouse shared positive economic impacts of the industry on the local economy, noting that “Tourism in St. Lawrence County has seen gradual growth over recent years; while overall sales tax revenue is down, there has been an increase in sales tax in the tourism sector -- in accomodations, museums and recreation, food and beverage.

Between 2013 and 2015, the County has seen tourism related state taxes increase by 4.6% and local taxes increase by 3.8%. Traveller spend increased by 3%, and direct tourism employment increased by 3.5%. In 2015.”

She cautioned people that “It is not enough to have beautiful natural resources, friendly people and rich culture… we need to have the built resources to ensure people have a way to spend their dollars in our destination.”

Robideau’s Mahogany Ridge, or South Colton, was honored as the recipient of the 2nd annual ‘Best to the Guest’ Tourism Excellence Award. The award is presented to the individual, business or organization that has provided an excellent guest experience.

Customer service, unique offerings, and attention to detail make this awardee stand out in the industry. The award is based on referral reputation in the community and online reviews from guests. Owners Terri Reed and Jeanie Robideau accepted the award on behalf of their families.

Mare’s Wares Arts Fest, on route 37 between Ogdensburg and Morristown, was awarded the 2017 Best Destination Marketing Initiative.

Mary Ann Evans and Karan Cross accepted the award, which highlights the individual, business or organization that has devised and implemented the most outstanding tourism marketing initiative to raise awareness and attract visitors to St. Lawrence County.

The Arts Fest held annually on July 1 is celebrating its 10th year of highlighting the local flavor of St. Lawrence County to Canadian visitors and River communities during the busy Fourth of July holiday week.