Tupper renews with ROOST
TUPPER LAKE — This town and village, along with the town of Piercefield, are renewing their contract with the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism through 2020, continuing their nearly four-year partnership with the marketing and tourism organization.
In the first year of the contract, the town and village of Tupper Lake will pay $11,500 each, and Piercefield, which borders Tupper Lake and has shared services with the municipalities before, will pay $4,500. In the second and third years, the town and village will pitch in $11,000, and Piercefield will contribute $3,000.
Tupper Lake town and village board members all supported the renewal, saying they are satisfied and even impressed with the work ROOST produced.
Anecdotal reports from board members and business owners point toward increased tourism in Tupper Lake due to a handful of factors, one of which is the ROOST partnership, which greatly strengthened the community’s online presence.
There are now around 145,000 email subscribers receiving information about travel, vacation and life in Tupper Lake. Nearly 1,000 pages on tupperlake.com highlight the outdoors recreation, unique businesses and educational centers within the town.
“We need to have that website,” town Supervisor Patti Littlefield said. “Just what they’ve done with tupperlake.com makes it worth the investment, not to mention what they’ve done for all the other businesses in Tupper Lake via tupperlake.com.”
Before the ROOST website, people searching for the town on the internet might have to scroll to find it, a disastrous situation in a fast-paced online world dominated by a generation not used to digging on the internet.
When ROOST began its contract with Tupper Lake in 2014, it took around four months conducting research on the image already held by visitors and strangers to the town, collecting dozens of data points on everything from what percentage of people who want to visit the Adirondacks want to visit Tupper Lake, to what people who have never visited think of the town’s atmosphere.
With this information, ROOST started a 10-month process of developing an image for the town with consistent ideas, images and aesthetics advertising its wilderness, culture and history.
“We’re big believers in having the same message coming out of communities, and I think Tupper Lake is now one of the best examples we have in the Adirondacks of that,” ROOST CEO James McKenna said.
Tupper Lake had mixed messages as well as many different colors, logos, fonts and slogans on its signage, businesses and websites. Using the months of research, ROOST created Tupper Lake’s simple hemlock cone logo and its “Connect and Discover” slogan, which targets both people who may want to live here and those who may want to visit here.
With color schemes pulled from the iconic lumberjack statue in the park on the shore of Raquette Pond, a font representing the area’s countless waterways and clear guidelines on what not to do to the logo, it’s supposed to make Tupper Lake’s message and image easier for potential tourists and residents to grasp.
McKenna said the government and residents of the town and village have been helpful in their marketing endeavor, renovating the Park Street road and storefronts and producing several new businesses.
“We’re a marketing organization primarily, but if the facilities aren’t in place, then there’s not really a lot to market,” McKenna said. “We’re really encouraged by how Tupper Lake has really taken the reins.”
ROOST works alongside the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. They share the same Park Street building. When Tupper Lake signed with ROOST in 2014, it put the chamber’s funding toward the new contract. The chamber is now self-sufficient, funding its own events, advertising and membership.
Initially Franklin County contributed $20,000 toward Tupper Lake’s ROOST contract, and as the county picked up more of the marketing weight, lowering Tupper Lake’s contract price, it stopped.
When the county implemented a occupancy tax in late 2015, it started to reap the financial benefits of tourism and people staying overnight in everything from motels to Airbnb rentals.
Littlefield said the town may approach Franklin County to help pay for the contract. The county is earning money from the occupancy tax — often referred to as the “bed tax” — and while Tupper Lake does not contribute as much as a town such as Malone, Littlefield hopes Tupper Lake can receive some funding assistance for the contract. This would ease the burden on the town’s general fund.