Targeted marketing to paddlers

To the editor:

Thanks to our friends at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise for focusing on the question of “marketing” the village. It is an important issue.

Marketing is critical to our ability to compete as a destination for visitors, and to make that important sector of our economy stronger. Key to our marketing efforts is the village’s partnership with ROOST. Times have changed, and people travel today based on what they find on the Internet. We are fortunate that over the past three years ROOST has provided our village with world-class tourism destination marketing services. The world is one click away from Saranac Lake, and ROOST spends every day making sure that click occurs.

That is not all we need to do, though. We need to support our existing events, and to create new events, to make Saranac Lake the best it can be for visitors and for the people who live here. Part of that is reaching out to groups that are part of our brand as the “Paddling Capitol of the Adirondacks” or the home of the “Saranac Lake 6er,” as examples. We are a special community, and getting the word out helps. ROOST promotes our events as part of its services, but in some cases there may be other, more targeted opportunities for marketing the village.

The attached “shout-out” to paddlers for the 90-Miler was such an opportunity, and we only had a short time to react. Many of these paddlers come to our area multiple times every year, and emphasizing Saranac Lake as a paddling community will hopefully have a positive impact on where they stay and spend their time. So we agreed to waive the park fees for the 90-Miler this year in exchange for two targeted opportunities to promote Saranac Lake to paddlers.

For this sort of targeted marketing, the village board and the ADE are right that we do need to consider our role in such efforts, and to continue to work with the chamber and ROOST. As part of the resolution for the 90-Miler promotion, the village board agreed to have further discussions about this subject.

Also, as the ADE suggests, a huge part of the village’s role in “marketing” is providing public amenities to make Saranac Lake a great place to live or visit. Whether it is sidewalks, roads, parks, trails or recreational fields, all that the village does to build and maintain our infrastructure is important to how we present ourselves to the world and to the people who live here.

Paul Van Cott

Village trustee

Saranac Lake