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The United States Coolest Place

December 17, 2012 - Ernest Hohmeyer
Is it possible to market a liability?

When we care about a community, we often talk about the bad points. It may be derived from caring too much.

And it pains us to see all the wrongs with our community. What we really want is for our community to succeed.

Negative or Positive?

But I wonder if sometimes at these community meetings we are trying so hard to make things better that we focus only on the negative: • We need better planning because there are areas in our community gateways that may represent an eyesore to visitors • We did not have enough amenities to attract people • We don’t do a good job in telling people all the things we have to offer so they will stay longer • We can’t get anything done because government or political ego’s get in the way

As the Mayan calendar winds down to the infamous date of December 21st (and folks are even arguing about the date), they say that as energies spike about, the more negative ones you produce – the more they will grow.

My hat is off to the planner, the business person, marketers and politicians who can overcome all of this negative energy and maneuvering to keep a positive vision intact. Whether or not you have liked our last several presidents, have you noticed how quickly they age in office? It is almost as bad as the business person who has had to survive last year’s winter.

Can it All Be an Opportunity?

According to some, the world’s axis is going to tilt. Why don’t we start looking at things out of the box or upside down?

I often thought it would be a fun exercise to take all of our liabilities and see if we could turn them into positive messages.

Most of us locals hate the really cold days in the winter. It can be downright frigid and dangerous if you are not dressed properly. Then of course the next day it rains and you become really confused.

After a couple of days of this cold and blustery weather we have had enough. Our heating bills are running up and our feet become ice blocks. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, they announced our area as the coldest spot in the country.

Calling on our Notoriety

Who is going to come now with this notoriety?

Well, can we take that liability and turn it into a positive marketing brand?

Welcome to the “Adirondacks Coolest Place.”

The thing about having notoriety to attract people is that unfortunately it does not always have to be positive. Think about all the TV shows on ghost houses and many places that are tourism destinations based on a negative event.

The one thing about being known as the “coldest spot in the country” by the US Weather Service, it’s free, national publicity. And the one image it projects is that you should be able to: • Ski • Snowshoe • Skate • And if a community gets behind it, wonderful ice sculptures and fun events. • Oh yes, you know where I am going with this, the Winter Carnival and the many, many winter events that we conduct.

Being the coldest area definitely re-affirms your role as a winter capital.

Be Cool

So one fine afternoon while we were muttering the negatives and yapping about the notoriety of being cold, we joked about conducting an ad on this. Suddenly the laughter died and a sparkle came into our eyes, which was probably an icicle, that this may be a good idea.

Hence, was born the slogan “The Adirondacks Coolest Place!”

The concept is not to create a new event but to take existing activities and “package” them into a marketing theme. It is based on the new reality that today’s visitor is looking for a diverse set of experiences.

Branding a Liability?

A local, volunteer marketing group made up of assorted businesses, organizations, attractions, lodging, artists and retailers are working to brand what may have always been considered, a community liability.

The group is seeking to highlight the range of activities taking place throughout the Tri-lakes in the month of February.

They are not creating anything new, just bringing existing activities together under one banner.

This type of marketing is also based on the new reality that our individual businesses and communities simply do not have the resources to reach all of the marketing outlets that are out there.

Cool Partnerships

“The Adirondacks Coolest Place” is partnering with a host of tourism organizations including: • I love New York • Adirondack Regional Tourism Council • Essex and Franklin County of which the latter is providing matching marketing dollars • Local chambers • Ad Workshop

The slogan has already resonated with various media outlets.

Looking for Cool Participants

The effort will mean nothing if our communities, businesses and attractions do not participate. Attendance at meetings is not required, simply your participation.

It seems that more and more of our businesses are closing for the winter. In order to survive, our individual businesses and communities may need to band together and think out of the box or igloo.

Now this may be a “cool” thing to do.

If you are interested in learning more or how you can participate please contact the “Adirondacks Coolest Place” volunteer coordinators Cathy Moore publisher of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise or Paula Hamline, Executive Director of the Adirondack Carousel.


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