Franklin County Economic Development expects 2022 tourism growth

MALONE — The Franklin County Economic Development Corp. discussed anticipated plans for this year with the county Board of Legislators Thursday.

Jeremy Evans, CEO of the county Industrial Development Agency, said the corporation’s goals for the year are to grow the local economy, while embracing diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and strengthening partnerships.

“As we go throughout the year, we will be looking for ways to leverage tourism to do all of these goals,” Evans said.

The FCEDC plans to use technical expertise and financial resources for tourism marketing and offer grant programs for tourism-based activities through local businesses, organizations and events.

“For marketing, our targeted demographic has not changed significantly, however some stakeholders have seen new audiences develop due to the pandemic and the Canadian border’s closure,” Evans said. “That has been a silver lining from what we have seen over the past couple years.”

The FCEDC will use its website, social media, email marketing, paid advertisements, spots on travel shows and itineraries by partnering with Bandwango to promote activities, as well as build its brand, Explore Adirondack Frontier.

The corporation offers three grant programs: the Destination Event Sponsorship Program, the Destination Development Program, and the Destination Cooperative Marketing Program.

The Destination Event Sponsorship Program is available for events that aim to reinforce cultural traditions and aspects of Franklin County. The program offers direct financial sponsorship and awards based on event attendance, impact and need.

A total of $25,000 will be used out of the FCEDC’s 2022 budget for the Destination Event Sponsorship Program and awards will vary from $500 to $1,500.

The Destination Development Program is available to businesses, nonprofit organizations and municipalities for projects and activities that increase tourism and improve visitor experience.

A total of $100,000 out of the 2022 budget will be utilized for the Destination Development Program and will be offered in two rounds this year, according to the FCEDC. Awards will be between $1,000 and $10,000.

The Destination Cooperative Marketing Program is offered to tourism-related attractions and businesses or any tourism-based group that will amplify marketing.

According to the FCEDC, two versions of awards for the Destination Cooperative Marketing Program will be offered that depend on whether the tourism attraction will result in visitor overnight stays in the county.

The Destination Cooperative Marketing Program’s small awards will be available to tourism-related attractions and businesses that may not directly result in an increase in overnight stays. These awards are between $500 to $1,500, according to the FCEDC.

For tourism-related attractions and businesses that result in an increase in overnight stays, larger awards between $1,500 and $15,000 will be available.

FCEDC also has plans to develop interconnected recreational trails throughout public and privately owned spaces.

Within the trail development plans, the FCEDC expects to hire a trail specialist to focus on the development and implementation of a multi-use county trail system. The plans also call for partnering with snowmobile organizations to build new trails and upgrade trail maintenance and grooming equipment.

Of the total $824,945 budget, $265,000 is designated for Destination Management Grant Programs; $186,445 is designated for direct marketing; and $120,000 is marked for trail development and planning.

For information on the economic development work and financial programs, visit adirondackfrontier.com.


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