Tupper Lake chamber raising its own money for guides

TUPPER LAKE – The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce is moving ahead with printing its tourism guides.

The guides became a topic of discussion at the last town board meeting after village Mayor Paul Maroun, who is also a Franklin County legislator, requested $8,000 from his fellow legislators to pay for them.

County Chairman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay, tabled the resolution, saying the board couldn’t approve Maroun’s request because all tourism-related costs should go through the county’s Tourism Advisory Committee.

The committee was created last year to decide how the county’s annual tourism funds would be spent after taking over tourism from the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency.

“When I read in the paper about not getting $8,000, that kind of bothered me,” said town Councilwoman Kathleen Lefebvre. “I just think we get shortchanged. I almost wonder if we shouldn’t send a letter to let them know we’re disappointed. It seems like a lot of money is sent to Saranac Lake, yet we get nothing.”

Town Supervisor Patti Littlefield said she hoped the tabled resolution didn’t mean a rejection, and said the chamber is going to print the guides either way.

Events Coordinator Michelle Clement is on the TAC board, and she said the tabled resolution isn’t a setback for the chamber.

“The county’s tourism has been re-divided now, and TAC is the one making the decisions on that, so there is a new process on getting funds from the county on supporting different projects,” Clement said. “At this point we’re definitely moving forward with the (recreation guide) project on the chamber level. We want to work with the county on future promotional projects and in making sure there’s a good allocation of funding between the north and the south on different projects.”

Clement said she thinks Tupper Lake should get a fair representation in the county, but she understands why the resolution was tabled.

“TAC is newly formed, and we’re still coming up with what the criteria will be and how to allocate the funding in the future,” Clement said. “A lot of that will be dependent on whether or not the bed tax is eventually passed. At that point it would provide more resources for smaller, community-based projects in addition to our regional effort.”

To fund the tourism guides, chamber board members have been busy selling advertisements – they cost up to $2,000 for a full page – to hit the print goal of 15,000 copies. Once printed, the guides will be distributed locally and at visitor centers along major thoroughfares across the state. The target for printing is May.

The chamber’s new president, Adam Boudreau, said the guides will include maps and descriptions of places to hike, hunt, camp and paddle. They will also list some of the bigger, annual events that happen in Tupper Lake.

“We’d like this to be an all-encompassing guide,” Boudreau said. “When you show up here in town, if you’re looking to do any sort of recreation, we hand you this and it answers all your questions.”

Boudreau said business owners have been supportive of the guides and said advertisements have been selling well.

“We’ve had a lot of success so far,” Boudreau said. “Everyone that I’ve talked to is looking at it as a great thing for our town. A lot of business owners think it’s really something we need around here to put us on the map.”

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.