Town boards get behind Tupper chamber plans

TUPPER LAKE – The plan to increase tourism marketing in Tupper Lake is rapidly moving forward.

After a brief discussion, the town board unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to approve a draft of a request for proposal for a destination marketing plan presented by the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The vote came about a month after chamber President Adam Boudreau held a meeting that was attended by town, village and chamber board members, and several local business owners. At the meeting, Boudreau stressed the need to begin promoting Tupper Lake, and proposed contracting with an organization like the Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.

“This is going to be a request for a proposal that’s open to anybody,” Boudreau told the Enterprise after the meeting. “As a chamber, with the research we’ve done, our board favors ROOST. The term we’re really attracted to is the destination planning.”

At the meeting, the town and village boards asked the chamber to develop a request for proposal and submit it to them at their next meetings. The RFP?will be presented to the village board during its meeting Tuesday.

Chamber Events Coordinator Michelle Clement and chamber member Clarence Bell presented the RFP to the town board Thursday.

“I think we’d be doing the Tupper Lake community, as a whole, a great disservice not to see what these people have to offer us,” Bell said. “We’re not signing any dotted lines, we’re not cutting anybody a check. It starts right here with sending this proposal out.”

Councilman John Quinn backed Bell’s statement.

“An RFP is just that, a request,” Quinn said. “I would vote that we issue the RFP post haste and see what comes in, and then we’ll have to have a very serious discussion with the village. I don’t see where the town or the village is going to go it alone. We’ll have to work together on this and share equitably the cost.”

The other town board members agreed to back the RFP, and Supervisor Patti Littlefield suggested altering the language of the resolution to say the town would support the chamber regardless of the village board’s decision.

“We’ll do it solely if the village doesn’t agree to join us; otherwise we’ll do it jointly with them after their meeting Tuesday,” Littlefield said.

Littlefield said the RFP would ideally be discussed between the two boards and a final RFP could be submitted for approval by the town’s March 13 board meeting.

While the Tupper Lake town board was discussing the RFP, the Piercefield town board was having a similar discussion.

Piercefield Town Supervisor Neil Pickering, who also owns PBR Builders and Boulevard Wine and Spirits, attended the meeting at The Wild Center and said Boudreau’s presentation made him eager to get involved. It made him so eager that he brought a resolution to his town board to pay the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce $5,000 annually for the next three years to help fund their tourism marketing efforts.

The resolution passed unanimously. Board member Lorraine Lewis was not present for the vote.

“I wasn’t sure how everybody was going to take it, but everybody was instantly on board,” Pickering said. “We talked about all the reasons we should do it, and there weren’t any negative comments at the meeting. Our kids go to school in Tupper, most of the people in the town of Piercefield work in Tupper, and we basically consider ourselves one with them.”

Pickering said that he thinks his town will continue to support the chamber as long its plan is successful.

“Up until that meeting, I had the mentality that you had to keep taxes down, that that was the most important thing,” Pickering said. “There’s more to it than that. You can still control taxes, but you need growth. We were losing the growth, so it was getting harder to keep the costs down, and it’s hard to break that cycle. For me, it was really a big change in the way I’ve looked at things. I really think this is the best thing that’s happened here in a long time.”

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or