By Teresa Sharp
Wineries? A carousel park? Distinctive shops and restaurants? Residents of the Town of Newfane and its lakeside hamlet of Olcott have long believed they have it all when it comes to tourism attractions.
And now, local boosters have a new way of letting others know about it, too.
The Newfane and Olcott Beach Tourism Board recently launched an audio and video tour, and will soon introduce a YouTube video with easy directions to access the tour.
“Our board wanted to utilize the tools available through social marketing,” said Jason R. Mollica, the board’s marketing coordinator.
Mollica said his board decided to hire OnCell Mobile Tours of Rochester to help take the community’s message to a wider audience through newer technology.
“What made this mobile so attractive is that you can use a smart phone, but you don’t have to have an iPhone or an Android to use it. You can use a flip phone or even a land line,” Mollica said, adding that it may also be accessed by computer. “We wanted to be sure to include everybody.”
Mollica pointed out that the decision to include the audio-visual aspects is one more step in the community’s efforts to reach out – to potential visitors, to locals, and even to people who may be considering a move to the area.
“Our website is the hub of information, but we also have a blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts,” Mollica said. “This is another way of letting people know what we have to offer here.”
The new mobile site lists nine local areas of interest, from Fisherman’s Park to Murphy Orchards, and offers a one-minute audio clip describing each site.
“We’ve been really happy with the numbers (of users) we’ve seen,” Mollica said. “Hundreds have looked at it, and it’s drawing people into every aspect ... You might be in Fort Lauderdale, and you can go on this and listen to it on your phone, or even on your computer, before you visit here. This gives people a chance to not only read about something here, but to hear about it, too.”
Mollica added that the information can be helpful for local residents, as well, in planning the more economical “staycations” that have become popular in a tougher economy.
“You can hearken back to the days of old here and not spend a lot of money,” he said. “There’s Krull Park, the wineries, stopping down along Main Street to buy some jewelry or some ice cream or pizza ... You can stay in a cottage or an inn, and you can make this area a great ‘staycation’ because there’s something for everyone.”
Mollica said Chairwoman Barbara Miller and the rest of the tourism board have been researching better ways to spread the word of the community’s attributes for the past several years. The committee operates under auspices of the Town of Newfane, which also has been very supportive, he said.
“They support us trying to find new techniques in reaching people, and they know social media is the way to go,” Mollica said. “Newfane and Olcott are great areas, with a lot of great things to offer.”