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Visitor's group outlines association's activities

YATES COUNTY—Steve Knapp, executive director of the Finger Lakes Visitor’s Association, presented the group’s goals for Yates County Legislature’s financial committee, Tuesday, March 16.
Knapp said his vision is to have two agencies, the FLVA and the chamber of commerce, working to both promote Yates County.
“Tourism Promotion and Commerce promotion are two vitally important and related things. But they are not the same, and we need both,” said Knapp.
“Especially if the Cultural Museum comes to Yates County, there will be tremendous challenges to face all around,” he added.
He said that since the FLVA requested funds last year, they have created a “Yates County tourism plan,” and projects to encourage tourists to visit and learn about the area.
Knapp said the tourism plan looks to double the number of tourists to Yates over the next three years. To do that, the FLVA proposes branding Yates County as “The Heart of the Finger Lakes.” Knapp said a logo would would be created. The FLVA also wants to post “Welcome to the Heart of the Finger Lakes” billboards at major points of entry into Yates.
Knapp added the FLVA wants to create a trail of prime tourist destinations and place signs directing visitors to these locations. Six “niche market” trails would be created for Art & Photography, History, Food & Wine, Produce and Farm Markets, Antiques, Hiking and Outdoor Recreation, etc.
Knapp said the plan includes creating a “Heart of the Finger Lakes” welcome center in or near downtown Penn Yan. The FLVA also wants to establish a shuttle bus service between the center and prime destinations.
To do this, the FLVA is asking for $60,000. This is broken down into rough estimates:
• “Heart of the Finger Lakes” Logo: $2,000
• Billboard Design and Production/Placement (six): $20,000
• Primary Trail Signage: $15,000
• Primary Campaign Brochure: $2,000
• Web Site Revisions and Upgrading: $2,000
• Membership Brochure Design/Printing: $2,000
• Secondary Trail Promotional Material: $2,000
• The Windmill Booth Set Up (Banner, Displays): $1,000  
• History Tour Signage: $2,000
• Partnership/”Membership” Mailing Campaign: $2,000
• Executive Director Partial Salary: $10,000
Tim Dennis, chair of the finance committee, said no decision was made at the March 16 meeting. He explained the FLVA has already been allotted $5,000, through the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. It is to be used “for an event, they can agree on.”

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