Trustees OK $8,000 for tourism push

MASSENA — Village trustees have approved allocating $8,000 toward the $24,000 cost of a two-year contract to continue promoting the “Explore Massena” branding effort.

Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire told trustees this week that the contract between the town of Massena and H3 Designs also benefits the village.

“The contract is actually up, so they are looking to do another two-year contract. The total contract cost is the same, $24,000. The last time this contract came around, we put in for a portion of that. I would wholeheartedly recommend that the village continue to support this in some manner. There is great potential here. We can use it more on the village side of things,” he said.

Mr. LeBire said, although the town is shouldering most of the cost, the village is benefiting also because visitors to the town are also visiting the village.

He said a number of initiatives have developed out of the branding effort. In addition to logos, there are also videos, images and other materials to promote Massena.

“Right now they’re doing the Season of Excitement with all the fishing tournaments. They have created our Explore Massena website, our Explore Massena app, our Explore Massena branding initiative and branding guide, and they run our Explore Massena social media accounts. They’ve done a fantastic job,” Mr. LeBire said.

He said Jason Hendricks and his company, H3 Designs, have not just come up with a regular logo. There are various logos that can be used, such as Explore Massena, Fish Massena, logos related to the airport and highway department, a tourism-related logo with the phrase “Always In Season” and others. The logos are used in a variety of ways, including placement on the town’s websites, letterhead and on the side of town vehicles.

There’s also a free Explore Massena app that can be downloaded at the App Store and Google Play Store.

“They’re actively recruiting businesses to go in. It’s a free service. You submit your information and they add you to the app. So when people are on the Explore Massena app looking for things to do, places to stay, places to eat, it gives them everything that’s there,” Mr. LeBire said.

He said there’s often a question of “Why do we have a town, why do we have a village,” and it’s time to combine efforts through this promotional avenue.

“It’s really critical to us being one. This is our way of working together. Some people really understand the importance of tourism. I think others don’t quite understand the value that it brings. Whether it’s even just people coming here for a day, going to one of the attractions we have, the Nature Center, the Seaway, they’re still stopping to shop, they’re stopping to eat, they’re stopping to fill their gas tank. And those that stay longer, even better. So it does bring revenue to the area both in terms of sales tax and helping area businesses,” he said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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