There are certain places in the world with towns and terrains and characteristics so special they leave visitors with no doubt: This is someplace extraordinary. Welcome to Washington County, named in 1784 after Revolutionary War hero George Washington, before he became the first U.S. President.
So, yes. This place has some history, as well as antique store-laden villages like Greenwich, acres of apple orchards in towns like Salem, and cool kayaking spots along the inviting Battenkill River.
If the delights of Washington County are still a secret, well, that secret is about to get out. The Washington County Economic Development has just launched a new campaign that will let the world know that Washington County is ready for its close-up.
The logo and mantra are simple and impressive. “See. Taste. Explore.” It’s a call to action that invites return visitors and adventurous newcomers to come see, taste and explore this key and geographically central player in the New York and New England tourism markets.
“Washington County has always been home to notable historic sites, celebrated arts venues, and critical agricultural operations. Recent economic development initiatives have encouraged not only ongoing preservation of our past but also growth of new industries that naturally evolved out of the county’s legacy strengths,” said Laura Oswald of Washington County Economic Development.
“The addition of multiple artisanal agricultural sites and Washington County’s increasing role in eastern New York’s creative economy are prime examples of new flagship tourism opportunities that exist throughout our region.”
Room to Roam: Washington County is Cool to Explore
Washington County could not offer more, or enjoy a better location from where it sits: just to the east of Saratoga, just south of the southern Adirondacks, just west of the Green Mountains of Vermont and north of the Hudson Valley. Yet Washington County is its own unique place, well-deserving of recognition for its acres of gorgeous farmland, notable historic sites, critical agricultural operations, celebrated arts venues and a booming craft beer and artisanal wine industry.
A confluence of factors has given Washington County the impetus to promote its history, arts, farming and agricultural riches. A booming real estate market, the growth of the craft beer and artisanal wine and cheese industries, the retirement interests of many Baby Boomers and the desire for travel in more natural settings has made Washington County exceedingly more attractive.
All of these factors and more made it make economic sense to launch a new tourism brand initiative aimed to capitalize on Washington County’s place in a competitive and changing tourism landscape.
“Today’s regional visitors bring a new set of goals and expectations to their explorations,” said Sara Mannix of Mannix Marketing, adding her knowledge as a veteran who can astutely gauge marketplace dynamics.
A Growing Demographic of Tourists Seeking Authentic Adventure
“Millennials and other adventurers are seeking experiences that are original, authentic and off-the-beaten path. Washington County is perfectly aligned to meet those goals, with attractions and activities that can’t be duplicated anywhere else.”
A primary feature of the new Washington County tourism website is a directory of local arts, history, and agricultural sites. The new website is www.washingtoncounty.fun and was designed to help visitors map out their Washington County adventure.
“Our intent is that visitors will be able to easily identify the type of events or attractions that interest them, whether it’s timeless historical attractions, arts, dining, agritourism, local bed and breakfasts, or outdoor activities,” said Jesse Tyree, Principal of black dog DESIGNS. “During their time on the new website, we also hope future visitors will discover new ideas, events, and destinations to enhance their time in Washington County.”
Agritourism Makes for Fun Branding
The new tourism brand and its “See. Taste. Explore” tagline had the input of many stakeholders across Washington County, which shows the enthusiasm and commitment from various business and community leaders for the new marketing and branding campaign.
“As we designed the creative identity of the brand, we wanted to make sure that we effectively captured the diverse and unique characteristics that our own residents, businesses, and visitors identified as Washington County’s true selling points,” said Andrew Meader of 8 of Eight Strategies, who collaborated with black dog DESIGNS and Mannix Marketing on the new campaign.
The campaign is not only aimed at visitors and residents who want to explore Washington County. It will also help train and educate locals in ways to promote their own businesses and venues. Social media marketing workshops will be conducted by Mannix Marketing, as well as other initiatives.
With this new campaign, Washington County’s time has come to let a larger audience in on their secret.