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News of Otsego County

Tourism

Editorial: Charge!

Editorial:
Charge!

Summer has come and almost gone here in Cooperstown, and there have been more people visiting us than in 2020. The streets are abuzz with eager baseball fans, casually swinging their newly made bats, avid bike riders waxing eloquently about their explorations of the hills and valleys of Otsego, and lake lovers fresh from a full day on and in the water. The shop owners, lodgings and restaurants have seen an uplift in sales from 2020, and the village has begun to feel a return to post-COVID life. That was then; now, alas, we are in the throes of returning to that COVID life, as the Delta surge runs through us.
If we are lucky though, this, too, shall pass.

Another interesting note is the increase around town of electric vehicles, both locally owned and from afar. The parking lot of the Otesaga is a good place to find them, as are Doubleday parking lot and, until this week, the Dreams Park and the trolley lots. Sleek, somewhat new and multi-colored, the out-of-towners have brought their owners here for a tour of the Hall of Fame, a week at the Dreams Park, some good productions at Glimmerglass, a round of golf, some lake fishing and a visit to the Fenimore Art Museum and Hyde Hall, and they have come from as far away as New York City and Washington, traveling over routes laid out in their respective maps that display the whereabouts of recharging stations along the way.

Pandemic recovery period makes for some awkward encounters

Pandemic recovery period
makes for some awkward encounters

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

GREG KLEIN

In May, I watched baseball and softball games across the county.

I saw a cross section of residents, from at least four local communities, most of whom I had not seen for at least 18 months, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some people I had not seen for much longer, because I had been away from sports.

This is probably the least controversial statement I will ever make on the editorial page, and I will let my Southern voice make for effect: it is good to see all y’all.

One of the things the coronavirus pandemic has taken away from us is community. I can understand why it was hard on parishioners when churches were on remote services, because community is a big part of religious groups’ virtues.

The same could be said for sports and arts in the community. I know for us there are plenty of people we mostly see during soccer seasons and have now seen little of for two springs and a fall.

Occasionally we bump into people at the store, or I see a solo family member at a newspaper-related event, but it hasn’t been the same.

The great outdoors is the focus of an ad campaign to tempt tourists
Destination Marketing Corporation

The great outdoors is the focus of an ad campaign to tempt tourists

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A new advertising campaign by www.ThisisCooperstown.com, which is managed by Destination Marketing Corporation, has a focus on outdoor activities with the intention of drawing people to the area post-pandemic.

The website, which now has a page called ‘Get Outside’, will have links to trails, playgrounds and boat rentals among other things.

Dreams Park update opens tourism season

Dreams Park update opens tourism season

By KEVIN LIMITI• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The summer tourism season begins Memorial Day weekend, with businesses and attractions getting set for a better year now that COVID is beginning to dissipate.

After a run of team cancellations earlier in the year, the Dreams Park baseball camp announced new protocols Monday, May 24.

The baseball camp in Hartwick Seminary will open Friday, July 23, with no restrictions on social distancing or mask wearing. However, they will be requiring a vaccine for all participating children and adults.

Dreams Park said on their website that the 2021 season would be the “first step toward a full reopening in 2022.”

Todd Kenyon, director of communications at the Fenimore Art Museum, said that he was optimistic about the upcoming summer and fall seasons.

“There’s always the unknown, but I can feel that people want to get out,” Kenyon said. “I’m hopeful they visit Cooperstown.”

Tourism promoter: Focus different for 2021

Tourism promoter:
Focus different for 2021

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Otsego County’s tourism efforts are being refocused on outdoor activities, fall weddings and vaccinated out-of-state residents, according to a presentation given to the Otsego County Board of Representatives at its May meeting.

Harrington addressed the Representatives at their meeting, which was held via Zoom, because of the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday, May 5.

She said the group is looking to increase late summer and fall tourism in an effort to boost 2021 bed tax money.

Harrington said her group, which was spun off from the county in 2014 and added Schoharie County as a client two years ago, has shifted to a virtual campaign, allowing it to add several promotional categories and “pages” to its promotional materials.

DMC is launching an outdoor activities website that culls information and links to all the other county locations for hiking, boating, fishing, winter sports and more. Those sites include state parks, Otsego 2000’s Otsego Outdoors website, information about playgrounds, camp sites, hotels and more.

Otsego Looks Outdoors
With Another Tourism Season In Doubt

Otsego Looks Outdoors

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Lori Paparteys and her dog, Bailey, pose during their Otsego Octet Ultra Challenge. Paparteys and Bailey completed the trail challenge in one day.

With tourism dealt another pandemic-related blow last week, Otsego County’s leaders are increasingly turning to outdoor adventures to lure visitors.

“We’re actually in the process right now of trying to launch a massive campaign to tout our outdoor adventure,” said Cassandra Harrington, executive director of Destination Marketing Corporation, which promotes tourism in Otsego and Schoharie counties.

Harrington said the tourism news has been mostly dismal in the week since Cooperstown Dreams Park announced it would require all teams playing at the park’s summer tournaments to be vaccinated for the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty of getting vaccinations for children and a hard refund deadline has left dozens of teams in a catch-22, leading to hundreds of reported cancellations.

23 fifth grade students from Milford Central School also completed the Otsego Octet Challenge from Otsego Outdoors.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s winter announcement that it was moving its postponed 2020 Induction Weekend to a virtual event, had already crushed pre-pandemic hopes for a record sized crowd for Derek Jeter’s induction.

However, the reopening of the baseball parks, Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary and Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, was a big pillar of the county’s hopes for a renewed summer of tourism. All-Star Village has not announced similar vaccination requirements for its teams, but the Dreams Park changes make its June opening unlikely, Harrington said.

“Now that the bottom fell out with Dreams Park, our accommodations are dealing with a flood of cancellations,” she said. “So, we really need those outdoor visitors more than ever.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, MAY 17
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, MAY 17

Pest Management For

The Greenhouse & Garden

14-19eventspage

GARDENING LECTURE – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Learn tips and tricks for keeping pests off your plants in your greenhouse and your garden. Presented by Mohican Farm Manager Bob Sutherland. Program is free, space is limited. Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. Info, occainfo.org/calendar/informed-lecture-series-integrated-pest-management-home-greenhouse-garden/

BROCHURE EXCHANGE – 5 p.m. Tourism businesses and professionals are invited to annual brochure exchange and network. Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Road, Cooperstown. Info/registration, (607) 547-5098 ext. 6, johnbower@hydehall.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WENDESDAY, NOV. 9
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9

Marketing Tourism

Discussed At Oneonta

14-19eventspageTOURISM ROUNDTABLE– 8:30-10 a.m. Professionals invited to open participatory tourism marketing roundtable with tourism leaders. Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Coffee and bagels served. Reservations required by Nov. 1. Info, Barbara Heegan baheegan@otsegocc.com, (607)432-4500 ext. 207.

SUNY THEATER – 8 p.m. Theater department production of “The Good Person of Szechwan.” Goodrich Theater, Fine Arts Bldg., 108 Ravine Pkwy., Oneonta. Info, oneonta.edu/academics/theatre/

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103