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Plattsburgh Swimming Ban Questioned

March 23rd, 2006 · No Comments · News

No Swimming Sm Update: City beach to reinstate swimming

After a minor rant about the wisdom of prohibiting swimming at the Plattsburgh City Beach, this morning’s editorial in our local press seems to echo many of my concerns. It almost seems like someone there actually ‘gets it’, but stops just short of pointing out the fact that there is economic impact from beach visitation.

Most interesting is the call for better and more creative promotion of our city’s singular natural asset.

We wonder if this stunning waterfront asset is being properly promoted. Recreation Director Kelly King tried some special events there last year that got only mediocre response. But it was the first time in years that a real effort was made to promote the beach. King is an excellent recreation director who has proven to be a creative thinker; let him work longer on making the beach a success.

So how about an all-out effort to “sell” the beach to local residents and Canadians, leasing a concession at cut-rate prices so a vendor can have some success, trying more special events, even hiring fewer lifeguards and having a smaller swim area?

Now if the City of Plattsburgh actually had a marketing and promotional department this might be a valid idea. I’m not sure if putting the Recreation Director in charge of marketing the beach is a great idea. Why not a more comprehensive city marketing and promotional effort at promoting tourism and visitation? Certainly this funtion is not being carried out by the “Community and Economic Development” people. Their biggest success would be a ‘pie in the sky’ convention center that has no proven demand or need. Something as simple as a billboard highlighting the beach might be all that is needed. As local taxes continue to rise, and our local politicians (not to mention state and national) continue to ignore the most powerful generator of revenue and foreign exchange available to a destination like ours – tourism.

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