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Archive for December, 2019

Potter County Human Services Installs New Phone System

December 27th, 2019 Comments off

Potter County Human Services has upgraded its incoming telephone system for greater efficiency and public convenience. The numbers remain the same: 814-544-7315 or 1-800-800-2560. A voice welcomes the caller and provides dialing options for each extension and/or individual.

Once the selection is made, a receptionist responds to assure that the call is directed to the appropriate party. Callers can press “0” at any time to access live assistance.

New County Comprehensive Plan Sets Ambitious Goals

December 20th, 2019 Comments off

Public officials and community leaders now have an official blueprint to guide decision-making in the new decade, following yesterday’s adoption of the Potter County Comprehensive Plan by Commissioners Doug Morley, Susan Kefover and Paul Heimel. It’s the result of an 18-month process designed to set priorities for a broad spectrum of public policy areas. Its implications will be felt in everything from economic development and agriculture, to tourism and health care. An underlying theme is a critical need to address the county’s declining population, combined with steady increases in median age. Implications are being felt in terms of needed services, changes in the job market, economics and other areas. Approximately 1,000 Potter County residents weighed in with input on a series of identified priorities that are addressed in the plan, including:

  • business attraction, workforce development and employment;
  • infrastructure (including public works and high-speed internet);
  • attractions for tourism and recreation;
  • downtown amenities and community services;
  • gaps in health care and drug addiction services
  • agriculture (including the forest products industry);
  • education;
  • protection of air, water and natural places;
  • transportation.

Consultants from the Michael Baker International firm created a draft of the plan and posted it online for public input. Potter joined forces with McKean and Cameron counties to contract with the consultants, using a combination of state and county funding. The plan is now available under Planning/GIS Department on pottercountypa.net. The comprehensive plan is mandated by the state and must be updated every 10 years. Potter County Planning Director Will Hunt said that he will establish an online service to share ongoing details as the plan is implemented.

National Accolades For Visit Potter-Tioga

December 11th, 2019 Comments off

Visit Potter-Tioga, official tourist promotion agency for the two counties, has been honored as “Marketer of the Year” by a respected rating organization. Colleen R. Hanson, executive director, reports that the award from the American Marketing Assn. was based on a travel marketing campaign deployed by VPT from a professional consulting firm, Beyond Spots and Dots.

“The agency’s themed ad campaigns, spread across print, cable, Google, Facebook and strategically placed billboards, has resulted in the excellent numbers we are seeing in our analytics,” Hanson reported. Another measure of success is an increase in tourist marketing revenue derived from the room tax that is collected from guests at lodging facilities across the two counties. “Things are going very well,” Hanson noted. “The ad campaigns are being well-received and it is translating into increased customers for our members.”

VPT has invested heavily in online and print advertising driving potential visitors to a vibrant website (visitpottertioga.com). The website is now being tapped by 600,000 people annually. They’re looking for things to do, places to stay and eat, activities to enjoy and sites to see. VPT was launched in July 2017, formed from the former Tioga County Visitors Bureau (TCVB) and Potter County Visitors Association (PCVA). It’s a unified marketing and technical assistance agency geared toward one goal of importance to both counties – boosting the number of tourists who visit the region to support the local economy. Popular destinations such as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Cherry Springs International Dark Sky Preserve and many others are jointly marketed. Businesses that offer goods and services to visitors are also promoted.

Businesses, organizations and individuals interested in becoming involved can call 1-888-846-4228. Annual membership fees of $100 for non-profit organizations and $250 for businesses expose affiliates to a multi-phased marketing campaign. Among VPT’s most effective tools is its annual visitors’ guide, a full-size glossy magazine released each January with a press run in excess of 70,000. More than 40,000 of these guides are sent directly to those who contact VPT for information to plan their visits. Members qualify for a listing and a link on the Visit Potter-Tioga website. Additionally, members can confer with public relations professionals who can share advice on marketing, promotion, advertising, social media, etc. Many local businesses have seen increases in their revenues since the merger, attributing it to the additional marketing and benefits of their VPT membership.