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Busy Agenda For Tourist/Recreation Focus Group

April 26th, 2022

Potter County Tourism and Recreation Focus Group members heard updates on Denton Hill State Park, tourist promotion activities and a homegrown effort to revitalize Main Street in Coudersport during Monday’s bimonthly meeting. A Bureau of State Parks spokesman reported that a revised solicitation for business partners to revitalize Denton Hill State Park into a four-season recreation destination will soon be issued. Contract terms have been revised to cover anywhere from 10 to 35 years; the previous draft agreement was for 10 years. Also, bidders will no longer be required to operate a downhill skiing concession as part of their business plan, although they will be encouraged to do so.

Cori Wagner and Abigail Rossman told focus group members about a series of promotional events they and a handful of other downtown business operators have been holding to bring vibrancy and commerce to the county seat. Most recent of these was a “Wine Walk” involving five Main Street businesses that drew a large turnout. Wagner and Rossman said that although the activities are being organized independently, they have been conferring with Coudersport Borough and a representative of the faltering Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Pennsylvania Lumber Museum administrator Josh Roth reviewed last weekend’s Antique Show and Sawmill Run, which saw a record turnout numbering upwards of 800 people. Roth noted that the museum has added to its staff and is planning new public events. He added that visitor interest has been strong since the museum reopened after closing during the peak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Colleen Hanson, executive director of Visit Potter-Tioga, reported that interest in the region among tourists has reached a modern-day high, based on several of the agency’s measurements. More than 11 million people saw VPT advertisements on social media during the most recent accounting, and upwards of 5 million clicked a promotional posting to learn more. Requests for the agency’s Visitors Guides is at an all-time high, with upwards of 250 print or digital copies per day being requested.

Candace Hillyard, executive director of the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance, pointed out that there are opportunities for businesses to capitalize on the growing popularity of the region as a destination for bicycle enthusiasts. Details on the alliance’s Bike-Friendly Business Program are available here. Hillyard said the organization continues its promotion of a growing “Artisan Trail” pinpointing artists with businesses in close proximity to Rt. 6. The alliance also continues to make its case for State and National Scenic Byway designation for Rt. 6 in Pennsylvania. For details, click here.

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