Chamber Reports Third Quarter Lodging up 9 Percent

Building a year-round destination is more than just creating events and activities. In Ellicottville, it means cooperation and teamwork.

Through social and traditional media penetration increases, Ellicottville is on the move once again, setting records along the way. Media efforts make Ellicottville easier to find than ever. New events, facilities and methods have made the area even harder to leave for visitors. As the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce’s ad tag line says, “Easy to Find, Hard to Leave.”

Through the use of Facebook, Twitter, television and radio, and visits from journalists, our festivals are seeing near record years, our businesses are growing and our lodging options, from hotels to bed and breakfasts, are seeing fewer and fewer empty rooms throughout the week. A new, more aggressive, marketing and media strategy has aided in bringing the message of what Ellicottville has to offer to even more people.

The media blitz is not just for Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce events and activities. If you have an event and would like a bit of a media push, contact the chamber.

Record lodging revenue numbers in Ellicottville, and Cattaraugus County, have proven that the partnership between stakeholders and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce is working. Revenue reports for the three months ending Sept. 30 show Ellicottville lodging options to be up 9 percent, with a year-to-date increase of 8 percent, both high points since recordkeeping began in 2004. County wide, lodging has averaged an increase of 6 percent.

“Success is a team effort between our stakeholders and the Chamber of Commerce,” Chamber Executive Director Brian McFadden said. “Between events and offerings in the community and a deeper media penetration, Ellicottville, and the region, are growing and moving forward at a much faster pace than the industry in general.

“Occupancy numbers are partially being driven by the weddings at Holiday Valley and HoliMont and conferences that are taking place at the new lodge at Holiday Valley,” McFadden continued. “Because of these two factors, the coming weekend has lodging in Ellicottville close to maximum.”

While there are no community-wide events taking place this weekend, lodging in Ellicottville is near impossible to find. The next few weeks look to be the same way, with Doug and Gwen Bush’s EVL Halloween Half Marathon taking place Nov. 1, bringing upwards of 1,500 runners and supporters to the area.

On the heels of the costumed run, with all of its festivities, Holiday Valley plays host to the annual Beer and Wine Festival Nov. 8. Just a couple weeks later, Nov. 28-30, Christmas in Ellicottville takes over the festive season. With so much to do, November looks to be a strong month in Ellicottville.

Part of moving forward is an initiative that will have a team of researchers in Ellicottville and Cattaraugus County over the weekend. The team, members of Development Counsellors International (DCI), will be around the eight-county region with the mission of rebranding the region on an international scale, creating a regional destination, from Niagara Falls to Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.

The project to rebrand is through a $300,000 grant from New York State, awarded to the Regional Economic Development Council’s Tourism Sub-Committee of which Brian McFadden is a member. The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce is the only chamber in the region to be named to the committee. Phase 1 of their mission is to get to know the region in terms of offerings and assets. Over the next couple weeks, the team in the area will conduct focus group meetings with key stakeholders to aid in rebranding the region.

With all of the development and success, the Ellicottville and Salamanca Chambers of Commerce continue with their mission of offering benefits to their members. On Oct. 27, at the Hotel Wingate, in Ellicottville, members of the two chambers are able to come to the open enrollment for Bene-Care health insurance. Two sessions will be available, 2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., for those with questions and looking to enroll. If you’d like to attend one of the two sessions, call (716) 688-8161 or email BCBuffalo@Bene-Care.com to reserve your