GRINDSTONE FALLS RIVER WALK: 2016 MAINE CONSERVATION CORPS PROJECT SUPPORTED BY MOHF

This summer the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) completed their part of the Katahdin Tourism Partnership’s “Grindstone Falls River Walk” project. Supported by a $11,650 grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the MCC developed  the MCC developed a portion of a new 1.6-mile walking trail along the East Branch of the Penobscot River between Grindstone Falls Rest Area and Big Pines Turnout on the Grindstone Road. The Grindstone River Walk project was sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation and funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.

“Grindstone Falls River Walk” is the second in a series of on-the-ground projects slated to take place over the next few years along the 89-mile Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. Designed to improve safety along the Byway and enhance the visitor experience, these projects are the outcome of a 6-year collaboration between the Katahdin Tourism Partnership (KTP) and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT).

The Katahdin Tourism Partnership (KTP) was originally formed in 2011 to assist the MaineDOT in the development and implementation of a Corridor Partnership Plan for the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. One of the goals identified in the Plan, and the ultimate goal of the KTP, is to create a world-class visitor experience that will strengthen the tourism industry in the greater Katahdin region and stimulate the local economy.

MaineDOT’s Scenic Byways Coordinator, Fred Michaud said, “Gateways Facilities and smaller projects like the Grindstone Falls River Walk will improve the traveler’s experience in the Katahdin area by providing infrastructure and amenities that will encourage folks to stay, explore, and return.”

The partnership with the MaineDOT is one of many forged by the KTP that supports the organization’s efforts. For instance, Lakeville Shores, Inc., a Maine-based forestry management company and landowner, gifted about four acres of land along the East Branch Penobscot and Grindstone Road now known as Big Pines Recreational Area. The land at Big Pines is being put into conservation and is open to the public as a tranquil spot to enjoy scenic river views.  A second site downstream owned by Penobscot County has been improved and will provide the public with yet another opportunity to relax and take in the beauty of the river.

The Grindstone Falls River Walk project was sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation and funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. This project was funded in part by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, for which proceeds from the sale of a dedicated instant lottery ticket “MAINE-AH Money” are used to support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation. For more information about MOHF, go to www.maine.gov/ifw/MOHF.html

With representation from all seven communities along the Byway, the KTP operates as an open network of stakeholders guided by a Steering Committee and is committed to working across geographic and municipal boundaries. Information on the Katahdin Tourism Partnership is available online at www.katahdinpartnership.org.

 

 

Trails & Turnouts: Fall 2015 Maine Conservation Corps Project Supported by MOHF

?This fall the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) completed their part of the Katahdin Tourism Partnership’s “Trails & Turnouts” project. Supported by a $9,570 grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the MCC developed two parking areas along the East Branch of the Penobscot River just below Grindstone Falls and restored another parking area and 5 miles of trails at River Pond Nature Trails off the Golden Road, a popular and easily accessible moose-viewing site owned by Katahdin Forest Management, LLC.

“Trails & Turnouts” is the first in a series of projects slated to take place over the next few years along the 89-mile Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. Designed to improve safety along the Byway and enhance the visitor experience, these projects are the outcome of a 5-year collaboration between the Katahdin Tourism Partnership (KTP) and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT).

Larger Byway projects include proposals by the MaineDOT to build Gateways for the Byway. The MaineDOT has begun holding public meetings to discuss the designs for two gateway facilities that will offer visitor information and maps in the Towns of Medway and Patten.

MaineDOT’s Scenic Byways Coordinator, Fred Michaud said, “Gateways Facilities and smaller projects like Trails & Turnouts will improve the traveler’s experience in the Katahdin area by providing infrastructure and amenities that will encourage folks to stay, explore, and return.”

The partnership with the MaineDOT is one of many forged by the KTP that supports the organization’s efforts. For instance, Lakeville Shores, Inc., a Maine-based forestry management company and landowner, gifted almost six acres of land along the East Branch Penobscot and Grindstone Road now known as Big Pines Recreational Area. The land at Big Pines is being put into conservation and is open to the public as a tranquil spot to enjoy scenic river views.  A second site downstream owned by Penobscot County has been improved and will provide the public with yet another opportunity to relax and take in the beauty of the river.

The Trails & Turnouts project was sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation and funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund conserves wildlife and open spaces through the sale of instant, scratch lottery tickets. With proceeds from Moose Moolah lottery ticket sales, grants are awarded twice a year, totaling approximately $700,000 annually.

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KTP Tourism Training Webinar: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Hashtags & More

KTP Steering Committee Member and Tourism Training Specialist Ailish Keating put together this instructional video that gives an overview of how to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Hashtags & More for marketing your business. Narrated by Taylor Walker, the webinar takes you through Facebook basics including page insights and how to boost your posts, the importance of hashtags and how to identify hashtags that are trending on HashAtIt.com, as well as overviews of Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Katahdin Tourism Partnership – Tourism Training, May 18th and May 19th

The Katahdin Tourism Partnership* is hosting a tourism training on May 18th and May 19th.  All area businesses are invited to attend.  This training focuses on getting your business listed on TripAdvisor and/or Yelp.  Some listings may already be on there and the business owner may not have control of the listings and some businesses may not be listed or may have incorrect or outdated information.  This training will walk the business owner through the necessary steps to claim the listing or bring it live for the first time.  The training on May 18th will take place at The Katahdin Region Higher Education Center – K-TECH in East Millinocket and the training on May 19th will take place at UVEC – the Upper Valley Economic Corporation offices in Sherman Maine.  Details for each of these trainings is listed below.

*This training is part of the Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative – a project of the Maine Woods Consortium with coordination provided by the Northern Forest Center and funding support from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development. USDA is an equal opportunity partner, funder and employer.

Tourism Training

  • Is your business listed on TripAdvisor and Yelp?
  • If it is listed, is the information correct and are tourists finding you?
  • Could you use more business?
  • Would you like to show up in searches on the web?
  • How do I get my business listed?
  • How should I respond to reviews (negative & positive)
  • How can I get area attractions on TripAdvisor

See Details Below and RSVP with the time and location that works best for you. RSVP with the time you are coming to marketing(at)neoc(dot)com.  Thank you.

East Millinocket – K-Tech – May 18th
1 Dirigo Drive Suite 1 – East Millinocket ME 04462 – 1.800.498.8200 or 746-5741
Monday May 18th – 9:00am to 1:00pm
Schedule runs on the hour – RSVP if you are able to attend at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am or 12:00pm.

Sherman – UVEC – Upper Valley Economic Corporation May 19th
36 School St # 4, Sherman, ME 04776:  Phone:(207) 365-7631
Tuesday May 19th – 9:00am to 1:00pm
Schedule runs on the hour – RSVP if you are able to attend at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am or 12:00pm

Questions? Please email: marketing(at)neoc(dot)com or call Ailish at 207-723-5438 x2000
Thank you

KTP Invite

Packaging Workshop Helps Businesses Connect

The Katahdin Tourism Partnership partnered with the Maine Office of Tourism to offer a product development workshop on November 13 in East Millinocket. Donna Moreland’s presentation “Putting It Together: How to Build Itineraries & Packages” offered businesses an opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of building packages and itineraries as well as a chance to meet with other interested business owners.

“I enjoyed this seminar because not only did I take away one really good nugget of advice, I also met two neighboring business women who have just opened new businesses which I will now do business with!” said Christina Shipps of Mountain Glory Farm in Patten.

Workshop participants explored how to build innovative packages and specials to draw in new customers and give existing customers a reason to keep coming back. The abundance of cultural, natural and recreational assets in the Katahdin area offers endlessly opportunities for our businesses to bundle them and create new experiences.

The Katahdin Tourism Partnership is exploring offering workshops again this spring. For more information on the workshop or to offer input of future workshop topics, please email info@katahdinpartnership.org.

Summer Visitor Survey Results Are In (Hint: They love the Katahdin Area)

Net Promoter blog imageThe Katahdin Tourism Partnership recently completed our second round of visitor surveying. We were pleased to discover that our summer visitors love the area just as much as our winter visitors do. More on that in a minute.

First, a big thank you to New England Outdoor Center for building the beautiful wooden boxes used to gather the results. These boxes looked great on the counters of fifteen participating businesses and organizations located on or in close proximity to the Byway.

We thought that maybe our winter visitors, most of whom gave the Katahdin Area a very high rating, were responding based on snow amounts. It turns out that our summer visitors are just as enthusiastic. Both winter and summer visitor surveys used the Net Promoter Score system asking visitors to the region how likely they might be, using a scale from 0 (unlikely) to 10 (very likely), to recommend a future visit to the Katahdin area to their friends and family. Summer visitors submitted 222 responses of which 161 stated that the likelihood of a positive recommendation was very high – fully 10 out of a possible 10. One person even rated their likelihood as an 11! (For results from last winter, please see earlier blog post.)

Based on the summer responses and using the standard net promoter score formula, the Katahdin area received a score of 75. To put this in perspective, Bend in Oregon’s net promoter score is 75 and many internationally known destinations win significantly lower approval ratings. While the initial score suggests a very positive visitor experience, the true value in conducting this survey is providing a way to tract the impact of projects and initiatives intended to improve the experience over time.

Click here for a more complete description of the survey and an in-depth analysis of results.

What if YOU (yes, Y-O-U) had $10 million to invest in recreation tourism development in the Katahdin Area?

NEOC raftingThat is the question “investment teams” at the upcoming Outdoor Recreation Tourism Planning Charrette will be trying to answer on December 4 in Millinocket. Would you spend the money on new trails? Road improvements? A visitor center? A new resort or maybe high quality B&Bs or great restaurants? What would benefit the region most (help us meet or exceed visitor expectations, increase tourism revenues throughout the area)?

Participation in the event is on a “first come, first served” basis with a limit of fifty people. Organizers are hoping to attract equal numbers of participants from several categories – government officials, landowners, tourism businesses, etc. (See the project page on this website for a full list of categories.) Although event participants will be investing “Katahdin Kash,” recommendations coming out of the event will be passed along to potential investors of real dollars.

“It’s kind of a new idea,” notes Bruce Hazard, one of the planners for the event. “Unlike real world investment, at the charrette, everyone will have an equal number of dollars to put in – no strings attached, so no one person or institution controls the whole game. Individuals will have to work together to get larger projects to happen. It should be interesting – and fun.”

To find out more about the event and to register, go to the Charrette project page on this website.

Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway Signs Are Up

Signage ImageIf you have traveled around the Katahdin area recently, you may have noticed that the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway signs are up. Fred Michaud from the Maine DOT recently attached the signs to the existing Maine Scenic Byway signs. The addition of the new signs will help build name recognition for the Byway among travelers. These signs are part of a larger signage plan that includes way finding signage to help visitors navigate the area and interpretive signage to convey information about the culture, history, and natural history of the area. Partner organizations are currently seeking funding to implement the larger plan.

Partnership Receives Grant for Outdoor Recreation Planning Charrette

The Upper Valley Economic Council on behalf of the Katahdin Tourism Partnership is excited to announce that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Sewall Foundation to organize an outdoor recreation planning charrette and for general operating expenses.

The Partnership recognizes that the Katahdin area includes a formidable array of outdoor recreation assets, however these assets are managed independently. The proposed outdoor recreation planning charrette will gather resource managers and users to explore opportunities for creating an integrated system of trails, conservation lands, and service providers. Charrettes are typically two-day workshops that produce a number of design ideas and possible solutions, which are documented and presented to the stakeholders to be used as a basis for future planning and development efforts.

Click here for more information on the charrette or contact Bruce Hazard at bhazard@placeworksconsulting.com.

Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Memorial comes to Stacyville

THEmovingWALL20110521_0199This summer “The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Memorial” will be visiting the small town of Stacyville, Maine, sponsored by Sherman Area Memorial VFW Post 2299 and its Ladies Auxiliary. Since this is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war, what better time to bring “The Wall” here, to honor and respect those that made the ultimate sacrifice. It is an opportunity that many people would never otherwise have. Contributions and donors are detrimental in bringing the Wall here from White Pine, Michigan. Private citizens, Post and auxiliary members, and business owners are making it all possible.This will be the only showing of the “The Moving Wall” in Maine this year.

“The Moving Wall” will be on display at Katahdin High School in Stacyville. All ceremonies will take place in front of the Wall. It will officially open on Thursday, June 20 when there will be a Welcome Ceremony at 1:00 pm by Post 2299 Commander Wayne Guiggey and Auxiliary President Allison Roy. On Saturday, June 22 there will be a ceremony at 1:00 pm. Guest speakers will include Department of Maine VFW Commander David Olson, Vietnam Veterans of America Maine State Council President John Wallace, Major General Stephen Nichols, Ret., and Representative Sheryl Briggs (District 93). That night there will be a beautiful Patriotic Cantata inside the school auditorium at 7:00 pm, led by Allison Roy.Sunday, June 23 at 2:00 pm will be designated to recognize all Maine Vietnam POW-MIA’s. At that time there will be a “Table For One” ceremony, full of symbolism about the men “missing from our midst.” It will be followed by a balloon release for Maine’s POW’s.”The Wall” will close on Monday, June 24 at 1:00. From the day it opens until the day it closes, the Wall will be open 24 hours a day.

“The Moving Wall” is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country since 1984.  For more information about the Wall’s visit, call 267-4016, 365-4832, or email firstcavair@yahoo.com. People can also like the VFW on Facebook @ Sherman Area Memorial VFW Post 2299 and Ladies Auxiliary for updated information and events.