An updated version of Cattaraugus County's trademark is being circulated just before the holiday season as part of a new "Enchanted Mountains" branding package.
County legislators and tourism officials want to use it to point up some of the county's natural assets and gradually build a wave of name recognition among travelers originating in a tri-state region including Ohio, Pittsburgh, Rochester and Ontario, Canada. And the brand is expected to be a prominent feature in the county's 2003 annual tourism guide being released in mid-December. The county has ordered 135,000 copies of the 48-page guidebook, to be distributed throughout the Northeastern United States via direct mail, the Enchanted Mountains Web site, travel shows, festivals, interstate tourism centers and at numerous regional tourism destinations.
The Enchanted Mountain package was to be the subject of a major media launch in September centered in Buffalo and Rochester, but budgetary constraints, some wrangling among tourism leaders over the use of the county's name at the base of the graphic image, and a time lag into the fall season stalled that effort. Officials are now relying mainly on exposure via the county's Web site, www.co.cattaraugus.ny.us, and at its tourism Web site, www.enchantedmountains.info.
Tom Livak, the county's director of economic development, planning and tourism, said the tourism Web site will see some additional improvements later this month. The trademark is the result of a now-completed $120,000 regional marketing initiative by consultants for three county governments, Holiday Valley Resort and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce.
The county's name has never been mentioned in the region's title, a fact that some think has caused confusion about the county's identity. In the past year, consultants helped zero in on a visitor market for the region and targeted a demographic group of travelers who are attracted to the type of activities offered in Western New York. Consultants told Cattaraugus County's tourism leaders that its name is not recognizable, so when the two neighboring counties opted out of inclusion in the efforts, the Enchanted Mountain name stuck.
The effort is geared to help the county compete for tourist, business and educational dollars by playing up the recreational opportunities available at its resorts, in its mountains, forests, and streams, and in its cultural and historical landscape.
James Ellis, Chair of the Development & Agriculture Committee and a member of the Tourism Promotion Agency Board, said the county's beauty and natural assets are the foundation of the Enchanted Mountain branding efforts.
"You combine that with all the high quality tourism-related 'infrastructure' -- such as Holiday Valley and HoliMont Ski Resorts, Allegany State Park, Onoville Marina, Allegheny Reservoir, our many museums, art centers, numerous quaint villages -- and you have a great place to live, learn, work and play," Ellis said.