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Pair of grants to help update marketing materials for Destination Moosehead Lake

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GREENVILLE — Last year the Moosehead Lake Chamber of Commerce unveiled its new brand and restructured organization model, shifting away from a chamber of commerce to “Destination Moosehead Lake,” a destination marketing and management organization. The change will have Destination Moosehead Lake marketing the region on a much larger scale and play a key role in the long-term development of the area through specific travel and tourism strategies.

Destination Moosehead Lake has been awarded a pair of grants to provide for the hiring of professional photographers and video production staff to create images and clips for organization marketing materials showcasing the summer, fall and winter seasons throughout the region. The $16,150 in grant funds are from a $8,575 Tourism Enterprise Grant awarded by the Maine Office of Tourism and another $7,575 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Company.

Destination Moosehead Lake Director of Tourism Angela Arno, who served as executive director when the operation was known as the Moosehead Lake Chamber of Commerce, said the switch is on-going. She said the all-inclusive organization will serve all regional businesses and individuals.

“We don’t collect dues like a traditional chamber does,” Arno said. Instead businesses will be encouraged to advertise with Destination Moosehead Lake through a variety of platforms available through a “partnership program” menu launched in conjunction with the new website at https://destinationmooseheadlake.com.

Arno said businesses in the Moosehead Lake area can reallocate former membership fees into new programs to enhance their business marketing, outreach and overall effectiveness.

The director of tourism said now specific businesses can be highlighted through visitor itineraires, such as what meal to order at what restaurant vs. a list of all establishments serving breakfast. “We are literally telling you what to order and where, it makes people feel like we know what we are talking about,” Arno said.

“It’s been exciting and really freeing as an organization to give recommendations,” she said, saying such referrals could not be given out by a chamber of commerce.

“We have had a lot of training in town to promote our area,” said Georgia Underwood of the Destination Moosehead Lake board of directors, who also is the community development specialist with the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC).

Arno said the process of learning more has included visits to portions of New Hampshire where branding consultant Roger Brooks International has also worked to promote the region. “They are five years ahead of us,” Arno said about marketing efforts in the Granite State.

One lesson learned through the visits and the trainings has been to have more efficient travel planners, not just “a list of lists.” Arno said instead of simply listing every business under a category such as lodging, the new guides will feature a dominant photo along with the name, phone number and website, including a hot link directly to the site when applicable.

She had been told the previous guides to Moosehead Lake were “‘too much, it’s overwhelming,’” so the grants will help fund materials for more visitor-friendly content in print and online.

“For the photos we need photos with people in them, and after this grant money this year we will have those photos,” Arno said, saying seeing campers roasting hot dogs over a fire makes for a much better image than a close-up of just the hot dogs.

“The photo-heaviness of the website and the new guide is what prompted us to write the grant applications,” Arno said, saying the monies from the Weyerhaeuser Company help take care of the bulk of the matching requirements for the Maine Office of Tourism grant.

“The PCEDC really helped us with those grants, without them we wouldn’t have received those grants,” the director of tourism added.

“The new book will have agendas, 24, 48 or 72 hours at Moosehead,” she said. “Low-impact, family-friendly and rugged itineraries so you have three options,” Arno said.

She said Dennis Welch Photography & Motion of Yarmouth will be coming north for a shoot with the Appalachian Mountain Club in late February to capture snowshoeing and cross country skiing scenes as well as shots of downhill skiing at Squaw Mountain. Arno said inclement weather postponed an ice fishing photo session but plans are to get sportsmen on a frozen body of water at another time.

Justin Russell Photography of Bangor will be taking snowmobile images, as well as using a drone for aerial footage of the vehicles on the ice. Arno said the Destination Moosehead Lake website and Facebook and Instagram accounts will feature 30- and 60-second clips.

Arno said Isaac Crabtree of Monson — who posts at @mavicinmaine on Instagram — will use his drone for summer event footage.

“We will probably spend a third of the grants on winter and the rest on summer and fall,” Arno said.

Underwood said the PCEDC’s Piscataquis Tourism Development Authority is going to help Destination Moosehead Lake conduct a business survey to see what area establishments have for needs and incorporate the data moving forward.

“Our visitors are going to have such a great idea of what they are getting into and what they are going to do,” Arno said once all the updates have been made. “We can base all our referrals based on what they like.” She added that Destination Moosehead Lake is also always looking for third party recommendations, such as TripAdvisor at www.tripadvisor.com.

Photos courtesy of Destination Moosehead Lake Director of Tourism Angela Arno
GRANTS TO HELP MAKE MOOSEHEAD LAKE A GREATER DESTINATION — As the former Moosehead Lake Chamber of Commerce undergoes a shift into Destination Moosehead Lake, a pair of grants will help enhance and update organization printed materials, the website https://destinationmooseheadlake.com and the group’s social media pages. The $16,150 in grant funds are from a $8,575 Tourism Enterprise Grant from the Maine Office of Tourism and another $7,575 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Company.

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