2020 March Featured Journalist of the Month: Visit Finger Lakes
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 02:23 PM

Finger Lakes Visitors ConnectionFinger Lakes Visitors Connection

Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County in the Finger Lakes region. Our mission is to create visitorship and economic vitality for Ontario County by marketing its tourism assets and positioning the area as a premier leisure and meetings destination. The Finger Lakes Region in New York is home to award-winning wineries, craft beverage producers, unique shopping, world-class museums, culinary treats, and spectacular scenery. Charming villages and crystal clear glacial-formed fresh water lakes await your discovery. The region is located within a five-hour drive of most east coast metropolitan areas including New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto, Ottawa, Cleveland, and Hartford. Check out VisitFingerLakes.com for more information or call us at (585) 394-3915 today! 

 1. What is your destination most known for?

There are many reasons to visit the Finger Lakes – but what may come to mind is our world-class wine producing region, specializing in varieties like Riesling and Gewurztraminer as well as cool-climate reds like Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. We also have gorgeous lakes, culinary delights, exceptional hiking and biking, skiing, and golf in our great outdoors, and of course, our family-friendly atmosphere.

 

2. Name one hidden gem that media should not miss when visiting your destination.

Grape pie! Located in the south end of Ontario County, the village of Naples is considered the “Grape Pie Capital of the World”! And for good reason. Though well-known to locals, those visiting the Finger Lakes may be wondering what this slice of peculiar purple pie is, and it would be a shame to miss out on it! Sweet, fruity, and with a crumbly crust, this tasty Finger Lakes treat is a local specialty. Every pie maker's version of this recipe is slightly different, although the pie’s historic roots can be traced back to the heritage of German immigrants who once settled in the Finger Lakes. 

 

3. What plans or events does your destination have scheduled that travel media should be aware of?

Coming this summer, Canandaigua Lake will become the home of two lakeside luxury resorts – The Lake House on Canandaigua and Hotel Canandaigua, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Located within a few miles from one another, both will offer travelers a unique destination for all seasons where they will be greeted with enthusiasm for adventure and discovery.  

Opening Summer 2020, The Lake House on Canandaigua will have 125 guest rooms and suites, a timber frame event barn, a pool and year-round hot tub, a spa, a wellness center, and boardwalk for water sports. Both casual and fine dining options are located on the property, including a to be named signature restaurant, the newly integrated New York Kitchen (cooking classes, hands-on demonstrations), and a re-imagined Sand Bar. 

Also opening in 2020, Hotel Canandaigua will feature 109 well-appointed guestrooms, contemporary American restaurant, full-service spa, outdoor bar, pool & jacuzzi and 15,000 square feet of lake front function space. Travelers will experience unparalleled personalized guest service and picturesque views of scenic Canandaigua Lake, leaving them both delighted and surprised.

 

4. What's one feature that can’t be missed when visiting your website?

We make it our mission to keep our website listings up-to-date and robust! Our data shows VisitFingerLakes.com/Events-Festivals is consistently one of our top performing pages, and that it gets views from all around the U.S. and beyond. The key tourism goal for our events section is to attract more visitors (especially in off-peak seasons) to serve as a launching point for those looking to vacation in Ontario County. You’ll find lots to do, all year long.

 

5. How did you hear about NATJA, why did you join?

I began my career in tourism in 2017, having held marketing positions in higher education and healthcare. I learned quickly that the role of a tourism marketer is complex and consisting of many different and connected parts. NATJA’s mission aligned with my need to learn and network with other professionals in the travel industry space. Knowing that NATJA was one of the biggest collectives of professional travel writers, I was eager to get involved so I could learn from some of the best.

 

6. Is there anything else you feel travel media should know about your destination?

Ontario County in the heart of the Finger Lakes – a place offering a unique, memorable visitor experience – something that takes them away from and allows them time with to relax. Our visitors live an active lifestyle, love the outdoors and are thrilled by the out-of-the-ordinary. Our visitors love relaxing activities: wine and craft beverage tastings, shopping, casual walks, peaceful sleep, good food. 

Ontario County in the heart of the Finger Lakes region is embarking on a shift in our product. With the anticipated opening of two lakeside luxury resorts on Canandaigua Lake, we will become a luxury destination. The lakeside resorts complement our existing high-end products including multiple overnight, lakeside properties; high-end outdoor offerings including zipline adventures, a wake park, and championship golf; Native American history; unique experiences congruent with “wellness” like cow cuddling, alpaca yoga, and forest bathing; exceptional theater and small-batch performance as well as a world-class farm to table culture. You will leave Ontario County feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed.