Photos and Story by Rick Hiduk
The Endless Mountains Visitors Center west of Tunkhannock will return to normal, post-holiday, hours of operation on Monday, Jan. 5, as the staff of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau embraces a year of change and renewed focus on the types of activities and venues that attract vacationers, party and meeting planners, and seasonal recreationists to the region.
Staff and board members of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau (EMVB) are gearing up for a new year that includes a territorial restructuring, revamping of bylaws, and re-branding of the new three-county Endless Mountains tourism region that includes Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties.
“We’re extremely excited. The board has been meeting monthly to develop a new strategic plan,” EMVB Executive Director Jean Ruhf explained, noting that the bureau has been working with Cre8tive Logic, a York-based advertising and marketing firm. “We’re looking at ways to expand and add some new sections to our website, and we’re going to be identifying some new niche markets.”
One of the latter, Ruhf noted, is wedding destinations. “We’ve already seen great potential in that,” she said of the variety of venues that can both accommodate wedding parties and guests and offer unique packages. “We have so many interesting and beautiful places in the three-county area.” EMVB will also continue to target motorcoach touring groups and work to identify venues suitable for meetings for corporations, associations and large organizations.
“It’s a fresh start for the new year,” Ruhf remarked. “We’re starting a new chapter.”
In February, EMVB employees will take turns staffing the EMVB table at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg.
“That show has always been extremely successful for us,” Ruhf related. Not only does EMVB have the opportunity to invite new anglers, hunters, campers and other recreationists to the region but also to show those who already have cabins or personal contacts in the area how to add value to their time spent here. “We give them additional reasons to come other than just hunting and fishing,” said Ruhf.
Due to the geopolitical shift of the Endless Mountains tourism region that was finalized at the end of December 2014, A Guide to the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania – EMVB’s annual publication that provides details of fairs, festivals and other activities from Spring 2015 to Winter 2016 – will be distributed in February, rather than in January.
Ruhf noted that the guide will be the same size as in previous years. “We’re going to be working just as hard to bring people into three counties as we did to bring them into four,” she stated.
Hours of operation at the Endless Mountains Visitors Center, just west of Tunkhannock on Route 6, are Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For more information, interested readers can log on to www.endlessmountains.org or call 570-836-5431 or 800-769-8999.