Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc. held its 2013 Annual Meeting on Thursday October 10, 2013 at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. Randy Beach of Plattsburgh, George Hodgson of Northumberland, Lisa Hall of Bolton, Peter Repas of Castleton, Marcia Kees of Ballston Lake and Randall Beach of Schenectady, were elected to serve as Directors. Officers for the upcoming year include Randy Beach, President; Mo O’Connell, 1st Vice-President; Peter Repas, 2nd Vice-President; Bruce Ferguson, Secretary; and Mark Galough, Treasurer.
The Annual Meeting marked the eleventh anniversary of the organization and serves as a forum for the region's community development stakeholders, the event was generously sponsored by Adirondack Studios of Argyle, NY. Gavin Landry, Executive Director of the NYS Tourism Division was the Keynote Speaker, and spoke about "I Love New York" initiatives and the tourism economy. He commented that tourism is the fifth largest employer with 700,000 jobs and $70 billion in direct economic impact. Landry noted that the Governor has taken a personal interest in New York State Tourism, investing $60 million to grow the industry and participating in events, such as the Adirondack Challenge.
Building on the partnership with National Geographic to develop a tourism experience that is "guided by locals," Wade Stubanas, of Great River Creative, Chicago, IL, unveiled the "Lakes to Locks PassagePort," a mobile application which uses navigation and GPS location prompts to interpret thematic tours for iPhone and Android platforms. The mobile app will be available this winter, the first PassagePort is a historic tourism itinerary for the Colonel Baum Expedition, an interpretive tour of the 1777 an ill-fated march by troops led by German Lt. Col. Friedrich Baum between Fort Miller and Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site.
The Lakes to Locks Passage Annual Partnership Award was presented to the Washington County Historical Society for their exemplary work in the stewardship of natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources while fostering inter-municipal cooperation; thereby furthering the vision, goals and objectives of Lakes to Locks Passage. The effort of the Washington County Historical Society has exemplified the cooperation Lakes to Locks Passage strives to foster -- deliver authentic and distinctive stories that contribute to the sense of place and community pride while overcoming geo/ political boundaries. With the completion of the Baum Excursion PassagePort in winter 2013, and two interpretive kiosks, the Society plans a grand opening celebration event in 2014.