Almaguin News Story

Organizers excited about latest economic development plan

Laurel J. Campbell
News Staff

SOUTH RIVER: Almaguin Highlands Strategic Planning Implementation Committee (AHSPIC) and the Municipality of South River have a surprise presentation prepared for January 27, and are inviting representatives of all municipalities throughout the Almaguin Highlands to attend the event being held at the South River Community Centre starting at 7 p.m.

The public meeting will unveil a major tourism and economic development promotional program for Almaguin Highlands that is "a pretty nice deal" according to AHSPIC Chair Christina Golding.
While the majority of the details of the new marketing plan are being kept under wraps, "because they want to blow us away with their presentation," said Golding, the project is a direct result of the Almaguin Highlands Strategic Plan released in March 2002.

North Bay consultant Stan Lawlor, author of the strategic plan, describes the new project, entitled the Lure of Almaguin, as a "very thorough program of marketing and promotion that includes real aggressive ways to address marketing that stands out from the competition."

Lawlor says that the Lure of Almaguin is "a multi-faceted interlinked, dovetailed approach that includes an incredible series of offerings for both recreation and economic use in marketing the area effectively."

Without releasing all of the details about the new project, organizers of the public meeting are saying that the proposal includes a CD Rom that will act as a guerrilla (aggressive) marketing tool to be used at conventions, trade shows and via direct mail, and a portal website on the entire area, providing access to information on all facets of the social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of our communities.

"We're looking at branding the area using the symbol of a fishing lure," said Golding, "and there's even been a theme song produced called, "The Lure of Almaguin, which has been written specifically for this purpose."
Those attending the meeting will get to see the new logo first-hand, along with fishing lures that have been appropriately decorated with the new graphic, as well as printed brochures in line with the new theme.

This is an exciting project that provides an opportunity for all of our communities to benefit from, jointly marketing our area effectively and in an affordable manner," said South River Mayor Chris Hundley. Not only is South River hosting the meeting, but representatives of the village are working with AHSPIC on the presentation of the new marketing concept.

"It's not so much that the new proposal has anything in it that's magical," said Lawlor, "but it incorporates a whole package, rather than doing things in little pieces. The timing is right, and it interweaves and resonates with the people who are already working to market the area. I think people are going to be wowed."

Those planning to attend the January 27 meeting are asked to call Martin Parker at 386-2573 to register numbers attending.

Excerpt from , January 12, 2005, Page 11

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