By Greg Hitchcock
LONG LAKE — The Town of Long Lake hired a professional media company last fall to produce a video using drones as a tourism social media marketing tool.
Glenn Clark, from the Crafting a Brand marketing and branding company based in Mendon, in the Finger Lakes region, negotiated an undisclosed price to produce a video using drones.
“Glenn is an avid hiker and is familiar with the region. He vacations in the area,” said Alexandra Roalsvig, Long Lake’s director of parks, recreation and tourism.
Roalsvig met Clark when she was attending a New York State Tourism Industry Association conference last year, and she thought a tourism video would be a great idea.
“We can communicate around the world using social media,” she said.
The video shows aerial views of the hamlets of Long Lake and Raquette Lake, views made with FAA-licensed drones. Since it was published in November, the post has received several thousand views on the town’s Facebook page.
“The purpose is to highlight the area to tourists, and we will be using it again next season,” Roalsvig said.
“We were careful not to launch the drone overhead over people and to keep it out of wilderness areas.”
Roalsvig grew up in the Adirondacks and spent time in New York City working in TV before returning in 2009 to take her position with the Town of Long Lake. She said summer tourism has seen an uptick since she began her responsibilities.
Using a combination of traditional media (print and broadcast) and social media to market the community, Roalsvig said her grass-roots campaigns often dovetail into regional tourism by funneling into the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism for Hamilton County.
“It’s absolutely vital to our survival to market the Adirondacks to tourism,” she said. “The industries that existed years ago in the Adirondacks aren’t here anymore. Tourism helps mom-and-pop stores to survive.”
And with events like the Long Lake Winter Carnival, Birding weekend, an ice fishing derby, an hors d’oeuvres tour showcasing local eateries and summer concerts, there is no shortage of activities.
“Long Lake is at a crossroads. There are several roads leading in and out of Long Lake to Newcomb, Tupper and Blue Mountain lakes. And we get a lot of traffic from Lake Placid,” Roalsvig said.
One dilemma is that while tourism is increasing, the number of local people to fill recreational jobs is on the decline, according to Roalsvig.
“We struggle with filling jobs. Our school population has declined, a population that used to fill summer jobs, recreational jobs and retail jobs,” she said. “Business owners have had to get creative so that retired people who move here have had to fill some of these jobs.”