The Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Board looked back on a positive year last year, and acknowledged a couple of “blips.” Board President Arleen Solly thanked Executive Director Brian McFadden for his “strong leadership” in the past and for his efforts towards enhancing Ellicottville. She mentioned the growth in chamber membership, and congratulated them on a “wonderful year.”
Revenue for the bike race fell a bit short of projections, although the many riders said they felt the town was a great place to ride (wide roads, not too many hills). Many said they expected to return to ride here again, which will still bring revenue to the town. July 4th fell on a Wednesday last year, which affected the turnout for the Summer Music Festival. Revenue for that event also fell a bit short. Nevertheless, due to good management, and an increase in bed tax revenues, the balance sheet for the chamber is in excellent shape.
The board elected new members. They were: Peter Krienheder, from Ellicottville Brewing Company, Jim Carls from Dina’s, William Krysick from Krysick & Co. and Kathleen Moriarty from Peters and Moriarty Attorneys.
E’Ville in the Press
Mr. McFadden reported that the town was the subject of many news stories throughout the Eastern US and Ontario including a full page article that appeared in 15 city newspapers on the same day. He said that such stories generate a tremendous amount of publicity for area. Not only could we not afford to buy that amount of press but because it is written by a third party provides an endorsement for Ellicottville. He said that Ellicottville is becoming well known as an outdoor adventure community and is on National Geographic’s home page for our “epic” mountain bike trails.
The chamber web site is doing well, visitor traffic was up by 50% in 2012 with most of the visitors logging on in June to October. He credits this to keeping the site fresh and the ability to buy tickets to festivals online, as well as new online videos. They are offering pre-sale deals for online event purchases, and once a purchase has been made the site goes directly to a page to book accommodations. This has created a big jump in early festival ticket sales. He pointed out that Gretchen Wilson has a link on her web site to purchase tickets to her Summer Music Festival appearance. McFadden also talked about the chambers use of QR codes in their promotional materials. The codes, which look like the fingerprint of the bionic woman, can be used to direct a cell phone or web browser directly to the chambers site to purchase tickets to a specific event.
Conferences at HV
McFadden brought up that the new lodge for Holiday Valley is allowing them to book more meetings and conferences. The first will be the May 16th Entrepalooza business conference. He said he is looking at a program to have local merchants and restaurants put up “welcome conference attendees” signs in their windows, and offer them conference specials.
There was a discussion about parking downtown. Some merchants were complaining that employees of other stores are taking up parking space in front of their stores. Comments were made that it shouldn’t be difficult to have employees park on Elizabeth Street. McFadden said he would put a friendly reminder about that in the next newsletter.
————————————————————————————————————————Town Planning: Special Use Public Hearing to Be Held May 20 By Sharon Turano
A public hearing will be held May 20 regarding a special use permit for Pat Burke to build a second floor apartment on his garage.
The hearing was set during a Monday meeting of the Town of Ellicottville Planning Board.
Planners also requested Cattaraugus County Health Department documentation proving the septic system would be adequate to handle the housing.
Although the apartment was the discussed during the meeting, planners also took time to review Burke’s subdivision properties on Witch Hollow Road, since he was in attendance. Planners will work with Burke to ensure all lots are in compliance.
Also at the meeting, planners decided to correspond with those involved with a Route 242 house. During a January meeting of the board, property owners proposed the Overell property on Route 242 be split amongst two owners. Town law dictates if no one is heard from regarding a project in six months, it will be considered abandoned. Planners decided to make those involved with the Overell property aware of the law in case they are still looking to pursue working on the matter since it has not been further addressed.
Since planners have received requests for downloadable applications, previously-used forms have been reviewed and modified and will enable the computer use.