Jeff Green | Mar 02, 2006
Feature Article - March 2, 2006
Feature ArticleMarch 2, 2006
Promoting theCrown Land Stewardship Programby Jeff Green
A marketing strategy for the roads and campsites that North Frontenac Township operates on Crown land under an arrangement with the Ministry of Natural Resources was presented to North Frontenac Council last week.
The report sees great potential for increasing use of the campsites through promotion and an online reservation system, but requires that Council act quickly to institute a marketing plan within weeks in order to increase the popularity of the program this year.
The program includes 184 campsites, scattered over nine lakes, and 58 kilometres of roads that are used either to access campsites, access lakes for fishing, hiking, and canoeing, or for ATV use.
Last year, only about 10% of the potential use of the campsites was achieved. However in July and August, some of the most popular lakes were busier, with about 27% of their capacity being achieved.
Larry Trenwith, from the Northbridge Group of Ottawa , completed the marketing strategy. Trenwith has a connection to North Frontenac himself, since he owns a cottage on Buckshot Lake .
He pointed out that the program has never been publicised, and that it offers a kind of camping and daytrip recreational opportunity that is not available elsewhere.
But it needs a bit of a hook.
He told council that the program should be re-named. Although he did not recommend a new name, he provided examples of possible names, such as: North Frontenac Highlands , Mississippi Watershed Highlands , Eastern Ontario Backcountry, and Land of Lakes Highlands.
As well, he argued that a blended price be developed for use of campsites and the crown land roads that lead to them; that a website be developed within the next month, both as a marketing tool and for online booking of sites; and that other promotional materials be developed this spring.
Although the township will be required to make some significant investments to undertake the recommendations of the report, Larry Trenwith expressed confidence that the increased use of the Crown Land Stewardship Program will keep North Frontenac taxpayers from footing the bill for the program, and said the local economy should receive the benefit of increased tourist traffic.
The presentation was warmly received, and a further meeting between the Crown Land Stewardship Committee and the Northbridge group is being scheduled.
The marketing strategy was completed without cost to the township. It was fully funded by the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, under the auspices of the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.