Residents across Northeast Ohio are preparing for the Republican National Convention, and the buzz in the air is nearly tangible from Ashtabula County to Erie County. Today, Community Update is checking in with one of the city’s eastern neighbors, Geauga County, to see how it plans to engage, assist and prepare its community for the July events. Lynda Nemeth, executive director of Destination Geauga, shares these updates.
Why is the Republican National Convention in Cleveland important for Geauga County?
We are in such a unique position being so close to the Downtown area and yet offering such a different experience to visitors. As the fourth largest Amish community in the world, we are a delightful day trip or even week-long extension to travelers coming to the area. We give people permission to "slow down" and enjoy the country way of life.
Take a drive down our scenic back roads, visit the fresh produce stands, go canoing on the Cuyahoga, do some stargazing at a Dark Sky Park, stay at newly renovated, fully furnished cabins at our Ohio State Park or a 4-diamond Bed and Breakfast. Visitors can shop at one-of-a-kind, locally owned spots and dine at farm to fork locations where the food literally arrived to the restaurant that morning. We have so much to offer!
What do you hope to gain in the short and long term?
Short term, of course, we’d love to see a lot of visitors discover Geauga County while they are here for the Convention. Whether it is the peripheral crowds that travel to the host city in hopes of being part of the action, or participants that come early or stay late, we would love to show them our Northeast Ohio experience and what a difference 35 miles can make.
Long term, we would like to have people make the connection when planning a trip to Cleveland that they can have that city/country experience by including Geauga County in their itinerary. It’s the perfect scenario; we are so close, yet worlds away.
What is Geauga County doing in preparation for the Convention?
Destination Geauga, our visitors bureau, has been taking advantage of opportunities to be more visible in the Cleveland area for the past year, and will continue to do so. We have utilized our partnership with Destination Cleveland with ads in their Visitors Guide, and by placing our Visitor Guide in their Visitor Center. We are on the ExploreBoards in the hotels and attractions, and have been running multi-page spreads in the City Visitor magazine, which is placed in every Cleveland hotel room. We are also contracted with the company that fills most of those hotel brochure racks to be sure our Visitor Guides are handy to attendees.
Who is involved in the efforts? And, what specific actions, programs and initiatives are they planning?
The Destination Geauga staff has been participatory in events leading up to the Convention like the informational trade show that area Visitor Bureau’s set up for the first Cleveland debate and meetings. We have been sharing information with our 200 member businesses to bring them into the action for the summer. We've also encouraged our members to get signed up with the Host Committee's Supplier Guide, and will be hosting an informational session through the Speakers Bureau for our members to attend. We will also be setting up a booth on the upcoming Convention readiness cruise hosted by the Nautica Queen.
Finally, we are also working on a plan to possibly provide a daily “Trip to Amish Country” excursion that would accommodate 14 guests per day on a pre-booked basis for those who want the full-guided tour experience.
For information, contact:
Call: 440-632-1538 or 800-775-TOUR (8687)