In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, BTI’s Nicole Mahoney shares her thoughts surrounding the impact of the Coronavirus on travel and tourism since the pandemic took hold. She discusses the components of great leadership and mental strength and explains the importance of each in times of crisis.
These past couple of weeks have tested every aspect of our businesses. The Coronavirus Pandemic is yet to hit rock bottom, and it has forced us to push the threshold of creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in the travel and tourism industry. There are silver linings in this mess if you’re willing to look for them, and one of them comes in the form of team members who are stepping up to the plate. In times of chaos, great leaders will emerge in many different capacities. They are not just leaders by title, they are leaders by behavior, and they are keeping the gears turning as everything around us comes to a halt.
If you didn’t get a chance to listen, Episode 166 with author and extreme leadership coach, Steve Farber, we talked about what it means to be a leader. In times like these, great leaders are critical to the survival of every organization. Steve’s LEAP framework breaks down the components of great leadership so we can apply them and become stronger leaders no matter who we are.
Love – Cultivate love; find love in yourself and love in others to lift everyone up.
Energy – Create energy around a vision, a direction, or a response to a crisis.
Audacity – Inspire our teams to follow us into unchartered territory in search of solutions.
Proof – Leaders walk the walk, prove your commitment through action and not just words.
Even with the right framework, coaching, and mentorship, leaders succumb to human fallacies and emotions take hold. If we are operating from a place of fear, we cannot operate effectively as leaders because it hinders our ability to make decisions for our organizations. In these difficult times, we must step out of the scarcity mindset and assume an abundance mindset. We need to be forward-thinking, open to opportunity, and to serve as a beacon for our communities. It will take all of us working together to make it through the pandemic and start recovering—but the will to do so must start with a positive mindset.
With a talent for creating special events that blossomed while working for my dad’s car stereo shop, I got my start in marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester and I began serving as the executive director of the internationally known Lilac Festival. Later on, I headed the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District while also performing projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester.
In 2009, I founded Break the Ice Media, with more than 20 years of experience in tourism marketing. I now host “Destination on the Left”, a highly successful tourism marketing podcast.
As a business owner, I know what it takes to be successful. I founded BTI to help businesses tell their brand story through public relations, digital and traditional channels. I have the ability to uncover unique marketing opportunities and develop marketing and public relations initiatives that help clients build long-term success.
In this solocast episode of Destination on the Left, I lay out some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as we respond to the initial fallout of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Right now, the Coronavirus Pandemic has the global economy in total lockdown. It is unclear how long it will last, and the unprecedented nature of this virus and the uncertainty surrounding it is raising concern for the future of our industries. But so many of us have been in this position before. When 9/11 took place, and the great recession of 2008 shook the United States economy, the travel and tourism industry bounced back stronger than ever. It is not about prevention anymore; this global pandemic is already taking place. It is about how we react to it, so I put together some of the frameworks and strategies that have helped BTI maintain its composure as this series of disruptive events unfolds.
Last week, I traveled from Rochester, NY to Savannah, GA in an effort to keep the BTI cog turning and do my part to drive business. However, it didn’t take long to realize that the economic impact of the pandemic stretched well beyond the scope of one country, let alone one industry. It inspired my most recent blog post, where I outline four strategies for responding to the initial shockwave of pandemonium: One, Stay calm. Two, get educated about the situation and stay up to date on the latest developments through reliable sources and your industry associations. Three, prepare to pivot by doing scenario planning. And four, communicate. We cannot stop the spread of COVID-19, but we can survive the fallout if we proactively manage our mindset and collaborate with others in our industry.
Since the beginning of the Destination on the Left, we have talked a lot about collaboration and co-opetition in particular. I believe that, in the complex world of the present-day tourism industry, committing to a holistic approach to collaboration will bring strong market growth and abundance for everyone. The 3 C’s of Collaboration Framework is a system that helps us band together in a time of crisis. First, communication is essential to maintain clarity with your partners and prospects, and it is an opportunity to be a calming voice amidst the uncertainty and chaos. Next, commonality is about identifying common goals and operating with the greater good at heart. And finally, commitment means sticking with your collaborative efforts no matter how tough the going gets because when we bounce back, we bounce back together. Visit the new blog to learn more.
Scott Hutchinson is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau and has been with the WCCVB since June of 2014. Scott oversees the bureau’s marketing efforts, managing its advertising and public relations campaigns, as well as the production of its blog content, e-newsletters, and annual Visitors Guide. Prior to joining the WCCVB, Scott held roles with the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Western & Southern Open and Ryan Partnership – a creative agency in Columbus, Ohio. He also had the opportunity to serve as a correspondent at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Scott is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a resident of Cincinnati.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Scott dive’s into the strategy that has brought Warren County upwards of twelve million visitors annually. He discusses the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand, and he talks about what’s in store for the future of WCCVB.
As the director of marketing and communications for the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Scott Hutchinson oversees the bureau’s marketing, advertising, public relations, and content creation. Warren County, Ohio is nestled in between Dayton and Cincinnati, so Scott is presented with both unique opportunities and challenges as he tries to make the Warren County travel experience stand out. He has already separated Warren County from the pack by rebranding the destination as “Ohio’s Largest Playground.” But Scott and his team plan to drive even more visitor traffic this year when they open a brand new multi-purpose sports complex that will serve as a central hub for youth sports organizations and their families.
Scott cherishes the privilege to promote the place where he built his entire life, and he has done an outstanding job telling Warren County’s story. Warren County is most known for King’s Island, but there is a ton of activity beyond the amusement park. The region welcomes approximately twelve million visitors annually and it continues to grow thanks to Warren County’s close proximity to Dayton and Cincinnati. The Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau has played a significant role in the recent spike of visitors, and they continue to drum up new and innovative campaigns that capture the defining qualities of this unique area.
While many destinations hone in on one defining characteristic to build the foundation of their marketing strategy, Warren County has done the exact opposite. In fact, the abundance of attractions is Warren County’s biggest strength, and the seemingly endless list of things to do is the inspiration behind the “Ohio’s Largest Playground” brand. They have the state’s second-largest winery, oldest hotel, oldest restaurant, and they even hold a global tennis tournament every summer. With that, we are only scratching the surface of what Warren County has to offer, Scott and his team have embraced the notion that Warren County has something for everyone, and with their central location, they are within a day’s drive for over 60% of residents in the United States.
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To Scott Osborn, Rochester native, the acquisition of Fox Run Vineyards was the natural culmination of his passion for wine and commitment to the industry.
The son of two professors, Osborn’s first interest was international politics. Attending the Friends World College, a unique university with campuses all over the globe, he studied in Kenya, India, Thailand, Japan, and England.
He went into real estate development in 1974, later opening an office in Lake County California, a well-known viticulture area. The move there proved to be fortuitous; living so close to the vines Osborn became interested in wine. In 1980 he took his first job at Konocti Winery labeling bottles. He then went on to work at Firestone Vineyards, Zaca Mesa, and Byron Winery in Santa Barbara. In 1984 During his time at Byron he came back to visit family and during a wine tasting trip around Seneca Lake tasted a Wagner Vineyards 1982 Barrel-aged Chardonnay. It was his first experience with a brilliant cool climate wine and he realized that this was where he wanted to make wines and ultimately own his own vineyard and winery.
In 1985, there were not a lot of winemaking jobs available so he began working for a wine distributor and then went on to be General Manager of Pindar Vineyards on Long Island. In 1993, Fox Run became available and in partnership with Andy Hale, they purchased it.
Since the purchase of the winery in 1994, he has resided in the beautifully renovated farmhouse originally built on the property in 1870. Initially assuming the responsibilities of winemaking, along with the myriad tasks of management, speaking engagements, and travel, he chose to hire a full-time winemaker. His selection of Peter Bell in June of 1995 satisfied his desire to engage the most gifted winemaker in the Finger Lakes region. Their shared vision for quality wine production has freed Osborn to the task of managing the winery and planning for its future. He regularly participates in wine judgings, panel discussions, and symposiums dealing with the many challenges of an increasingly sophisticated appellation.
On Christmas day of 1998 three days after turning 50, Scott married long time sweetheart Ruth Worden, and in 2012, Ruth’s sister Kathy and her husband Albert became partners and now Fox Run is a family-owned winery.
The highly successful working relationship between Scott, Peter, and Vineyard manager John Kaiser has resulted in spectacular grapes, wines, and successful introductions of State-of-the-Art vineyard practices, keeping Fox Run Vineyards on the cutting edge of grape growing and winemaking.
Scott is constantly working to improve our environmental impact and has received the Lake Friendly Farm designation from Yates County Soil and Water Conservation. This award is given to farms whose farming practices do not negatively impact the water quality of Seneca Lake. He also installed a 151-Kilowatt solar system which provides 100% of the electrical needs for the winery, tasting room, and café. They have reduced their herbicide and pesticide use and are replacing them with organic and biological sprays that are less impactful on the environment.
He has been President of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail two times and a founding member and past President of Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, he is a founding member of the New York Wine Industry Association, which was founded in 2009 to represent the Wine Industry to educate legislators in Albany on issues that will impact our wineries and vineyards here in New York State. He was elected by his peers in the NY wine industry and is now the New York representative on the Board of Wine America, which is the national advocacy organization for the American Wine Industry in Washington DC.
In this episode of Destination on the Left, Scott Osborn, owner of Fox Run Vineyards, joins us to talk about tourism from the perspective of a business owner. He discusses the new challenges and opportunities presented to wineries in the Finger Lakes, and he explains how tourism has impacted the wine business.
Scott Osborn is the owner of Fox Run Vineyards, a family-owned winery on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. As a business owner in a hot destination, Scott has to operate his winery with the big picture in mind. For instance, in his market, the average wine tasting visitor makes five stops. So, Scott and his team crafted Fox Run’s experiences around this pattern and other trends that travelers follow. But these patterns are constantly changing, which presents new opportunities and new challenges. In the latest episode of Destination on the Left Scott joins us to discuss the impact of tourism on his industry and he talks about tourism from a business owner’s perspective.
With some of the world’s most renowned vineyards located in California, many people develop a preconceived notion about what wine should taste like. But every region has a different style and the cool-climate wines of New York provide an entirely different experience. The Seneca Lake winemakers had to work together to get the word out about their region and their labels, and they are still doing it. But now there are breweries, cideries, and distilleries competing for traveler time and dollars as well. So, getting tourists to come to the Finger Lakes and make wine tasting a priority is a much larger challenge than ever before. When Scott Osborn started Fox Run Vineyards, there were about twenty wineries on Seneca Lake. Now, there are over one hundred producing quality and consistency that is appreciated by connoisseurs around the world. It has made it extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd and differentiate Fox Run from other wineries in the region.
In our last episode with Paul Soseman, we discussed the concept of experiential marketing in tourism. But it doesn’t always have to be labeled as such. Scott Osborn recognized the opportunity to strike an emotional reaction in his audience; not by forcing a clever campaign on them, but by inviting them to experience a different universe. He built the largest sculpture on Seneca Lake in the form of a massive gate. It draws attention from the main road into town, and when they cross the entrance, they are teleported into a new realm. To hear more about the story of Fox Run Vineyards, listen to the latest episode of Destination on the Left.