###Contact: Kim Price, Communications Manager Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau 607-936-6544 866-WINE-FUN email@example.com
Hammondsport, N.Y. - Voting has opened for the second and final round of Budget Travel's "Coolest Small Town" contest, with Hammondsport among the top ten vying for the title. Although a record 647 small towns across the country were nominated in round one, Hammondsport pulled out on top, with two other Finger Lakes towns, Penn Yan and Naples, trailing closely behind. Hammondsport is the only New York town in the final top ten. Voting is permitted every 24 hours, so remember to return and vote again! Voting ends January 31. http://www.budgettravel.com/contest/americas-coolest-small-towns-2012,11/ Along with Hammondsport, towns in the running for the title include: Beaufort, NC, Cape May, NJ, Cooke City, MT, Damascus, VA, Jerome, AZ, Nashville, IN, Port Townsend, WA, St. Genevieve, MO, and Weaverville, CA. Hammondsport received 8,036 votes in the initial round. The next highest contender was Weaverville with 999 votes, followed by Beaufort with 468. In order to be considered for "Coolest Small Town," there were a few requirements. Population had to be below 10,000, and the town had to have "that indescribable ‘something'," according to the tourism-promoting site. "In other words, cool doesn't necessarily mean quaint: We want towns with an edge and a heart." "We've always known that Hammondsport is a very cool place," said Peggy Coleman, President of the Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau. "It's so exciting that other people are recognizing it as well. We hope the community can get behind Hammondsport and vote often so it can earn that ‘Coolest Small Town' title it deserves." "To have Hammondsport included in the running for Budget Travel's Coolest Small Town in America is great for Finger Lakes Wine Country as a whole," commented Morgen McLaughlin, President and CEO of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association. "Finger Lakes Wine Country continues to be recognized on a national and international level and this is another wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful region, ultimately driving interest and visitation." During the first round of voting, both the Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau and Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association created a video to showcase Hammondsport's cool factor. The video appears on the Budget Travel website. "We are very happy here in Hammondsport to be one of the Top Ten for this honor and the only town in New York!" said Marybeth Haar, manager of the Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce. "It's very exciting to know that people from all over the world will see this on the Budget Travel website and the kind of exposure it can bring, not only to Hammondsport, but to the entire Finger Lakes region. "The winner will also be featured in the 2012 September/October issue of Budget Travel - just the time of year that many people begin planning their next year's vacations," she added. "So this could influence travel plans well in to 2013! I encourage everyone who lives here, those who grew up here and anyone who has enjoyed their visit here, to cast their vote every day for Hammondsport!" http://www.budgettravel.com/contest/americas-coolest-small-towns-2012,11/ The Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau was established in 1994. As Steuben County's official tourism marketing agency, our mission is to aggressively promote the visitor industry year-round and thereby stimulate economic growth. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the most affordable and beautiful wine country destination in North America with four wine trails; over 100 wineries and over 400 unique things to do including shopping and dining experiences, world-class museums, and a local culture that is both warm and welcoming. For further information on this year-round destination visit http://www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com/, www.Facebook.com/FingerLakesWineCountry, www.Twitter.com/FLWineCountry, or call 800.813.2958. Download the free Finger Lakes Wine Country mobile travel app at http://www.flwc.mobi/.