Monday, September 23, 2013 
      633 Third Avenue, 37th floor boardroom 

Meeting called to order: 11:00am
Attendance and minutes taken by Lisa Soto

TAC Members
  • Cristyne Nicholas (Chair)
  • Irene Baker
  • Jan Marie Chesterton
  • John Ernst
  • Senator Betty Little
  • Thomas Mulroy
  • Elinor Tatum
Via phone: 
  • Mike Armstrong (Rep for Assem Markey)
  • Tom Becker
  • David Heymann
  • Donald Johnson
  • Michael Johnson
  • John Sagendorf
 ESD Staff
  • Gavin Landry, Executive Director of Tourism
  • Harvey Cohen, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Lisa Soto, Project Associate
  • Rowena Sahulee, Director of Tourism Marketing, Licensing, and PR
  • Ken Wong, Director of Special Events
  • Megan McKenna, Project Manager
  • Jamin Clemente, Executive Assistant (via phone)
 TAC Guests
  • George Lence, Nicholas and Lence
  • Melanie Klausner, MSilver/Finn Partners
  • Zo Mpofu, Education Reform Now
  • Natasha Caputo, Visit Westchester
  • Erin Sweeney, Sweeney Strategies
  • Jeffrey Goodell, jetBlue
  • Martin St. George, jetBlue
  • Jennifer Gilke, Superbowl Host Committee
  • Amy Blumkin, Superbowl Host Committee
  • Blenda Riddick, United Airlines

I. Welcome

Cristyne Nicholas


  • Minutes were sent around to TAC members about three weeks after the last meeting. Copies are available; if you have any additions or edits, please let us know.
  • Introduction of Senator Betty Little, who has been tremendously supportive of TAC and who we last saw at the Adirondack Challenge.

Senator Betty Little


  • The Adirondack Challenge was a great event, lots of fun and it truly promoted the Adirondacks. Also attended the wine festival which was good as well.

II: Introduction of Richard Newman, Executive Vice President, State Marketing Strategy

Cristyne Nicholas

  • Introduced Richard Newman (not present), he is new to our team as the Executive Vice President for State Marketing Strategy and will be tying together economic development and the tourism projects with Gavin. He will also be working with Start-UP NY and other economic initiatives.

III. Tourism Program Update

Cristyne Nicholas

  • Governor Cuomo has taken tourism to a whole new level. You will see some of the ads today. Harvey Cohen has been tremendous in getting these ads on the air.
  • The visits that the governor has made upstate, Long Island, and downstate here in the city, gave everyone a renewed sense that tourism means business in New York State.

Gavin Landry

  • Introduces tourism team: Ken Wong-Director of Special Events, is a great addition to the team, as is Lisa Soto-Project Associate, and Rowena Sahulee, who takes care of licensing, PR and other special projects. Recognizes Jamin Clemente, his assistant, on the phone.
  • Presentation (attached)
    • Tourism Summit (video)
      • The governor announced $60 million in funding, the most in decades.
      • It also gave us a core mandate, including 12-14 specific deliverables and created a real sense that tourism and economic development are linked.
    • Summer Events – a great way to highlight regional assets and reinforce that tourism and economic development are one in the same.
      • Adirondack Challenge (ADK) – beautiful event, as well run as we could have hoped it would be. Local providers, Jim McKenna, etc, all did a great job and the governor was extremely happy. The event produced a tremendous amount of earned media, which we will talk about later. The ADK crystallized the governor’s vision for the way events can highlight regional attractions.
      • Governor’s Cup / Seneca Wine Trail - 200 people (well known restaurant owners – Danny Meyer, Mark Murphy’s wine buyers) on motor coaches to 3 different wineries.
      • PGA Championship – TasteNY experience and concession stand. Extremely successful, about $102 million economic impact in Rochester.
      • Hampton Classic – Combined ILNY / TasteNY presence there.
      • Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival – TasteNY experience in Rhineback. 200 influencers and media attended via train.
      • Buffalo Bills Tailgate Party – opening day 300 people attended ILNY / TasteNY presence.
    • Summer Media Activities
      • Print Advertisements – Cristyne’s vision for the ILoveNY brand is to deploy it against all travel segments.
      • We are positioning NYS as the premiere destination for meetings.
      • International expansion – Among the many projects, print and translated maps and ads into different languages. We are going on a cooperative sales mission to Canada from 9/30 - 10/2 - Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Visiting with media as well as travel agents and tour operators.
      • LGBTQ initiative launch – Marched with the Governor in the pride parade on June 30 in NYC, built a microsite, created itineraries. This is a $70 billon travel segment, which makes it a very significant travel market for NYS.
      • Path Through History – Caters to heritage tourism, a $170 billion travel segment. Very important to NYS. *showed Out of Home deployments in market.
      • TasteNY – ILoveNY is a fusion of tourism and agricultural attractions and experiences. We are working with Ag and Markets, have ads in Food Traveler, a sponsor for WNYC Food Fridays, a major road signage program and a bricks and mortar program being deployed as we speak. 3
    • Out of Home Campaign (outside of PTH)
      • MTA, Port Authority, Thruway, jetBlue *shows deployments
      • Port Authority media mesh – huge digital asset at 42nd street and Eighth Avenue outside of the terminal. Cobranded ad with the PGA and made it a golf in NY message. Ran every five minutes for eighteen hours a day and it really popped at night. We have secured media mesh for the next year to run promotional digital advertising.
      • Jetblue Terminal 5 walkway installation – Currently being installed. The governor’s vision about messaging in the airports is to promote upstate tourism, while at the same time improving the traveler’s experience. When the 3D elements are installed, it will be beautiful and will dominate the space.
      • Delta – working with them on the sterile corridor in the Terminal 4 International terminal in JFK.
      • Other airport spaces – Airtrain, and exterior space at LGA and JFK.
      • Bassmasters event – Governor’s challenge next September.
      • Credit to Harvey Cohen for the $15 million ad campaign with BBDO and PHD media. NYS is running 9 points higher occupancy than the national average according to Smith Travel Research Data. This can be attributed to the governor’s commitment to tourism, the good work of this board, and a brilliant campaign put together by Harvey. Ads across mediums, digital and TV.
      • *Shows two of the four summer commercials. [End of Gavin Landry’s presentation] Board discussion on NYS wine in restaurants and NYC area liquor stores
  • New ad coming out to highlight and showcase the wine industry that we previewed at the Governor’s cup in Seneca. It was very well received.

Cristyne introduces airlines

  • Cristyne praised Gavin’s work in the airports and plans to share with Tim Zagat who got the ball rolling with that effort.
  • Cristyne introduces Blenda Riddick from United Airlines
  • Blenda discusses United’s “Fly the friendly skies” campaign that launched this weekend during the NFL and Emmys and the ad in today’s New York Times.
  • Cristyne introduces Marty St. George from jetBlue. They have done a lot with the ILNY campaign and we appreciate their efforts.
  • Cristyne mentions Gail Grimmett from Delta airlines.

IV. M Silver / Finn Partners presentation on Tourism Summit PR efforts

Melanie Klausner (Presentation attached)

  • Last year was a strong first year in media placements, but the tourism emphasis has caused a significant increase in 6 months.
  • Goes through media results and placements of summer events – highlights of media attendance at each event on attached presentation.
  • Attended PowWow for the second year in a row. 1-1 meet and greets with over 500 media. Lots of follow up with media and constant communication. They are continuing to hear from us outside of these events and we are keeping them engaged in everything happening in NYS.
  • Conferences: Outdoor Writers (Gavin and Markly spoke), Family Travel (Gavin spoke)
  • Canadian Road Show this weekend – fulfilling our promise to keep going back to Canada.
  • Path Through History – continuing to pitch historical sites, locations and itineraries
  • LGBT- several media interested in touring LGBTQ assets. Article in Passport magazine (Catskills).
  • ADK- New Tang Dynasty TV (over a billion Chinese viewers) attended ADK. Many calls on how to book upstate travel have followed. Thanks to Ken Wong who translated and taught them how to make s’mores. 4
  • PGA Media night at PGA as an advanced taste preview. Lieutenant Governor Duffy attended. Governor’s Cup was a successful event - three media extended their stay.
  • Hudson Valley Food and Wine Festival – decorated trains and gave media full experience. Wine spectator, Wine Enthusiast and other media attended.
  • 64 total media visits so far this year, last year total was 30 for entire year. [End of M Silver / Finn Partners presentation]

Board discussion on tourism and events

  • Announcements of plans for a PGA headquarters in Rochester, PGA Championship 2019, and Ryder Cup (which has never played in a public course in NYS) in Bethpage in 2024.
  • Melanie mentioned that the NY Restaurant Association will take a pride of NY pledge to increase NY product and hope to announce it soon. Dean Johnson also helping with this
  • Dean Johnson said that David Kahn from the Adirondack Museum is working to get them involved in a hotel feasibility study with students.
  • Cristyne announced our participation in the NYC Wine and Food Festival, run by South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The Governor is hosting a brunch for the first time ever at this event.
  • Oktoberfest is taking place at the Brooklyn Brewery on October 3
  • Everyone on TAC should receive these invites along with friends of TAC and if not let us know because we want you to attend.

V. Super Bowl Host Committee presentation

Jennifer Gilke and Amy Blumkin

  • They will come back in November with a more formal presentation. Wanted to attend today to introduce themselves.
  • 131 days till the Super Bowl.
  • When a region is awarded the Super Bowl, they are tasked with creating a host committee. Their responsibility is to excite the residents of the region, get them involved in the activities and to facilitate the guests that are coming to the region and the help facilitate the event that the NFL is putting on.
  • Mission statement is to create a great 2014 Super Bowl experience for all; the visitors to the region, businesses of the region, local communities, the NFL, the team owners, and other VIPs etc. Establishing the NY/ NJ area as the place to have big events. When the game is over, their mission is completed.
  • They are 35 people working with tremendous partners across both states. Divided into sponsorship, planning and logistics, events, volunteers (need to amass the largest volunteer army to host all visitors and make sure they have a great experience), philanthropy and community relations (snowflake youth foundation to transform after school facilities because those things last beyond the Super Bowl) marketing, and PR (Rubenstein)
  • This is the first outdoor, cold weather, 2 state, 2 team Super Bowl. Events leading up to week are on and they are working on a guide for NYS with ILoveNY.
  • Join the huddle mobile tour – first ever mobile experience by a host committee. Designed to bring residents a taste and touch of the Super Bowl. 48 stops in the region to bring the experience to communities. Will have the Vince Lombardi trophy, Jets / Giants memorabilia, and skill and agility activities.
  • PSAs on Fox 5, ESPN. WFAN….10:30-11pm show on Fridays.
  • Milestone events
    • Pick up of Vince Lombardi trophy from Tiffanys
    • 500 days with a digital takeover of Times Square
    • 100 days Oct 25 at the NYSE ringing bell
    • 38 day countdown on December 15 5
  • Marketing and Social Media - Email, commemorative magazine, small media budget so they utilize partnership and social media and website. Also doing street décor, bus shelters, airports, etc., NYT special section to help guide fans in the region. Like on FB; follow on twitter.
  • Super Bowl Week begins Tues Jan 29
    • Volunteers at airports, welcome centers
    • Media day on Tuesday in Newark NJ prudential center
    • Media staying at the Sheraton 7th and 53rd
    • Social media communication center with NYC & Co will be at their info center.
    • Super Bowl Boulevard: Weds - Sat, from 34th - 44th on Broadway. Run by the NFL, they are partnering with them to help promote it.
  • VIP facing events
    • Media party Tuesday night
    • VIP hospitality center
  • After the Super Bowl
    • Monday Press conference at NFL media center
    • Monday Hand off ceremony in Times Square to pass the Super Bowl to the next city
  • Question and Answers
    • Q: How many volunteers is an army?
    • A: Excess of ten thousand
    • Q: Do you need help?
    • A: Recruitment is through the end of October. Level 1 national security so they need time to vet people, but they would love help.
    • Q: Where is promotion?
    • A: Website, reach out program, to sponsors donors, corporations, colleges and universities. They need to over recruit because of the large NY/NJ footprint and they need to match people with posts that they are familiar with. Michelle is recruitment contact.
    • Q: Is there diversity among the volunteers?
    • A: Yes and they are continuing to expand that, diversity across region, age, language, ethnicity, etc. Volunteers will have nametags that say they speak different languages because they expect a large number of international visitors. [End of Super Bowl Committee presentation]

VI: New Business

Introduction of Irene Baker, newest member

  • Works for Madison Square Garden, formerly with the Governor’s office traveling with the REDC and saw a lot of NYS. Originally from the Hudson Valley, currently living in Queens. Now working with one of the premier tourism attractions in the city and state that generates close to a billion a year and attracts four million visitors annually. MSG owns Radio City Music Hall, The Rockettes, and the Beacon Theater. Happy to be a part of TAC.
  • America’s Got Talent filmed entire season there at Radio City and there is a new Christmas show celebrating NY called Heart and Lights.


  • Senator Little spoke to the Canadian Delegate General about hiking and 46ers that climb 46 peaks. Would like to have a joint event and have GAMC come to Canada. Lots of Canadian visitors to the ADK, they are our main stay in the summer.

Board discussion on TasteNY

  • There is a lot of energy in Champlain Valley, new farms, Essex Farm…lots of new young people coming up to do farming in that area…North Country
  • New legislation recently passed for the Adirondack Coast wine trail.
  • Apples from Adirondacks are provided to the NY marathon every year. Good press opportunity Board discussion on hotels
  • International Hotel and Motel Restaurant show in November at the Javits center. 100 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees over three days, and they are they buyers and restaurant purveyors, etc. If help is needed, let Jan know.
  • Importance of hotel development upstate and downstate discussed.

Board discussion of constitutional Amendments on the election ballot this year

  • Senator Little informed us that three of the six proposed constitutional amendments are tourism related.
  • Cristyne asked Irene and George to try to help get a summary of the proposals from the government affairs office.


  • George Lence announced that many will be in Lake George at the Business Council Annual Meeting Wednesday - Friday at The Sagamore. Kenneth Adams will be speaking.
  • Cristyne will be speaking at NYSAC (NY State Association of Counties) on tourism development.
  • Wednesday morning Cristyne will be speaking at the Crain’s Breakfast.

Meeting adjourned: 12:28pm