Team building and tourism can go hand in hand for many Chautauqua County businesses and organizations. For those who deal directly with the public, we highly recommend spending some time organizing your team around more than the tasks at hand. Of course, it’s important that restaurant servers understand the menu and pricing, but it’s also important that they engage appropriately with the customer. The same is true in a retail environment. All of this becomes vital as we are in peak tourist season in Chautauqua County. Tourism is a crucial segment of our local economy, injecting millions of dollars annually into local attractions, hotels, restaurants and retailers. The interactions these out-of-town guests have with your local staff can be a critical factor in their overall experience in our communities. Visitors won’t always speak with a manager or owner, but they’re very likely to strike up a conversation with a cashier or server, and the last thing a customer wants to hear from a worker is “there is nothing to do here” especially since it is far from true.
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has full-time staff in the office, but we also have part-time staff who work in separate communities across the county. We don’t often have the opportunity to interact with each other face to face. So once a year we host a staff development day that brings us together for fun, education and interaction. Just over a week ago we gathered out of the office to check out some of our local businesses and attractions. We try to mix things up and visit both old places and new ones, and since we’re county-wide, we try to focus on a variety of places.
Our day started with a visit to Cadwell’s Cheese House and Gift Shop in Dewittville where owner Jane Currie told us some history about the business, which has been in her family for almost 95 years! Although they no longer make cheese, they do sell delicious and unique cheeses, as well as locally made syrup, seasonings, and a huge amount of books by local authors.
From there we moved to a brand new business in Mayville. Music for Your Mouth just opened this summer and owner Karen Simmons dined with us on their wide porch. The meals were delicious and the portions were great. They also offer bubble tea and dessert! Karen is a trained violinist and private music teacher, and now with her husband Al, she is also a restaurateur! We also visited other great small businesses on South Erie Street in Mayville including the Uptown Mall and Mayberry Jungle, and visited the Farmers and Craftsmen Market.
We ended our day with a hike in the Panama Rocks Scenic Park in Panama. This natural wonder is a private, lovingly maintained park that features a carefully designed trail through huge rock formations left by glaciers before man roamed the earth. Owner Jonathan Weston gave us a little insight into the glamping grounds planned on the property and a preview of the Wild America Nature Festival taking place at the park this weekend through Sunday, July 31.
Past adventures of House staff have included visits to the National Comedy Center, the Dunkirk Lighthouse, as well as other unique and interesting museums, wineries, and shops and restaurants. These opportunities have allowed us to get to know each other better in order to work better together, as well as to discover the resources that surround us. Since our organization is directly involved in directing the public to great local places, we want to make sure we are knowledgeable and helpful in our communications. You can do the same. If you need help arranging your own little visit, we are happy to offer some tips and suggestions and the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau can also be a great resource. Your staff can be one of your biggest expenses as an organization and can also be one of your greatest assets. Give your team a bit of knowledge and fun, and they’ll come back to your business more with positive reviews and repeat customers!
REGISTER BEFORE MONDAY TO ACCESS SILVER CREEK YARD
Monday August 1st is the last day to register your sale for the 30th Annual Silver Creek Yard Sales! The date of the sale is Saturday August 6th. For just $10, residents of Silver Creek and the City of Hanover can sign up to participate and be listed on the sale map – where you’ll also find great deals from local restaurants and businesses! The cards will be sold at the village park for $2 each on the day of the sale. To include your sale on the map and get a printable Silver Creek Yard Sales sign, visit the Chamber’s web calendar and register online. Or you can record your sale in person at Den’s Antiques, 8 Main Street, or at Silver Creek Optical, 41 Main Street, Silver Creek. Proceeds from this event support the Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund, which annually provides a scholarship to one graduate of Forestville Central School and one graduate of Central School of Silver Creek.
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is once again working with Der Kobblers – a local car enthusiasts club – to present Jamestown Cruise-In. Now in its 29th year, Cruise-In will be held from 5-8 p.m. along Third Street in downtown Jamestown between Washington and Spring Streets and spanning the side streets between Second and Fourth. You can enjoy cool and classic vehicles, live music from In Crowd and food from local restaurants and the Babe Ruth World Series vendor tent. Stop and shop at local businesses that will be offering extended hours for this event, then stay late for even more downtown as the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performs a first-ever event at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts with a musical tribute to Aretha Franklin or enjoy the third night of the Whirlybird Music & Arts Festival at several downtown locations. Jamestown Cruise-In is sponsored by Cummins, AfterCare Nursing Services, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Producto Corporation, Shults Auto Group, Cattaraugus County Bank, Dot’s Gift Boutique, Elegant Edibles Catering, LaBella Associates, Lafayette Corners, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, and Media One Radio Group. Drivers who wish to participate can register online now through the Chamber’s Web Events Calendar for only $10 per vehicle or can drive and pay at the Third and Spring Street entrance between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the day of the event.