Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative
April 9, 2008
A simple step toward helping make Warren County more enticing to tourists? An attitude adjustment. 'It has to start with us being positive with the area we live in,' Warren Main Street Manager Chris Cheronis said. 'The off the cuff, 'Why would you ever want to move to Warren,' - that's got to stop. If our own community doesn't think of itself in a positive way, how are we going to get other people to look at us in a positive way? 'We need to start with our own community, our own residents to start feeling this. Smiling and saying, 'hi, when you walk down the streets means something. That builds. People will want to come into the community because it's so friendly, it's so inviting.' Cheronis' comments were in response to the three-part study on tourism and strategic plan created by PLACES. In the study, PLACES director Gary Esolen described Warren County residents' lack of interest in tourism, which needs to be overcome in order to grow the industry locally. The county also needs to break its feelings of strong attachment to manufacturing industries that have disappeared - and most likely will never return. 'Everybody looks at Warren the way it used to be and look at it in a fond way,' Cheronis said. 'That's what built Warren. We need to have a reality check. (Bringing back those manufacturing jobs) is not going to happen. We need to worry about right now. It doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to pursue (new manufacturing businesses); we just shouldn't put all of our eggs in one basket. Manufacturing isn't going to save Warren County. We need to start looking at other options. There is such a fear that tourism and arts and culture isn't going to sustain an economy because we don't know enough about it. 'We need to be proud of our heritage, but we cannot recreate what was. We can't go back to the 1920s and 30s. (Manufacturers) are looking for specific things we don't have here. We need to start looking at our lumber and timber industry in a different way - and that's through tourism, not through manufacturing. It's a new twist on an old concept for Warren County.'
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