In Trumbull County, we are aware of Canada geese - their graceful V-formation flight, honking with authority while they fly; two mature geese (mom and pop) swimming proudly with their goslings; "posing" majestically on land for photographers. They are sometimes targets for licensed hunters and a small problem because of "land mines" the birds leave behind where people sometimes walk. Our "migrating geese" no longer migrate. They have found a home here because of an abundance of clean water, extensive wildlife preserves, corn and other appetizing grain fields.
Many entrepreneurial Trumbull countians are aware of other much more interesting and friendly migrating Canadians, and New Yorkers, too, who often exercise a passion for golf and other recreational activities as they travel. Trumbull County has nearly 30 challenging golf courses. There are convenient accommodations for travelers to stay two or more nights for golfing on their way to and from the Carolinas and other points south. We are just a five-or-so-hour drive from most metropolitan centers in the province of Ontario, including Toronto. The Trumbull County Tourism Bureau and course owners make known local recreational resources for golfers (greens fees and overnight expenses are competitive to lower than elsewhere) and invite these neighbors to come here as individuals or in packaged tours. We are fortunate to be on the golfers "fly way," even if the local geese don't use their own fly way much anymore.
When local folks have guests or reunions here and wonder, "What can we offer for entertainment that's different?" they can contact Stephanie Sferra, executive director of the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau (330-675-3081 or ExploreTrumbullCounty.com). Sferra will send booklets, brochures and maps, if requested. Her restored office (more than 200 years old) is located in the former Connecticut Western Reserve Land Office, 321 Mahoning Ave., Warren. Sferra is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the recreational and cultural resources of our area.
It has been my pleasure to be casually acquainted with Sferra for several years. I have learned recently she was born here and has had extensive experience in marketing and tourism in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia before returning home in 2006 to become staff head of the Tourism Bureau. If you need a speaker in 2011 for an organization, consider Sferra. She will hold your members' attention and provide information about our "backyard" they probably do not know.
Because of my wife Sally's association with the Sutliff Museum, she and many colleagues support the work of the Tourism Bureau. I tagged along with her to the Bureau's annual meeting a month ago to see what I could learn. The meeting was held at the Cortland Wine Cellar. (Trumbull County is increasingly involved in the production and distribution of wine.) While there were a number of members I recognized of the 60 in attendance, most were strangers, albeit cordial in greeting me. The more I heard the members talk, the more eager I became to hear their stories and learn about the work they do.
They are a bunch of "bell ringers," and I mean this in the kindest sense. They are proud to be residents. They are proud of the work they do. And, they are eager to prosper and be of service to visitors. That's sort of what the Tourism Bureau is all about. Sferra said our excellent highways bring hundreds of thousands of individuals, families and truckers through the county every week, not knowing the wonderful opportunities here for recreational experiences for people of all ages. Publicity via Facebook is helping with this opportunity. The bureau wants to tell the travelers of sporting opportunities, Class A Minor League Baseball, museums, historic sites, century homes, academic lectures, fine dining, dance, rock, big-band, classical and children's music, many of which events are performed in our "world class" amphitheater and spacious Music Hall; not forgetting Wagon Trails Animal Park on state Route 193 and the shark tank and aquarium at the Eastwood Mall.
Every meal and room rental the Tourism Bureau brings here not only provides income for the restaurants and motels, but also for the green grocer, butcher, baker, linen service, utilities and distributors. Watch the multiplier grow in the New Year to everyone's benefit!