County’s 2nd Largest Industry Celebrated by Chamber
Geneseo – Twenty-eight individuals joined the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism earlier this month for its 15th annual “FAM” tour. A “FAM” tour is tourism industry slang for Familiarization Tour and the theme of this event was arts and culture.
Tourism is the second largest industry in Livingston County, following agriculture. The intent of this year’s tour was to familiarize participants with the growing arts scene in our area by visiting a few of the studios, galleries, and shops that do business here. Previous year’s themes have included hunting, fishing and outdoor life, history and heritage, new business, and wellness and serenity.
Community members, business operators, and hotel front-line staff gathered at the offices of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism for breakfast and then climbed aboard a Niagara Scenic Tours luxury motor coach for the day. The first stop was Studio Sales Pottery in Avon, where owner Michael Carroll shared about his studio and demonstrated the process of using a potter’s wheel to shape a lump of clay into a bowl. The tour also included stops at Adventures & Art: Center for Creativity and Chestnut Bay Quilting, both in Caledonia.
The morning ended with lunch at the Caledonia Village Inn where owner Lisa Bleier talked about how she and husband Jeff bought and renovated the Inn nine years ago. They have the only restaurant in the area to specialize in French/American cuisine. Jeff is also a master ice carver and started the Caledonia on Ice festival now celebrated every February.
The afternoon session began at the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts where director Betsy Harris spoke about the New Deal Art Gallery, which houses a collection of easel art dating back to the 1930’s. Then, local landscape photographer Dick Thomas shared the secrets of having a photographer’s eye and assured the group that spectacular pictures can be taken even if the only tool you have is a smart phone.
At Carvings and More, in Mount Morris, the group was introduced to chain saw art created by local artist and carver James Link. The tour then concluded with coffee and the story of the renovation of Gatherings at the Depot in Leicester from owners Vince and Joni Santucci.
Throughout the day Tourism Director Elissa Leuer, held drawings for locally made, hand-crafted art pieces and explained the financial importance of tourism dollars in Livingston County for both small business owners and as an addition to the local tax base. Another “FAM” tour is being planned for October 2018 and anyone is welcome Details and registration information will be released in September.
Media Contact: Elissa Leuer, Director of Tourism & Marketing
585-243-2222 ext. 226 or Elissa@LivingstonCountyChamber.com