Featured Member News from Finger Lakes Visitors Connection

2024 Total Solar Eclipse

On April 8, 2024, we’ll be experiencing a phenomenon–The Great North American Solar Eclipse! Viewing a total solar eclipse is a rare occurrence and only takes the same path about every 100 years. As some may remember, the last solar eclipse over North America took place seven years ago, leaving only a sliver of the sun visible. Unfortunately for us, that last eclipse did not cross Ontario County, NY. Despite this, the Rochester area will be in this 2024 celestial event’s path of totality, meaning we will be able to see a full eclipse for approximately 2 minutes and 52 seconds. For the three minutes that the moon will totally eclipse the sun, the daylight will be reduced to twilight conditions. The eclipse will begin at 2:07 PM, peak at 3:20 PM, and end around 4:33 PM. An event like this is less frequent than once in a lifetime, the next projected total eclipse to have Rochester, NY in its shadow is projected for October 26, 2144!

Visit Finger Lakes & Geneva BID Launching Free Mobile-Exclusive Digital Pass

Will allow visitors and locals to check in at area businesses and redeem optional discounts in order to earn prizes and explore all that Downtown Geneva has to offer.

Visit Finger Lakes and Geneva BID is excited to announce that we will be launching a free mobile-exclusive digital pass that allows visitors and locals to check in at area businesses and redeem optional discounts in order to earn prizes and explore all that Downtown Geneva has to offer. This pass will be a key component in our marketing campaign and will promote Downtown Geneva, and provide a sommelier curated winery component to link wine tourism to our businesses.  We want your business to be a part of it!

Here are the top 5 things you need to know to get involved:

  1. There is no cost to you to participate.
  2. The pass is instantly delivered to a customer’s phone via text and email with no apps to download.
  3. This pass is also gamified, which means customers can earn prizes as they engage with their community and check into more and more places. The Geneva BID will be selecting the “prizes” but if you would like to have your business sponsor a reward, let us know. 
  4. You will have the opportunity to provide optional, additional deals or discounts for passholders as an incentive to visit your business and spend more money with you!
  5. The redemption process is PIN based, which encourages passholder interaction with your staff. You will choose a PIN number for your businesses, which your staff will give to passholders in order for them to check in at your business. The deal or discount will be time stamped at the time of redemption.

We have partnered with the technology company Bandwango to launch this passport. Their team successfully helped Finger Lakes Visitors Connection launch two passports: Wine Tasting Passport (with Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail) and FLX Well-Being Passport (another gamified pass). You can sign up yourself to see how the technology works using the examples below:

Next Steps 

You will be receiving an onboarding email from the Geneva BID where you can easily add and update how your business will be presented on this mobile pass. The Geneva BID and Finger Lakes Visitors Connection representatives will be following up after you fill out the form to help answer any questions and provide redemption instructions for you to share with your staff. Please add [email protected] & [email protected] to your contact list to ensure that email communication does not get sent to your spam folder. Info must be received by Jul 7, 2023. 

We aim to launch this campaign by July 27, 2023! With your commitment and special offers, we can continue to make Geneva an exciting and inviting experience. 

Thank you!

Roundtable Meeting Recap for the 2024 Solar Eclipse

On July 13, we gathered with more than 24 industry partners from various towns across the county, including partners in attractions, lodging, retail, county officials, and town representatives. This collaborative meeting served as a platform for attendees to exchange ideas and address inquiries about the upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse that is going to bring waves of visitors to our region next April. 

FLVC’s primary focus is provide resources to assist in event planning, the creation of specialized merchandise, and to help identify safe viewing areas for both residents and visitors during this extraordinary celestial event. Participants enthusiastically shared their existing or upcoming initiatives related to this event and we aim to feature teaser information on our website, www.fingerlakeseclipse.com, later this month. If you have any questions or information about planned events or packages that you would like us to promote, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Steven Laros at [email protected].

Ontario County to Award Grants to Support Arts, Cultural, and Recreation Projects

Ontario County has made available funding received through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act to fund projects that support the development and expansion of arts, cultural, and recreational opportunities from non-profits, private entities, and municipalities that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. This program is intended to improve the accessibility, availability, and quality of arts, cultural, and recreational facilities available to the people of Ontario County. 

The County is soliciting grant applications ranging from $10,000 – $100,000 for projects that respond to the negative impacts of COVID-19, involve investment in the arts, cultural activities, or the creation or enhancement of active or passive recreational opportunities, and support the recovery and economic resilience and/or quality of life in Ontario County. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis and an eligible 25% match is required for non-profit and municipal applicants and a 50% match is required for business applicants.

For additional information or to discuss your project and potential eligibility for grant funding, contact Michael Zimmerman of The Harrison Studio by e-mail at [email protected]. Additionally, the Harrison Studio will conduct an informational webinar on Wednesday July 19 at 2:00 pm. Please contact Mr. Zimmerman for the link. Applications and program information are available online at ontariocountyny.gov/communitygrant and applications will be accepted through August 11.

ESD Releases Craft Beverage Micro Grant

Empire State Development’s Craft Beverage Micro Grant Program aims to increase the production capacity, business infrastructure and profitability of businesses licensed to produce wine, beer, spirits, hard cider and mead by providing matching funds for equipment purchases and facility upgrades. 

Program funding is available for capital grants of up to $50,000 each to support: 

  • New equipment purchase(s),  
  • New infrastructure and/or facilities expansion and/or upgrade 
  • Clear expansion of existing equipment and/or a facilities upgrade 

FLVC Out and About

On July 12, FLVC embarked on a site visit to Aurora Lavender Farm in Honeoye. We took a class with expert weaver Kate on how to make a Lavender wand. The wand is a woven basket that surrounds the lavender, so as it dries, the perfumed smell it carries still floats through the air years after its creation. 

The class was a wonderful experience, we were given great instruction and a thorough tour of the lavender fields and shop on site. I was so impressed with my co-workers weaving skills, who knew the tourism agency could be so crafty! As you can see in the second image below, I am lacking the FLVC crafty gene, my wand is on the right. The left wand is one made by Kate three years ago that still smells heavenly.

What a great place to host an event. Thank you to Elizabeth Prusinowski for having us, we hope to come again soon!