Mohawk Towpath Byway Coalition, Inc. Long-Term Sustainability Plan and Implementation Upstate New York

After two decades of volunteer management, recognizing that both the Executive Director and the majority of Board Members would be retiring and a paid staff person would need to take over, a planning effort was undertaken to update the Corridor Management Plan (a document required of every officially designated scenic byway) and carry out a strategic planning effort to determine the future of the Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway and shape the two organizations, the Friends and the Coalition, to lead into the future. This decision followed an effort to investigate potential revenue streams that included a robust digital marketing campaign to test events as one revenue stream to deliver financial sustainability to support the Byway on a long term basis. Posting on eight platforms three times a week resulted in the Byway appearing in 157,161 Google searches within a six-month period, while doubling attendance at the event, and tripling revenues.

The resulting plan includes (1) Section One: The Byway, a comprehensive description of the route and locations along the way for which the Byway was originally designated, (2) Section Two, The Past: a summary of Byway operations, actions and accomplishments 2003-2012, (3) Section Three, The Present: a summary of the operation, actions, and accomplishments 2013-2023, (4) listen to learn interviews with 30 representatives of participating municipalities, Board Members and locations along the Byway to gain their perspectives on the future of the Byway, (5) development of target markets and a strategy to promote the Byway to visitors as the basis of attracting members and marketing partners, (6) Section Four: The Future, development of a plan to enable the Byway to become financially stable for the foreseeable future, (7) development of the potential economic impact of the Byway (8) development of two visitor ready detailed itineraries, (9) development of a new visitor-facing website, with original copy, a new Byway story and Byway history, plus member conversion capabilities, and (10) implementation of a year long digital marketing campaign patterned on the previous successful campaign.