Staff development can be both beneficial and fun
Teambuilding and tourism may go hand-in-hand for many businesses and organizations in Chautauqua County. For those that deal directly with the public, we strongly recommend that you spend a little time getting your team organized around more than just the tasks at hand. Sure, it’s important that restaurant wait staff understand the menu and pricing, but it’s also important for them to engage appropriately with the customer. The same is true in a retail setting. All of this becomes vital as we are in peak tourism season in Chautauqua County. Tourism is a crucial segment of our local economy, pumping millions of dollars a year into local attractions, hotels, restaurants, and retailers. The interactions those out-of-town guests have with your local staff may be a critical factor in their overall experience in our communities. Visitors won’t always speak with a manager or owner, but they are highly likely to strike up a conversation with a cashier or server, and the last thing any customer wants to hear from a worker is “there’s nothing to do around here,” especially since it’s far from true.
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has some full-time staff in the office, but we also have part-time employees that work in separate communities throughout the county. We don’t often get to interact with one another face-to-face. So, once each year we organize a staff development day that brings us together for some fun, education, and interaction. Just over a week ago we got together out of the office getting to know some of our local businesses and attractions. We try to mix it up and visit both some long-standing places as well as some new ones, and since we are countywide, we try to focus on a variety of locations.
Our day began with a visit to Cadwell’s Cheese House and Gift Shop in Dewittville where owner Jane Currie gave us a little history about the business, which has been in her family for almost 95 years! While they no longer manufacture cheese, they do sell some delicious and unique cheeses, as well as locally made syrup, seasonings, and a tremendous supply of books by local authors.
From there we moved to a brand-new business in Mayville. Music for Your Mouth just opened this summer and the owner, Karen Simmons, dined with us on their wide front porch. Meals were delicious and portions were great. They also offer bubble tea and dessert! Karen is a trained violinist and private music teacher, and now with her husband Al, is also a restaurateur! We also visited some other great small businesses on South Erie Street in Mayville including the Uptown Mall and Mayberry Jungle, and toured the Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market.
We closed our day with a hike through Panama Rocks Scenic Park in Panama. This natural wonder is a privately owned and lovingly cared for park that features a carefully crafted trail through huge rock formations that were left by glaciers before man roamed the earth. Owner Jonathan Weston gave us a little preview of the glamping grounds planned on the property, and overview of the Wild America Nature Festival which takes place at the park this weekend through Sunday, July 31.
Past adventures for the Chamber staff have included tours through the National Comedy Center, Dunkirk Lighthouse, as well as other museums, wineries, and unique and interesting shops and restaurants. These opportunities have given us a chance to get to know one another better so we can work better together, as well as getting to know the resources around us. Since our organization is directly involved in helping to steer the public to great local places, we want to be sure we are knowledgeable and helpful in our communications. You can do the same. If you need help figuring out how to set up your own little tour, we will be happy to offer some tips and suggestions and the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau can be a great resource as well. Your personnel may be one of your greatest expenses as an organization and can also be one of your greatest assets. Give your team a little knowledge and fun, and they’ll return more to your business in positive reviews and repeat customers!
SIGN UP BY MONDAY TO GET ON SILVER CREEK YARD
Monday, August 1 is the final day to register your sale for the 30th Annual Silver Creek Yard Sales! The sale date is Saturday, August 6. For just $10 residents in and around Silver Creek and the Town of Hanover can register to participate and be listed on the sale map – where you’ll also find some great offers from local restaurants and businesses! Maps will be sold at the Village Park for $2 each on the sale day. To include your sale on the map and get a printable Silver Creek Yard Sales sign, visit the Chamber’s web calendar and register online. Or you can register your sale in person at Den’s Antiques, 8 Main Street, or at Silver Creek Optical, 41 Main Street, Silver Creek. Proceeds from this event support the Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund which provides a scholarship annually to one graduating senior from Forestville Central School and one from Silver Creek Central School.
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is once again working with Der Kobblers – a local auto enthusiasts club – to present Jamestown Cruise-In. Now in its 29th year, Cruise-In will be held from 5-8pm along Third Street in Downtown Jamestown between Washington and Spring Streets and spanning the side streets between Second and Fourth. You can enjoy cool and classic vehicles, live music from In Crowd, and food from local restaurants and from the Babe Ruth World Series vendor tent. Stop and shop at local businesses that will offer extended hours for this event, and then stay late for even more happening downtown as the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra presents a first ever event at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts with a musical tribute to Aretha Franklin or enjoy the third night of the Whirlybird Music & Arts Festival at several downtown locations. Jamestown Cruise-In is sponsored by Cummins, AfterCare Nursing Services, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Producto Corporation, Shults Auto Group, Cattaraugus County Bank, Dot’s Gift Boutique, Elegant Edibles Catering, LaBella Associates, Lafayette Corners, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, and Media One Radio Group. Drivers that want to participate can register online now through the Chamber’s web events calendar for just $10 per vehicle or can drive in and pay at the entrance at Third and Spring Streets between 3-5pm the day of the event.