HCVB News

Candy Lake game takes over the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center!

1000х1000The Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau and Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe invite you to imagine a world where all of your surroundings are made of candy, cookies and other treats. For the week of December 7-13, 2015, the Raystown Lake Region Visitor Center has been transformed into Candy Lake.

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Inspired by a popular childhood board game, Candy Lake is an imaginary lake featuring islands where the landscape and structures are made of sweet treats. Visitors to Candy Lake follow a colorful path to visit each island display. The islands have been designed by area businesses and organizations along a candy theme. Attendees can choose to play the life-sized game, or simply stroll through the displays on their own.

At the end, guests are invited to make a free-will donation to vote for their favorite island. Each organization and business presenting an island has chosen a charity that will benefit from the cash votes, and at the end of the week, the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe will match the public contributions to the charity that receives the most.

The first 100 children aged 12 and under will receive a stocking and a small toy courtesy of the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe and Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.

#PAHolidays

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You can see more photos at:
Candy Lake event at the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center

Participating businesses and organizations include: Rockhill Trolley Museum, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Huntingdon County, Fairfield Inn and Suites benefiting Habitat for Humanity, Juniata College, Thompson’s Candle Co. benefitting Huntingdon House, Perma-Chink benefiting Habitat for Humanity, Gage Mansion Bed & Breakfast benefiting Huntingdon Landmarks, Standing Stone Coffee Company benefiting St Vincent de Paul and Isett Heritage Museum benefiting Huntingdon House.

December 7-13, 2015
Monday 8am-2pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 8am-4pm, Thursday-Saturday noon-8pm, Sunday noon-4pm

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‘Travel is __________.’

Raystown Lake is often called "8,300 acres of fun" -- there is a lot of water to enjoy! Photo by A.E. Landes Photography www.aelandesphotography.com

Raystown Lake is often called “8,300 acres of fun” — there is a lot of water to enjoy! Photo by A.E. Landes Photography http://www.aelandesphotography.com

Celebrating What Travel Means to the USA,
the Raystown Lake Region and You

Going on an adventure. Relaxing. Meeting new business partners. Learning. Supporting local businesses and jobs. These are just a few examples of what travel means to people and to communities.

This year, to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2015, May 2-10, the tourism and hospitality industry is underscoring how travel affects us all with the theme: “Travel is ___________.”

Travel is vacationing. Travel is making memories. Travel is essential to the U.S. economy. Travel is a job creator. No matter how you complete the sentence, the bottom line message is that travel is vital to our country and our lives, and it has meaning for everyone.

There are many studies out now that tell us we all need time “away”. It is important to decompress, de-stress and de-light in life…for your well-being! Go visit somewhere new. In the Raystown Lake Region or elsewhere – go have some “moments” and make some memories. Studies show that you’ll be glad that you did.

National Travel and Tourism Week is the perfect time to celebrate what travel means to you. Through nationwide events— from rallies to media outreach to proclamations from local governments—NTTW champions the power of the tourism industry for this week and beyond. Travel and tourism professionals, from communities small and large, come together to promote the incredible contributions their markets and travel-­related businesses make to strengthen the economy and our workforce.

The theme “Travel is __________.” customizes the unique impact of the U.S. travel industry on the fabric of America. Destinations, including ours here in the Raystown Lake Region of Pennsylvania, are defining travel as it specifically contributes to our local economies, businesses and lives.

We encourage you to comment with your thoughts and take part in NTTW by sharing what “Travel is __________.” to you during May 2-10, 2015. You might choose to write a guest column for your local newspaper. Contact a member of Congress. Or just follow along on social media, via @USTravel and #NTTW2015. Remember to tag @Raystown_Lake or use #Raystown (if it fits with your posts) … because your conversation is important to us.

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100 Mile Journey to Raise Awareness of Pennsylvania Tourism Industry

Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Matt Price is leading this trip on the Juniata River and Susquehanna River. You can follow the journey at www.PaddleForPATourism.org. Paddlers are welcome to join the trip — especially for the last leg into Harrisburg. Launch for the first day of the trip Riverside Park, Mapleton Depot, PA at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015. Launch for the last leg is from Riverfront Campground, Duncannon, PA at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Here are the details released to media:

Paddle for PA Tourism launches on 100 mile waterway journey 4/27/2015

Matt Price is leading a 100 mile paddling trip to raise awareness of PA Tourism. Launching 4/27/2015. Photo by Ed Stoddard, http://www.paddleforpatourism.org

MAPLETON DEPOT, PA: Beginning on the morning of April, 27, 2015 a group of Pennsylvania travel industry professionals and advocates will embark on a 100-mile journey down the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers from Mapleton to Harrisburg, arriving on Saturday, May 2nd, the day before the annual Pennsylvania Tourism Summit.

The goals of the trek are to build awareness of Pennsylvania’s travel and tourism industry and to raise funds for TravelPAC, the official Political Action Committee of the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism (PATT). TravelPAC uses funds to directly support political candidates for elected positions in Pennsylvania government who have demonstrated a commitment to support one of the state’s largest revenue generating and job creating industries—Travel and Tourism.

The through-paddlers include PATT President/CEO Rob Fulton of Harrisburg, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Matt Price of Huntingdon, Seven Points Marina Tour Boat Captain Steve Prosser of Hesston, and Miles Partnership Senior Vice President Jay Salyers of Boulder, CO.

The group will experience a variety of lodging types on their journey ranging from a public Leave-No-Trace camping island managed by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to a luxurious bed and breakfast located at one of Pennsylvania’s wineries, and many options in between.

The paddlers will be blogging about their experiences at http://www.PaddleForPATourism.org, which is also where supporters can make a contribution to TravelPAC. According to Pennsylvania law, TravelPAC may only accept contributions from personal accounts or credit cards, and may not accept contributions from corporate or partnership entities, including not-for-profit organizations. Organizations, corporations or partnerships that would like to support Paddle for PA Tourism may contribute as a sponsor for the event through the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism.

The group invites anyone with an interest in PA’s travel and tourism economy to join them for single-day segments of the trip, and would like to get as many paddlers as possible for the final leg on Saturday, May 2nd from Duncannon to City Island in Harrisburg. Rental equipment and shuttle services are available from local outfitters. Check http://www.VisitPA.com for outfitters in the appropriate area. Details on joining the event can be found at http://www.PaddleforPATourism.org.

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A tribute to a friend

Photo by Ed Stoddard

Rob Schrack at the helm of Expect a Miracle

I learned this morning of the passing of a dear friend of mine and of Huntingdon County’s tourism industry. Rob Schrack was well-known in the area for his real estate brokerage, but also for is generosity. A leader in the community, Rob engendered a spirit of camaraderie, and was always willing to answer the call to serve a greater purpose. Whether it was professionally in real estate or auctions, civically in service to boards and committees, spiritually in service to his church, or personally in his many friendships and most of all to his family, Rob always joined shoulder to shoulder with others and shared the load of whatever the task-at-hand was.
One of my first real experiences with Rob was accompanying him on his houseboat, “Expect A Miracle,” on a tour of Raystown Lake. He shared with me that there was nowhere he would rather be, than at the helm of that boat on Raystown Lake. He tirelessly championed Huntingdon County as a wonderful place to visit, live, and raise a family.
For the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, Rob was always willing to pitch in. Even before his service on the board of directors, Rob was a fantastic volunteer, helping to found and grow a very successful Wake Up Reception series that has become a cornerstone of visitor and member services for the Bureau. When we needed tents for an event, Rob not only delivered tents, but also showed up with an army of volunteers to erect them. When the AmTrak service to Huntingdon was threatened, Rob brought and ran the sound system on a cold March morning rally to show local support for the service.
For me personally, I will miss my friend’s wise counsel. I could always rely on Rob for sound advice when faced with a delicate issue.
All of us at the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau are saddened by the loss of our friend, and our hearts go out to the Schrack family and his coworkers. For many of us, the miracle he told us to expect was embodied by Rob himself.

Happy sailing, my friend!

Sincerely,
Matt Price
Executive Director
Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau

Categories: HCVB News, Tourism Industry

Farewell, Dr. Mowbray.

Publishers note: This was received as an email from the Rockhill Trolley Museum to its members by its president, Joel Salomon. Dr. Mowbray was a great friend of the Museum.  I had the pleasure of working alongside him at a large outdoor and travel show promoting the Raystown Lake Region to potential visitors.  In the day I spent with him, and the brief interactions since at the Museum, Dr. Mowbray made a lasting impression.  He will be truly missed. -Matt Price
Dr. Jack Mowbray

Dr. Jack Mowbray at the controls at the Rockhill Trolley Museum

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that Jack Mowbray passed away early this afternoon at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore surrounded by his wife Natalie, and daughters Marjorie and Jana.

The museum sends its sympathies to the Mowbray’s with Jack’s passing. Personally, Jack was a great friend to me. He and I had many special and great times together over the years. Jack had many friends at the museum and we will all miss his presence at the museum. It’s hard to think that we will not have his laughter, humor, guidance and wisdom at the trolley museum anymore.

Jack had been a member of Railways To Yesterday Inc. (Rockhill Trolley Museum) since its earliest days, holding Membership #11.  He was most recently Chairman of the Board. A native of the Lehigh Valley, Jack was one of the organization’s few remaining members who had first hand memories of the Lehigh Valley Transit Company, which he rode to school in his youth.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to be made to the Rockhill Trolley Museum, specifically Chicago Aurora & Elgin car 315, Jack’s favorite car at the museum. The car is under restoration, but returned to operation in 2012, with Jack being the first person to operate the car in many years. For me personally, it was one of my happiest days at the museum, to see Jack operate his favorite car once again.
I’m sorry to have to give this news to you as I know some of you knew Jack for many years. Rest in peace dear friend Jack, you will be sorely missed!
Joel Salomon
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April 25, 2013 email newsletter from the Raystown Lake Region

April 25, 2013 Raystown Lake Region newsletter

Check out our latest email newsletter. We regularly communicate with subscribers about events happening in the Raystown Lake Region.

Check out our latest email newsletter.  If you would like to get future newsletters in your inbox, please click the subscribe link.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Raystown-Lake-Region-Events-now-through-May-6–2013.html?soid=1102424020018&aid=hqWqcvUwaoI.

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Vote Now for the Juniata River to be Pennsylvania’s 2013 River of the Year!

The public again is invited to vote online for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among six waterways nominated across the state.

Photo by Matt Price

Mapleton’s Riverside Park will be the starting point of the 2013 Juniata River Sojourn on the Main Stem of the Juniata River, a candidate for River of the Year.

They are: Juniata River and Swatara Creek in south central Pennsylvania; Kiskiminetas River and Monongahela River in the southwest; Lackawanna River in the northeast; and Schuylkill River in the southeast.

Vote here!

“Individually, each of these waterways showcases unique natural resources and recreational potential,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan. “Collectively, they demonstrate just how blessed Pennsylvania is with its wealth of rivers and streams.”

Nomination of the six waterways was based on their conservation needs and successes; as well as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2013 River of the Year. Visithttp://pawatersheds.org/vote to read the nomination statement for each and to vote. Voting ends Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.

“This is the third year that our selection process is through public voting,” said Allan, “and we know the spirit of competition rallies community support around our waterways and puts deserving rivers and streams in the limelight.”

DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Nominations were made by local groups.
Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.

“We are excited to partner with DCNR for a third year of public voting on River of the Year,” POWR Executive Director Janie French said. “The River of the Year program is a great way for us to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the state’s waterways. As part of the larger river sojourn program, the River of the Year helps connect thousands of Pennsylvanians to the water.”

After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a special extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.
The Pennsylvania Sojourn program, jointly run by DCNR and POWR, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. For more information about the sojourns, visit http://www.pawatersheds.org.

POWR and DCNR also work with the local organization to create a free commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.
Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year is the Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us (click on “Conserve,” then “Waterways”).

Download this press release (Word document).

Photo by Matt Price

Paddling is a favorite pastime on the main stem of the Juniata River in Huntingdon County.

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Corps confirms Raystown Lake Dam, Pa., is prepared to perform during storms

Raystown Dam courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers

Aerial photo of Raystown Dam from the US Army Corps of Engineers website.

BALTIMORE – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has notified emergency management officials that the dam at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon, Pa., is prepared to perform during the storms connected to Hurricane Sandy.

The dam and reservoir has been functioning as designed – to store significant volumes of water and thus reducing downstream flows and delaying possible flooding over the next few days. The project is monitored daily and there are no indications of any problems. The dam will continue to function as designed and is prepared to hold the maximum amount of water if needed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction on the dam in 1962 and it was completed in 1988 at a cost of $77 million. The project has prevented $269,616 million of flood damages through fiscal year 2011. The dam protects all areas along the Juniata River downstream of Huntingdon.

The project is an earth and rockfill structure with a maximum height of 225 feet and a top length of 1,700 feet. There is a two-bay gated spillway with two tainter gates, 45 feet wide by 45 feet high, to control flood flows. The overflow section is cut through rock at elevation 812 mean sea level, and has crest length of 1,630 feet in the spur of Terrace Mountain. The spillway and overflow section
have a combined discharge capacity of 301,000 cubic feet per second. The project encompasses 29,700 total acres. On April 3, 1993 the lake reached its pool of record at elevation 802.89 NGVD which was 67% of its storage capacity.

For current information on Baltimore District dams and reservoirs, go to their home page, www.nab.usace.army.mil.

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Monday Meander Volume I – VeeCee Trail on the Allegrippis

Yesterday was the first of what will be a series of outings for the staff of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau called Monday Meanders. With the blessing of our board of directors (thank you) and the Army Corps of Engineers, from now through the middle of May, we will be closing the HCVB offices in the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center at 3pm on Mondays.  The purpose of this early closure is to give our staff the opportunity to get out and experience the area, its recreational assets, and our member businesses, in order to better serve all of our customers.

With a year-round staff of four employees, we are each taking a turn during the month to plan the outing.  For our inaugural Meander, I took on the planning task.  Our missi0n: to experience a new trail leading from the Visitors Center to the Allegrippis Trailsstacked-loop system on mountain bikes.

The VeeCee Trail on the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake

The VeeCee Trail connects the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center in the Seven Points Recreation Area to the stacked-loop Allegrippis Trails.

First, some background:  The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake opened with much fanfare in May, 2009.  The 32-mile trail network was designed by mountain bikers and built through the cooperation of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Appalachian Regional Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and others.  The right-of-way for the trails on the USACE Raystown Lake property is leased by the Friends of Raystown Lake, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enhance the environmental and recreational resources of the lands and waters of the Raystown Lake Project.  The Friends contracted with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions crew to construct the trail network, and augmented the machine work with volunteers to put on the finishing touches.  The result is a fast, flowing, fun network of trails that can accommodate riders or hikers of nearly any ability level.  The trails were also constructed in a way that minimizes erosion.

Originally, trailhead parking lots were available along Seven Points Road, and Bakers Hollow Road.  Both trailheads were shared with the existing Old Loggers Trail.  It became evident immediately that additional parking capacity was needed.  The Corps approved a plan by the Friends to expand the lot along Bakers Hollow Road, and that helped, but still more parking was needed for a popular trail network that has exceeded all expectations of its ability to attract users.  The Friends proposed a few other options for expanding parking, but none of them met with the approval of the Corps until the idea emerged to connect the trails to existing parking at the Visitors Center.  This idea proved to be a win-win by connecting the developed part of the Seven Points Recreation Area with the trail network, and requiring minimal clearing of plant and animal habitat when compared to creating a new parking lot.

Fast-forward to May 2012.  The 1.3-mile VeeCee Trail opened with the financial support of the Friends, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, and Specialized.  The trail connects the lower parking lot at the Visitors Center with Dark Hollow Trail by following a path around the end of Seven Points Campground’s Ridge camping loop.

Now, back to yesterday’s  Meander…  Evan Gross from Rothrock Outfitters met us in the parking lot about 3pm with four Scott mountain bikes.  He took the time to adjust the bikes for us, pump the tires, and give us instructions for shifting gears and a few other helpful tips like making sure to put your outside pedal in the down position when negotiating a bend in the trail.  Why?  Because if the inside pedal is down as you lean into a turn, it is likely to catch the ground and cause an accident.  For some of us it was the first time on a bike since we were teenagers (we’re all in our thirties, forties or fifties).  We did a few laps around the parking lot to get comfortable with the bikes, shifting, braking, etc., before we crossed Seven Points Road to the trail.

We discussed a few tips we had learned from trail reviews, one of them being not to over-brake on the downhills, because you’ll want that momentum on the uphills.  Another tip being almost counter to the first one.  These trails will propel you faster than it may seem, and faster than you may be comfortable with – don’t let it get out of hand.  The result of these pieces of advice turned out to be that we over-braked on the way out, and wound up pushing the bikes up a few of the hills.  And at least twice on the return trip, I let momentum carry me out of my comfort zone resulting in some near-misses with trees.

In the end, we got to experience an asset that we talk to a lot of visitors about, nobody got hurt, and we all had fun.  Mission Complete!

Next week it’s Vickie’s turn to plan something for her and Katrina to do.  Ed and I both have the day off to head to a Pittsburgh Pirates game with our families.

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A Thank You Letter from Curve GM Rob Egan

Publisher’s Note: The following email was received from Altoona Curve General Manager, Rob Egan.  The Altoona Curve are the AA Minor League Baseball Affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a member of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.  If you’ve never been to a Curve game, it is worth the experience, if only  to see the ballpark with the wooden roller coaster as a backdrop behind the right field wall.  The Curve consistently have had award-winning, in-game entertainment, and provide a MiLB experience like no other.

People's Natural Gas Field at Blair County Ballpark (source: milb.com)

People’s Natural Gas Field at Blair County Ballpark is the home field of the Altoona Curve Minor League Baseball team. (source: milb.com)

Curve Fans, Sponsors, Boosters, and Media –

We want to thank you for a successful 2012 season. There have been so many positives over the course of the past nine months that helped us prepare for and celebrate our 14th season of Curve Baseball. We are truly blessed to have such tremendous support of our franchise from all of you. The Curve ownership, management, front office staff, coaches, players, and game day employees aim to repay that trust every day by giving you great value when you come to a ballgame or event. In addition, we’re constantly looking for ways to give back to the community through our charitable efforts inside and outside of the ballpark.

Since January, the Curve have enjoyed some significant highlights including:

  • • Securing of our first-ever facility naming rights partner for Peoples Natural Gas Field
  • • Announcing/scheduling the first Pirates’-Curve exhibition game in Altoona since 2000
  • • Increasing per-game attendance for the second straight season – first time there’s been a per-game attendance increase in consecutive seasons since 2003-04
  • • Establishing our first-ever video marquee on Park Avenue to promote upcoming games/events at Peoples Natural Gas Field
  • • Helping raise funds and awareness for numerous local charities like Miracle League of Blair County, Children’s Miracle Network, Make-A-Wish, The Griffith Family Foundation, Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania, and all of our non-profit groups who earn a portion of the proceeds from concession stands they work at each Curve game
  • • Bringing two active sports all-stars to Altoona in the same season: Steelers’ Pro Bowl WR/KR Antonio Brown and Penguins All-Star Forward James Neal
  • • Producing our ninth winning season in 14 years by finishing with a record of 72-70
  • • Celebrating the promotion of several former players to the Major Leagues – including the 2011 and 2012 Curve MVPs Starling Marte and Brock Holt. There have now been 99 Curve alumni that have gone on to play at the game’s highest level
  • • Selection as a finalist for the second straight year for a Minor League Baseball Golden Bobblehead Award for Best Promotion.Our 2012 entry is for the charitable, season-long promotion: “Curve, PA Blue Out Saturdays” to benefit Prevent Child Abuse PA
  • • Staging several unique promotions that garnered national acclaim on MinorLeagueBaseball.com including: Andrew McCutchen Dreadlocks Cap Giveaway, Alex “Not Elvis” Presley Figurine Giveaway, Moyer Megabowl celebrating Jamie Moyer’s feat of being the oldest pitcher to win an MLB game, and our second-annual Summer Cruise Series with giveaways and themes to match Tom Cruise films of the 1990s
  • • Being home to the top two pitching prospects in the Pirates’ organization during the second half of the year with 2011 first round pick Gerrit Cole and 2010 first rounder Jameson Taillon both pitching for the Curve

We are extremely proud of these accomplishments and highlights which are made possible, in large part, by your continuing support. So, again, on behalf of the Curve, thank you for a successful 2012. While we just completed this past season, we are eagerly preparing for our 15th year which will include the March 30, 2013 exhibition game with the playoff-hopeful Pittsburgh Pirates. We hope that you will continue to be a big part of making it all happen!

Sincerely,

EganSig

Rob Egan, General Manager

Categories: Events, Group Travel, HCVB News, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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