Taking garden tourism seriously
|Photo by Thomas Herrera-Mishler|
|The National garden Festival is|
going into its fourth year.
|We've brought in speakers like Amy Stewart,|
Stephanie Cohan and Kerry Ann Mendez.
|We've thrown social kickoff |
events for participants.
|We threw a "gala-like" fundraiser - |
lots of fun, lots of work.
|Our Front Yard Contest between area landscapers |
is not sustainable the way we're doing it now.
Though it's agreed that giving back to the
community in the form of bettering
neighborhoods is important to us.
|AAA/Horizon Tours organizes five to six |
garden themed bus tours each year
during the five weeks of the Festival.
These are just about self-sustaining and building
to bring a bit of money back to the Festival
once they're established and profitable.
|We can get a decent crowd to see a speaker,|
but to keep costs accessible to most, they barely
cover our costs, so this is not a profitable venture.
Worth doing? Yes. Income generating? No.
|The garden art sale was popular and can |
probably be built up over time to grow in
size and profitability.
|One of our greatest area gardening |
assets is having the country's largest
garden tour, Garden Walk Buffalo,
among the other 13 area tours the
National Garden Festival helps
promote to visitors.
ALL ideas generated at the meeting were collected and will be poured over and written up. Then, with a smaller group of diverse stake-holders (and hopefully some new ones we met through this meeting), we'll see what events/activities have to change or disappear (and/or be charged for) and what clever ways we can extract our annual budget from the people that benefit from the events we hold.
If you know of any fund-generating ideas, or have attended garden-related events that charge admission -- and was worth the price -- please share! You can be sure as we figure out our path ahead, I'll be sharing here.