PMVB’s new Director of P.R., Jim Hamill shares home-grown love for area

LAKE REGION -Both from growing up here and in his nearly 13 years as a WNEP- TV news reporter Jim Hamill is well aware of the beauty and vibrancy of the Pocono region, a haven for those living here as well as tourists and second-home vacationers.
Hamill has started his new role as Director of Public Relations for the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB).

Priceless memories

From the deck of the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, while people enjoyed the Palmyra Township Public Beach down below, he pointed to a couple who appeared to be vacationing, posing for their own pictures. This, Hamill said, was an “priceless” example of people who are here, making a memory of being together in the Poconos.
As Director of Public Relations, Hamill is given the opportunity to help with increasing the visibility of the four county Pocono region beyond the area, and interface with the media. The PMVB actively promotes the region to the metropolitan areas, where for generations, people have come and discovered the area, and many have made it their home.
He said he has seen as a news reporter, now Pocono tourism creates a huge economic benefit to the area. Top class hospitality and a pristine environment all help, and Hamill notes, “They get what the pay for and more.”

Landmark events
 
So many signature, long-lasting events occupy the calendar in the Northern Poconos. Some of them include the 157th Wayne County Fair (August 2-10); the 10th annual Wally Lake Fest (August 23-25) and the 102nd Greene-Dreher-Sterling Fair (August 23- September 1).
All these events, as well as others like the popular 4th of July fireworks at the lake, show the devotion of many, many people who send great amount of time and energy to make them happen, he observed.
Such events, Hamill said, are “landmarks” that continue to provide memories.

Finer moments

Visitors, he said, choose to come here and  they are getting something out of it.
Those from urban areas, he said, seek an alternative to the ’big city hustle” and discover “finer moments of life,” where a family may enjoy their time together on the Lake Wallenpaupack beach, on a train ride, visiting a Pocono water park or skiing a local slope.
Camping and state parks are among other reasons they flock here. Summer camps also bring thousands of children every year, some who have returned in later years or sent their own kids to the camp they loved as a youngster.
The “small town culture” is a major draw, a refreshing change from the “big box” stores and historic facades and districts that reflect the local desire to maintain them.

Memories that last

As a home-grown Wayne County son, Hamill said he wants to pass on this nostalgic feeling to his children, of “a place where they can make memories that last.” In some cases, he noted, local people have had to move away before they realized what they had here. A huge number, he observes, are coming back to invest in their communities.
With a end to so much regular rain, warm, sunny summer days this season have bene a big draw, Hamill said. The lake is busy with boats; the beach is busy. On barometer he said he picks up on, is seeing how long the lines are at local ice cream stands.
Coming up at PMVB, Hamill said, us the “Pick Up the Poconos Day” on September 28, when individuals and groups throughout the region are encouraged to go out an  pick up litter, and beautify the area.
As part of the Director of Public Relations’ job, Hamill said he will be redesigning the Pocono TV Network produced by PMVB. Aired on Blue Ridge Cable TV, he said they also hope to have it carried on other cable networks.
New interactive kiosks will be set up at the PMVB visitor centers to help people learn more about the Poconos. PMVB, which has its main office ay 1004 W. Main St., Stroudsburg, has visitor centers in Honesdale (Wayne County Visitors Center, 32 Commercial Street), the Hawley area (Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, 2512 Route 6), Milford (Milford Community House at 201 Broad Street) and Jim Thorpe (Jim Thorpe Visitors Center, Route 209, in the train station).

Social media booming

PMVB does a great deal with social media, where the public more and more is getting the message and information they seek about where to visit, lodge and more. He said they have seen exponential growth on their social media platforms.
Eighty percent of PMVB’s budget is spent on marketing.
PMVB works closely together with many partner organizations, including local chambers of commerce, municipalities, counties and the state. PMVB serves Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania.
For more information about the Poconos and PMVB, visit www.PoconoMountains.com; call 570-421-5791 or email pocomts@poconos.org. Find them on Facebook (Facebook.com/PoconoTourism), Twitter (twitter.com/PoconoTourism; Pinterest (pinterest/poconotourism/) and Instagram (instagram/PoconoTourism/You Tube (youtube/user/PoconoTourism).
Hamill may be reached at 570-844-2003 or jhamill@poconos.org. He and his family live in Honesdale.