The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 6, 2013

Visitors bureau takes Thunder on the road

Kelly Urban
kurban@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Representatives of the Greater Johns­town/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau are hitting the road to promote the area as an ideal travel destination.

They plan to attend the Timonium Motorcycle Show in Maryland from Friday through Sunday to spotlight Thunder in the Valley and the Laurel Highlands region.

“This is part of the International Motorcycle Shows series that are held across the country, and we do a few in the states closer to us,” said Jayne Korenoski, the visitors bureau’s advertising and sales director.

Representatives attended shows in January at New York City and Cleveland, where they handed out visitors guides and information on lodging and attractions. They also spoke to people who were interested in coming to the area and attending the Thunder motorcycle rally.

“Each of these shows attracts approximately 80,000 people. It’s unbelievable,” Korenoski said.

“This is the 16th year of our rally. We aren’t new, but we’re meeting people who haven’t heard of it, so this is a great way to get the word out.”

Korenoski said they used to attend four International Motorcycle Shows a year, but scaled back to three because of budget cuts.

“The Timonium show reaches the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets so that makes up for it,” she said.

In addition, the bureau partnered with Crown American Hotels to attend the AAA Great Vacations Expo that was held Jan. 18-20 in Columbus, Ohio. Cambria County was represented along with resorts and spas, sport and adventure travel, and cruises.

The consumer travel show’s goal was to establish brand recognition and relationships with potential visitors.

Korenoski said it’s important to have a presence at these types of events because each year they’re seeing more motorcycle rallies popping up and they need to keep Thunder in the forefront of people’s minds.

“We want to be out there talking to people and telling them to come to our rally so when they are making decisions about where to spend their money or vacation time, they’ll think of us,” she said.

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