The Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, on the back of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission meeting, delivered a well-developed series of destination marketing tools during a catered luncheon on Commission grounds on Tuesday.
Chamber president James Kirkos joined New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Susan Bass Levin and NJMC executive director Robert Ceberio to introduce the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau website, www.MeadowlandsLibertyCVB.com, an interface for www.StayintheMeadowlands.com, as well as another new marketing tool - destination kiosks.
Check my kiosks "For too long, the Meadowlands have been a hidden jewel," says Levin. "The technology of the kiosks displays the united, exciting identity of the great variety of attractions throughout the region."
The specially designed kiosks will be placed in the Meadowlands Liberty Region, the Meadowlands Environment Center, the Meadowlands Sports Complex, Secaucus Junction, and the Meadowlands Exposition Center within the next six weeks.
As for the websites, Chamber members had been devising the Internet-based promotion services with a Secaucus public relations firm, Axiom Communications, since 2003.
NJMC awarded a $225,000 grant to the MRCC in April 2004 from the Meadowlands Area Grants for Natural and Economic Transformation (MAGNET) to implement the fruits of this collaboration.
The grant allowed the formation of the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"These user-friendly kiosks provide a tremendous opportunity to enlighten tourists as well as residents to the wonders in their backyard," says Kirkos. "It's amazing how underutilized and even unknown some of these rich resources are to locals."
The branding technique merges the relationships among the Meadowlands, Newark Liberty International Airport, the Hudson River waterfront, the Palisades, the George Washington Bridge, and Jersey City.
The two regions have been historically linked by infrastructure and culture, but not by recreational intent. The partnering of area agencies, businesses, and vendors allows some of the best-kept secrets of New Jersey habitat and wildlife to be highlighted for a broader audience.
Secaucus Junction is about 10 minutes from Manhattan and 20 minutes from the NJ Transit stop at Newark Airport. The Hackensack Riverkeeper's canoe and kayak rental facility at Laurel Hill Park is also a short distance from the Secaucus train station. A person in downtown Manhattan is just 20 minutes away from wildlife splendor.
At the northern end of Secaucus is Mill Creek Point Park, situated between two large tracts of wetlands. To the east is the 260-acre Mill Creek Marsh, a unique habitat for nesting and migrant aquatic animal and bird populations.
While not easily accessible by mass transit at this time, the park serves as the trailhead for the 2½-mile Mill Creek Canoe Trail. It will eventually be the northern terminus of a 15-mile walking trail called the Secaucus Greenway, paralleling the Hackensack River.
Ron Simoncini of Axiom says while NJMC had strict guidelines and required clearly detailed plan of methodology and items to be delivered, the interaction between the different entities made the project thorough and highly appropriate.
While the kiosks declare '100 local thrills,' there are now 300 local businesses participating in the program.
"The people at NJMC have a terrific sense of detail, what they look for in progress," said Simoncini. "Their input was insightful and they were easy to work with. With Jim Kirkos's vision the effort transcended the boundaries absolutely doing the project a favor - it really works."