All posts tagged tourism

Everyday Visitors

As the final days of the school year approach, vacation is on everyone’s mind.  As many prepare to visit other places, Venango County will be the destination for many.  Our communities have taken the first steps to get ready, holding clean-up days and planting flower gardens, and some businesses just opening their doors for the summer season. 

Local trails will soon be bustling with bike riders and hikers and the waterways with boaters.  We all get excited at the prospect of the energy and commerce driven by the tourists who will be visiting.

We can often recognize a visitor, and hopefully are ready to respond with hospitality aimed at making their local experience one to remember, but we can forget we have visitors to our region year round, for many reasons other than recreation.  It can be easy to overlook the businesses that drive those visitors.

On our cover of VenangoWorks! this month, we featured Maxine Hellem, a resident of Oakwood Heights, with family during a recent visit to the Venango Museum. Our senior care facilities can be temporary or permanent homes for people from our area, but also attract those from further away, who need the specialized care they offer.  With them come their loved ones, who then are visitors to our area, seeking lodging, restaurants and when time allows, ways to spend time during a visit.

Betsy Kellner, executive director of the Museum, recently shared a story of a young businessman who stopped by while working on a project in a neighboring county.  In addition to his interest in the museum, he asked for a referral to a local restaurant. He was pleased with the food and extreme hospitality he received, and stopped back to see Betsy to let her know how wonderful his experience was.

Often, our youth experience local tourism and learn about our region, too, including field trips to museums, like the Christian Life Academy class in the photo above.

As you think of tourism, the state’s second highest economic driver, this is the perfect time to reflect on how to broaden your view of who a visitor is, and also consider how your business may be driving visitors to the region.

Lindsey Canchola, regional director of sales and marketing at Oakwood Heights, reminds us: “It takes the entire community to ensure that our residents are not only healthy, but happy.  When their families enjoy visiting, and when our staff are also having the best experiences in the community outside of work, it all filters back to them.”

Imagine a community where we treated every one we encounter as a visitor who we hope will return!

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

ORA Publishes 2019 Visitor Guide

The Tourism Promotion Advisory Council, a committee of the  Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism (ORA) has recently published the newest version of the Oil Region National Heritage Area Visitor Guide (pictured right). This magazine style guide is full of area amenities and historical information.

Following a “trails” theme, the guide takes you through the region touching on heritage, recreation, and attractions as well as culture, food and drink, and shopping. There are also detailed maps of local cities and descriptions of local parks.

It’s packed with activities, events, and things to do in our region as well as great photos and information. A PDF version will be available on the website in the coming weeks.

Grab your copy at the ORA office, located at 217 Elm Street in Oil City, or at the Chamber.  If you’d like a larger amount of copies to have at your business, call Emily at (814) 677-3152.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s April 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Four New Faces at the Oil Region Alliance

ORA FINAL LOGODESIGN2010The Oil Region Alliance (ORA) is an economic development and tourist promotion agency serving the Oil Region—comprised of Venango County, the City of Titusville, and Oil Creek Township. The Alliance works to increase the prosperity of the Oil Region and they have recently added four new staff members to their ranks.

Bringing a new energy to the organization are: Stewart Armstrong, Jennifer Burden, Emily Altomare, and Juliet Hilburn. All four are sure to bring new ideas from their previous roles and be great assets to the ORA and the region.

Stop by their office located at 217 Elm Street in Oil City to say hello, and follow the ORA on Facebook at


Stewart Armstrong
Marketing Coordinator & Artist Liaison

Jennifer Burden
Historian &

Emily Altomare
Communications & Tourism Manager

Juliet Hilburn
Analyst &

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s November 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.