In the summer of 2015, Montauk had reached a breaking point. Public sexcapades in the tiny fishing village were scandalously mentioned in major publications, parking nightmares and noise violations were all too common. Some were afraid that the quaint, family-friendly Montauk they loved and had grown up with was slipping away.
But, over the past two years, Montauk has rolled out a stricter code enforcement on visitor business, which the Montauk Chamber of Commerce
says has had a tremendously positive impact. The Chamber recently polled members and learned that in 2016 versus 2015, 70 percent of those polled had experienced up to 10 percent growth.
"Montauk businesses embraced stricter code enforcement after the disruptions in summer 2015 and we wanted to gauge its short- and long-term effect on the tourism economy, our number one industry," said Laraine Creegan, Executive Director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. "We're pleased that the local economy thrived despite negative publicity and a decrease in millennial age visitors from one year to another."
Creegan credits the Chamber's targeted outreach to "leave no footprint" visitors, such as families, nature lovers and mature adult travelers - who have as little impact as possible on the communities they visit, as a major reason for the success.
"The targeted visitor campaign achieved 95 percent lodging occupancy in August 2016 and we saw more families and mature travelers than the year before," explained Creegan. "Nature lovers - surfers, fishermen, trail walkers, beach and ocean lovers - have always been a mainstay."
Of the 119 poll participants, 17 businesses (14 percent) reported a ten percent or greater increase, 22 businesses (18 percent) said they had a three to ten percent increase, and 44 businesses (37 percent) broke even with last year. Ten businesses (eight percent) noted a decrease of three to ten percent, while 26 businesses (22 percent) said they had a decrease of more than ten percent.
"The business community understands that tourism can only be sustainable if it is carefully managed so that potential negative effects on the Montauk community at large and the environment are not permitted to outweigh the financial benefits," said Arden Gardell, co-owner of 668 The Gig Shack
. "We at the Chamber call it 'responsible tourism' and we're encouraged that it's working."
In 2016, the Chamber launched its This Is Montauk
campaign that includes three videos, TV and digital ads. Its goal is to portray "The End" as "an authentic vacation spot for families, outdoors and culinary tourists." Videos that highlight the area's appeal to families and outdoors enthusiasts were released in 2016, while a film that focuses on Montauk's draw for foodies will debut this spring.
The campaign has already had a noticeable impact on the area. "The summer of 2016 was serene, young bar-hoppers were subdued and our hospitality businesses adjusted to the desires of visiting families and adults, as well as the community," shared Bill Mavro, owner of Montauk Clothing Company.
This past January, the Chamber contained its targeted marketing at the New York Times
Travel Show - the largest travel consumer and trade show in North America where over 500 destinations and travel suppliers were on hand.
And, a boost in revenue isn't the only positive effect tourism has on the area. The Chamber notes that tourism allows locals to look back on Montauk's rich history and cultural heritage, which helps the area stay true to its traditions and culture.
Beloved special events like the Farmers Market, Fall Family Festival, Montauk Friends of Erin
St. Patrick's Day Soup Sale and A Taste of Montauk help raise vital funding for Montauk that supports essential organizations such as the Montauk Food Pantry, Friends of Erin and Montauk student scholarships. When the July 4th Fireworks, a summer mainstay, was in jeopardy of being canceled due to lack of funding, the community rallied together to raise the necessary funding. This also seems to be the case for the cherished Lighting of the Lighthouse, which was canceled last year after the Friends of the Lighthouse was unable to come up with the $50,000 that was needed to fund the event. But, the Chamber recently shared on its Facebook page that the holiday tradition will return this year on Saturday November 25th and that Friends of the Lighthouse are in the midst of planning some exciting fundraisers to ensure the festive celebration returns.
"Tourism brings many economic and social benefits to our community," added Orla Reville, business manager of the Viking Fleet.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com
Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff.
Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.
CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall
Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community
Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience
and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant.
Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.
Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.
Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.
Calissa is Mykonos in the Hamptons.
Our menu focuses on seafood and Greek dishes such as salt baked fish, seafood pasta and Mediterranean mezze. Our wine list has been awarded The Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and boasts the largest selection of rosé in the Hamptons. The name Calissa is derived from the brightest constellation in the summer sky.Our sister restaurants in New York are Amali and Bar Marseille, opening 2020 in the Rockaways. Calissa offers private dining spaces for groups from 10 to 300 people. To plan your next wedding, corporate event or gathering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. 1020 MONTAUK HIGHWAY, WATER MILL