New Canaan may partner in marketing; joint tourism idea gains support

How do you get more people from New York City to come and spend time — and money — in Ridgefield?

Some members of the Economic and Community Development Commission see partnering with New Canaan’s marketing efforts as one option.

Chairman Arnold Light said he recently met with members of New Canaan’s Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Economic Development Group.

“They do a thing in Grand Central Station where they try to get people to visit Connecticut,” he said. “We figured we could partner with them.”

ECDC member Amanda Duff said the project is run through CTVisit, the state’s official tourism site.

“They offered to let us share a booth with them,” said Vice Chairman John Devine.

New Canaan also recently invited 10 “influencers” — people with a large online following — up from the city to be wined and dined in town, he said. “They sent them back and they all started talking New Canaan on their blogs,” Devine said.

“If we were to share a booth with them at Grand Central, what would we do?” asked ECDC member Geoff Morris.

Light said the group could create a flyer to show off some of the highlights of the town — such as the Playhouse and the Aldrich Museum.

Duff said the group could create sample itineraries for prospective visitors to Ridgefield.

“‘For the family,’ ‘for the couple,’ ‘for the adventure lover’ — and we could incorporate hikes and stuff,” she suggested.

ECDC member Gus Ryer said the commission should also try similar advertising at the South Norwalk train station, where the Danbury spur connects to the New Haven line into New York City.

Duff said the cost of sharing a booth with New Canaan through CTVisit will be much cheaper than the typical price of renting space at Grand Central.

“We could also see if there’s a local bakery who wants to produce some stuff to have as a little takeaway,” she added. “I mean, branded pens are always kind of boring.”

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