Long Term Growth
The Berkshires have seen a steady growth in tourism stretching back for decades. That growth continues today with new attractions and events being developed each year. The increasing demand from cultural and recreational visitors has fueled this growth. Historically, the busiest seasons surrounded the major summer cultural festivals such as Tanglewood and Jacob's Pillow. Recent years have seen major expansion of year-round attractions including MASS MoCA and The Clark. Demand for accommodations has continued to increase, as seen in the rising room occupancy rates. Northern Berkshire County is currently under served by the lodging industry. There are no major hotels or resorts in Adams.
Adams and Berkshire County are located within a few hours' drive of approximately 44 million people. The economic impact of tourism on Berkshire County is over $730 million annually and has grown more than 20% in the last 5 years. 1Berkshire, the lead countywide economic development and marketing organization, characterizes visitors to Berkshire County as affluent and well educated, with a strong interest in outdoor recreation.
The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) and 1Berkshire invest substantially each year to promote tourism through successful multi-media campaigns. Greylock Glen Resort will benefit from the well-established tourism market and the branding and promotion conducted by 1Berkshire. It will be the first destination in the Berkshire region to be wholly committed to outdoor recreation and environmental education.
A significant shift has occurred recently in the promotional strategies of both individual venues and the region's comprehensive marketing. A desire to cultivate younger audiences to augment "legacy" visitors has led to an increased focus on outdoor recreation, agritourism, and experiential offerings of all kinds. Traditional themes of performances and exhibits at world-renowned venues have expanded to include images and messaging that tout activity ranging from farm-to-table dinners and hands-on tours to adventures on land and on our many waterways.
The opening of Ramblewild in 2014, an aerial adventure park boasting 12 miles of tree-to-tree trails, and the addition of North America's longest mountain coaster to the many offerings at Berkshire East have contributed to the adventurous side of the evolving Berkshire brand. Planned expansions of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, both in Adams and beyond, will help to ensure that the beauty of the Berkshires is accessible to all ability levels. Momentum is growing when it comes to high intensity options as well - the Western New England Greenway, a road biking route that connects New York City to Montreal, traverses Berkshire County and includes the Town of Adams, and Berkshire Natural Resources Council is pursuing its vision of The High Road, a county-wide network of trails inspired by the Coast to Coast Walk in England.
Efforts to expand the traditionally heavy tourism months of July and August into "shoulder seasons" have also seen significant progress, aided by the diversity of activity described above as well as increased off-season programming at major attractions. Adams itself has enjoyed additional visitor traffic throughout summer, fall, and winter thanks to the launch of Hoosac Valley Service. Weekend scenic train service and special holiday-themed events have proven popular, with frequent sell-outs particularly during foliage and winter holiday times.
Johnson Consulting Economic Impact Study