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Chamber officials say they’re interested in RiverQuest initiative


MASSENA - Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce officials say they would be interested in becoming part of a tourist initiative called “RiverQuest” after listening to a presentation about the effort.

“It’s under investigation and discussion. As a chamber, we would be very interested in being involved,” board President Miriam S. Catapano said.

She, along with chamber Associate Director Penny Pullmain, Mayor James F. Hidy and Thomas Sullivan, executive director of the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, had attended a recent presentation on RiverQuest.

RiverQuest is an initiative created and launched by Brockville’s Aquatarium in Brockville, Ont., with the focus on the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River. RiverQuest partners represent communities from Cornwall and Massena in the east, to Sackets Harbor and Kingston, Ont., in the west.

“It’s a program that incorporates municipalities along the river, from Clayton to Massena and Brockville, Ont., to Cornwall, Ont. What they do is mass market the area and highlight the attractions each municipality has,” Mr. Hidy said.

“In Massena, it’s the Power Authority, the Hawkins Point Visitor’s Center and the Seaway Locks,” he said. “Massena will be one of five points they would market as a tourist destination, and they would place a kiosk at the visitor’s center that connects all the places along the river.”

“It highlights points of interest along the way, kind of this range of interests in the area that tourists and visitors can come to,” former chamber Director Connie Jenkins said.

Ms. Pullmain said kiosks would be placed on each side of the river, and each kiosk would highlight destinations, as well as provide visitors with an opportunity to play a game as they visited tourist attractions.

“They accumulate points and eventually get prizes. It would be questions about the place they’re at and other places,” she said.

“It would be a form of entertainment and people could collect points based on trivia questions related to that individual site, as well as the others to potentially earn prizes,” Mr. Hidy said.

The chamber already highlights RiverQuest on its website, which Ms. Pullmain means they are technically a “friend” of the initiative.

By joining the initiative, RiverQuest would include Massena as one of the destination for visitors.

Among its highlighted destinations right now are 1000 Islands & Seaway Cruises; Antique Boat Museum in Clayton; the Aquatarium in Brockville, which will open to the public in April; Boldt Castle; Clayton Island Tours; Clayton Opera House; Chrysler Park Marine; Frederic Remington Museum; Lost Villages Historical Society; and Singer Castle.

“It’s a good thing because they’re mass marketing the whole region,” Mr. Hidy said. “We have an opportunity to work with a very professional and well-established marketing firm. It’s an honor to be asked to participate.”

More information about the initiative and tourism opportunities is available at

Reporter Benny Fairchild contributed to this report.

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