Tag Archives: Tourism

GOod Morning Gloucester Tourism Survey For Candidates Running For City Council Responses:

These responses will also be posted at  https://2015gloucestermaelection.wordpress.com/

All Candidates For City Council Were Sent a Tourism Survey. 

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​As more candidates respond their responses will be added and the post will be updated.

Here are the questions and responses from the candidates that have responded:

Individual Participant

Joe Giacalone

Question 01
How do you feel about the city investing 30% of the money collected as hotel tax in tourism marketing?

I think it’s a great idea. Money invested in tourism can yield a return many times over so it makes perfect sense.

Question 02
What ideas do you have about dealing with increased traffic, the need for additional parking and public rest rooms?

Public restrooms(not just porta-potties) is a positive step. Increased traffic around our beaches can be improved with shuttle service from some of our school sites and Stage Fort Park. Also, increased use of electronic signage, updates on social media, and maybe a local radio station could make a difference.

Question 03
How can you make Gloucester more family-friendly?

Maybe hands-on exhibits of aspects of the fishing industry and the arts community. The more there is to see and do on the waterfront the better.

Question 04
How can you support businesses that are in the hospitality and cultural tourism industries?

Tax breaks and other incentives can help. Encouraging affordable housing will help support a workforce.

Question 05
What are three things you would like to see happen in Gloucester to improve the visitor experience?

I’d like to see a welcome center downtown/ waterfront. More cultural/local celebrations and events. Support of the arts community.


Individual Participant

Joe Ciolino

Question 01
How do you feel about the city investing 30% of the money collected as hotel tax in tourism marketing?

I have worked with the Tourist Commission and Discover Gloucester for many years, and know well the revenue stream potential we have here. Without consistent financing or a solid marketing plan in place, we struggled. I was the city councilor who went to the Mayor last January with a plan to fund tourism in the city and get us on the path to promote Gloucester.

The 30% collection is a reasonable and vital investment. Revenues will grow as more hotel rooms come on line, making more marketing campaigns possible and increasing city revenues in ways that do not involve raising property taxes. It is important to note this 30% funding is at the discretion of the mayor. We need to make sure we have one that will continue this funding so we can better promote the arts, culture, restaurants, activities, businesses, and organizations in this community.

Question 02
What ideas do you have about dealing with increased traffic, the need for additional parking and public rest rooms?

Discover Gloucester and the Chamber of Commerce have done a great job getting visitors into our city. It is the job of city government to deal with the extra cars and traffic.
1. We need to improve public transportation by developing a bus/trolley schedule that connects the beaches with the hotels and off-site parking facilities.

2. We need an event co-coordinator to synchronize citywide events so we do not overwhelm our streets with traffic by overscheduling events any one given weekend.

3. Better signage to communicate which beaches are full and which ones are still open for visitors. There’s got to be “an app for that” the City can produce, along with other helpful information.

4. I4C2 may need to be considered at a place to build a central welcome center, with restrooms and parking. The boulevard is another place we need public restrooms. According to the state, the current bridge tender’s house is structurally unsound and there are plans to tear it down. Since a new bridge tender’s house is being planed, this is the right time to include restrooms in that new structure. We need to work with our state and federally elected representatives to make this happen.

Question 03
How can you make Gloucester more family-friendly?

I think we already are family friendly, but we can do more. Gloucester is blessed with great parks, athletic fields, beaches, and trails, but they need to be kept clean and maintained, with additional lighting for safety. Ideally the city should partner with local organizations who do outdoor activities and indoor programs, at least to promote them and support them with funding when possible.

We need to provide first-rate, well-built schools and maintain them responsibly.

One of Gloucester’s best family resources is the YMCA. The next council must help make a new YMCA a top priority and facilitate the process wherever they can. Needless red tape and procedural delays are not an acceptable way to run a city.

Question 04
How can you support businesses that are in the hospitality and cultural tourism industries?

Every person who lives here has that power in his or her pocket. Where you spend your money determines how you support any local business. Dinner out? Stay in town and eat at any number of great restaurants. Put a review up on Yelp or Trip Advisor. People read them before they come here. Take a moment and put in a good word for the local businesses.
Have visitors? Take them on a whale watch, to the local museums, hike in Dogtown. Put them up in a hotel, tell your boss that visiting staff can be put up reasonably and comfortably right here in town. Encourage friends or relatives to get married up here, it’s all good!

Question 05
What are three things you would like to see happen in Gloucester to improve the visitor experience?

1.I would like to see a welcoming center at I4C2, centrally located with parking and public restrooms. Public restrooms to service the many people enjoying the boulevard.
2.Improved signage from the train station directing visitors to attractions in the city. Shuttle bus schedules there, too.
3.Gloucester has a litter problem -we have visitors comment on it all the time and we have got to change that culture. The city also needs to do more frequent trash pick-ups in heavily visited areas.


Individual Participant

Kathryn Goodick

Question 01
How do you feel about the city investing 30% of the money collected as hotel tax in tourism marketing?

I think that this is a good start. The amount should be reviewed each year to see if this garners enough cash to reinvest into tourism and if it needs to be adjusted.

I would also “fight” to ensure that this money is not used for other city expenses.

Question 02
What ideas do you have about dealing with increased traffic, the need for additional parking and public rest rooms?

I would like to see talks again with fellow city members of Rockport to open up the Blackburn road as an option.

The use of the Fuller School could be used for additional parking, perhaps setting up (as one citizen suggested) as the tourist welcome center. This would allow the city to build a parking garage there, use the city bus and trolley service to take people to/from the beaches, reduce traffic along the RT128 extension, and shuttle them to other parts of the city as well….Lanesville, Magnolia, downtown

Question 03
How can you make Gloucester more family-friendly?

I think that the city does a great job with all of the events over the summer, and we need to continue this throughout the year.

The problem that I see that makes it “non-family friendly” is that the taxes are too high, which makes it impossible for many families to move here or stay here.

In addition, despite what the School Committee members want you to believe, our MCAS scores have not improved over the past 7 years. We need to improve our schools holistically, from the maintenance to the education. If you drive up to O’Malley School, the outside is not very warm and inviting. Why not ask some of the garden clubs to take on plantings in this area as well? Remove some of the concrete that makes it look like a prison?

Improvements to the leash law would be helpful too. I know that this is under advisement and consideration for improvements but so many of our residents own dogs, it is a huge piece of their life. The restrictions do not make for a family friendly environment.

Question 04
How can you support businesses that are in the hospitality and cultural tourism industries?

The first question answered that. Taking the 30% of meals tax to promote tourism will allow a boost to advertisement and marketing.

We have such a beautiful area and many people want to visit. We need to showcase Gloucester in a strategic marketing campaign. But we have to be ready for it.

Having the welcome center at Stage Fort Park, although a beautiful use of that building, it isn’t practical where it is located. It is a challenge for many to find it and navigate the bridge down the boulevard to get there. Housing this in a more central location would be ideal to promote our tourism industry.

Question 05
What are three things you would like to see happen in Gloucester to improve the visitor experience?

Move the Tourist Information/Welcome Center to a more central location — maybe at Fuller School or if property becomes available at or near the Grant Circle.

Have more accessible parking available that drives tourist to the downtown area. But of course, we need to revitalize the downtown area.

Improve the driving experience here. Last summer the traffic causes me as a citizen to stay home (not complaining) but as a visitor, I would be very discourage to sit in traffic for an hour to get to the beach, only to be turned around as there is no place to park.


Individual Participant

Everett Brown

Question 01
How do you feel about the city investing 30% of the money collected as hotel tax in tourism marketing?

With Gloucester’s fishing industry facing hardship, the City needs to generate new income. Because of our scenic and cultural assets, tourism is a natural to fill part of the gap. I support the funding and effort to grow our economy by improving the marketing.

Question 02
What ideas do you have about dealing with increased traffic, the need for additional parking and public rest rooms?

To deal with traffic problems, I recommend:
1. Increased use of highway signs,social media,shuttle transportation,towing of illegally parked vehicles and a referendum to determine if our citizens are interested in studying the possibility of a new road to reduce the traffic problems in Ward 1.

2. Additional Parking: With the current level of debt, it is unlikely the City will borrow money to fund a garage. Other possible solutions would include issuing a new request for proposal for I4C2 that required a parking component. While parking in the core of the shopping area is difficult, there is usually parking further out. A downtown shuttle might alleviate some of the problem.

3. The City should investigate the funding and purchase of a mobile public restroom trailer. These are available in many shapes and sizes and can be moved to any area where a large gathering is planned. These are not porta-potties and can be temporarily hooked to the sewer system.

Question 03
How can you make Gloucester more family-friendly?

A good start would be to increase the use of City Hall and other City properties for children’s activities. We need to consider the return of City sponsored Halloween parties and a First Night Celebration.

Question 04
How can you support businesses that are in the hospitality and cultural tourism industries?

Thanks to the many art groups in our City, we all have learned a lot in the last few weeks.

I support the additional of a City Cultural Coordinator, the creation of an City Arts and Cultural policy and will work to increase affordable housing for those in need.

Question 05
What are three things you would like to see happen in Gloucester to improve the visitor experience?

1. Continued City financial support of improved marketing techniques.

2. A targeted media program to improve the visibility of our off season events and activities. People visiting off season will enjoy their experience more because they are not confronted by heavy traffic.

3. During the summer, visitors enjoy our downtown events. Why limit the experience to a few days? Why not consider turning part of Main Street into an outdoor kiosk. Every shopping center has small vendor kiosks to enhance the shopping experience and to generate sales. We could create our own version.


Gloucester Welcoming Center Open House Thursday 5:30pm — YOU SHOULD BE THERE

So, you don’t think you benefit from tourists coming to Gloucester?  Well …. do you like: having a choice of world-class restaurants you can walk to; our extraordinarily hot music music scene in all kinds of venues, including schooners; guaranteed parking at some of the most gorgeous beaches anywhere on Earth all summer long for only $20; living among award-winning museums, studios & galleries, Broadway-quality theatre; a thriving cultural economy … I could go on and on … OR perhaps your an artists, musician, photographer, writer, actor, chef, carpenter, plumber, contractor, fitness instructor, diver, ship’s captain, etc … OR  you own or work in a hotel, restaurant, gallery, museum, boat, theatre, school or any retail store in Gloucester … or your business supports these people, like a lawyer, accountant, banker, realtor … Let’s face it, there’s really no business nor person in Gloucester who doesn’t benefit directly when tourists come here to share the City we all love.  So come to Stage Fort Park on Thursday and see what the good people who work so hard to make tourism possible do every day to make your life better!

Stage Fort Park Open House invite(2)

GloucesterCast With Peter and Vickie VanNess and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/16/14

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GloucesterCast With Peter and Vickie VanNess and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 4/16/14

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Topics Include: Gloucester MA, April 16 Snow, Peter VanNess, Vickie VanNess, Peter Lovasco Doing a Great Job With Cape Ann Weather, Bitstrips, Kevin Edson, Rice Cooker Hoax, Boston Strong, ACLU, Dog Leash Controversy, Bad Dog Owners,Beach Trash Barrels vs Carry In/Carry Out,  Larcom Theater, UU Meetinghouse, Henri Smith, Jon Butcher Axis, Celebrate Gloucester, Red Tape For Community Events, Castleberry Fairs, Block Party, Jackie Hardy, Tourism, Fun Should Not Be Illegal, Gran Prix of Gloucester, Cyclocross, I4C2, Downtown Parking Is Not Bad if You are Willing To Walk One Block (Which Is Less Walking You’ll Do If You Park In A Mall Parking Lot and Walk Into The Mall), People That Will Drive In Circles 20 Times Unless They Get A Parking Spot On Main St vs Parking On Rogers or Middle St, Stitcher App, Cross Platform, BossJock App, Email Subscription Service Is Broken, Explaining Hyperlinks, Sister Felicia, Shalin Liu, Embedding A Video, Get Her A Muzzle.
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Check Out Peter and Vickie At www.gimmelive.tv

The GloucesterCast Has Been Been Invited To Be A Station On Stitcher Radio On Demand!
Listen to Stitcher
Subscribe to The GloucesterCast Podcast by Email Free

Take advantage of Gloucester’s #1 tourism marketing asset for FREE

GloucesterMA

By now, everybody probably knows that the Web is the number one source of tourism information and referrals.  That’s why Tracey Muller and Jan Bordinaro, who started PR for Gloucester, organized a group of volunteers to save the City owned GloucesterMA.com from being turned off.  They asked Peter and me if we’d re-design the site to accomplish 4 major goals:

  1. Promote Gloucester’s authentic natural beauty, maritime & cultural heritage, food, music and arts.
  2. Build a database-driven engine and admin-system that empowers volunteers to ensure every Gloucester business is represented.
  3. Code the site in a way that helps to boost it’s search engine position.
  4. Make it work on a smartphone.

We agreed — and we donated our time along with many others to accomplish these goals.  Plus we added one more goal: promote the site.  For that we asked our good friend Joey C.  And what a job he did!  He gave us an ENTIRE WEEK of videos, podcasts and write ups!  I can’t imagine how he got any other work done that week.  THANKS JOEY.

Just in case anyone wonders, the City of Gloucester still owns, and has always owned, GloucesterMA.com.  The city of Gloucester offers the free listing as a public service.  GloucesterMA.com is managed by the volunteer group at no cost to the City.

It’s been just about a year since we launched.  Here’s what’s happening:

  • Traffic for 2011 was about 5 times the traffic for 2010.
  • The vast majority of traffic comes from Google & other search engines and nearly 80% of traffic is from new visitors.
  • GloucesterMA.com is the first or second search result for almost every search phrase containing the word “Gloucester”.
  • Percentage of mobile visitors shot up from 6% when we launched in March to 16% by the end of the year.

If your business serves travelers to Gloucester, you want to be sure your listing on GloucesterMA.com is up to date.  Notice the last bullet about smartphones?  In case you were wondering, smartphone usage is skyrocketing!  And if your phone number is on GloucesterMA.com, all smartphone users have to do is tap it and their phones will dial your number automatically!

So check www.GloucesterMA.com and be sure you’re listed.  If you’re not listed or your listing needs to be updated, click here:  and a volunteer will fix things as soon as we can.

Please remember, this is an all-volunteer effort to boost one of the three pillars of Gloucester’s economy.  We need your help to keep the information fresh and current.

Betcha Didn’t Know How Many Places There Are To Stay In Gloucester Did Ya? -GMG Gloucester Tourism 2011 Kick Off Week

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Here’s a poll, how many places do you think there are to stay overnight in Gloucester?

Well if you have guests coming in all you need to do is go to www.GloucesterMA.com for the handy reference list.

I was absolutely astounded at the sheer number of places there are to stay.

Is your local hotel, bed and breakfast or inn listed?  If not what the hell are you waiting for?  Fill out this business listing form to get in