Discover Sugar River Region is a nonprofit destination management organization (DMO) founded in 2022 and formed to enhance Sullivan County as a distinct, desirable destination in New Hampshire.
DMOs are the backbone of tourism destinations. They exist to market destinations, attract visitors, and develop a regional economy. They bring together government, civil and industry stakeholders for strategic and collaborative initiatives. Depending on the direction of the Board and the needs of the destination, DMOs can be responsible for anything from attracting sporting events to promoting local festivals, from hosting journalists to managing cooperative advertising opportunities.
Discover Sugar River Region serves to boost residents’ community pride and sense of place. It leads the management and marketing of the destination to attract day and overnight visitors for the purpose of enhancing the local economy and maximizing benefits for all stakeholders.
Discover Sugar River Region develops, promotes, and sustains our regional assets to create a thriving visitor economy and improving quality of life for all who live and visit here.
The Sugar River Region provides residents and visitors with an authentic New Hampshire experience through a diverse array of recreational, cultural, economic and agricultural opportunities.
Our Board of Directors, composed of nineteen (19) members, meets monthly to provide overall direction to the organization’s program of work. Officers serve one-year terms as voting members of the Board.
Chairperson – Elyse Crossman
Vice-Chair – Steve Smith
Treasurer – Derek Ferland
Secretary – Ashlee Rowley
Discover Sugar River Region was born out of the Regional Economic Profile work that Sullivan County and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (UNHCE) have led since 2017. From the first meetings, stakeholders recognized regional identity as an issue. Many participants struggled to define or describe Sullivan County and its sense of place. The LoveSullivan Project, a crowdsourced story map project, aimed to find out from residents of the county what makes the region so special. As residents uploaded photos and descriptions of their favorite places, the history, beauty, natural resources, and spirit of entrepreneurship in Sullivan County stood out. From that project and other engagements with focus groups around the county, the Sugar River Region brand was born. Sullivan County with UNHCE applied for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Opportunity Grant in spring of 2021, and the Sugar River Region Destination Development Initiative was selected from all other applicants in the state to be funded. The USDA, along with UNHCE management and County support, provided funds for technical assistance in the strategic and destination development planning. Solimar International, a sustainable tourism development firm, was hired to provide the technical assistance and produce project deliverables. The Initiative is guided by a 12-member destination council of local leaders who came together in 2021 as an appointed public body of Sullivan County government to define, develop, coordinate, and market the region’s assets to build a visitor economy and attract new residents and businesses.
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