There was snow in the air yesterday, but today the sun is shining and I am almost convinced that spring will actually come this year. I attended Vermont’s annual tourism and hospitality conference, VTIC, last week where the air was electric with excitement for the upcoming Vermont summer travel season. Each year I enjoy gathering with my colleagues from across the state and attending workshops where I learn the latest about travel trends, technology changes and best practices in the hospitality field.
Something new that Rock of Ages is offering this year is a service called “Guide by Cell”. We are partnering with nearby Hope Cemetery, the former drama teacher of Spaulding High School Ilene Gillander and some local dramatists to bring you “Monuments Come Alive”.
Each incredible memorial at Hope Cemetery has an equally incredible story behind it. Now a tour of Hope will become a fest for the eyes and the ears with our Guide by Cell tour. Visitors are directed by a map to memorials of interest at Hope. A photo of the memorial appears on the map with a text code. A visitor texts the code on her/his phone and voila, the dramatist’s voice is heard, recounting the “story behind the stone”, enriched by music composed by local music teacher and musician Arthur Zorn.
I am excited that we are able to offer this great new experience to our visitors this season. The snows, they are abatin’ and we’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of tardy spring. We hope you’ll check out the new “Monuments Come Alive” tour this season. The map, still under design and production, will be available for sale by late June.
Todd Paton has more than 20 years of experience working in the Vermont tourism industry. Currently the Director of Visitor Services for Rock of Ages, one of Vermont's oldest, continuously operating attractions, he has served on the board of directors of the Central Vermont Chamber and the Vermont Hospitality Council. He is an active member of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Tourism etwork. He is a past Chair and current member of the board of directors of Vermont Attractions ssociation, a consortium of Vermont attractions established in 1956 to promote the highest standards of hospitality among Vermont's tourism-related properties.