The discussion at the December meeting of the Greater Cape Ann Tourism Council confirmed what we’ve known for quite some time: the “off-season” is becoming a more exciting time for visitors to – and residents of – our communities.
In our December 16 meeting, we reviewed tourism activity in late fall and looked ahead to the holidays and winter season. Fall 2022 was an especially busy time for our tourism economy, with accommodations like the Cape Ann Motor Inn and the Blue Shutters reporting one of their best years ever – in part because of follow-on business from summer visitors. The council committed to building on the success of summer/fall 2022 and discussing cross-promotion plans in the year ahead.
The bulk of the conversations in our December meeting focused on upcoming holiday and winter 2023 events and activities. We discussed Ipswich’s Winter Ball plans, holiday activities at Castle Hill, events at Hammond Castle, Gloucester 400 year-end celebrations – as well as the return of the popular Winter Lights program and the traditional Cape Ann holiday happenings. All of this is a reminder of the reasons why the holiday season is becoming more popular with visitors to Cape Ann.
We reviewed what is becoming an increasingly “eventful” winter season, as evidenced by programs like Gloucester So Salty (January 21-22), Castle Hill’s Winter Concert Series and other activities at this popular Ipswich location, the January 28 Bruins Alumni game, and Winter Birding 2023, which will kick off in March.
We ended our December meeting with a discussion with our special guests from Essex, which recently received a grant to develop a program to drive business to the community during the off-season. We hope the Council’s discussions this month – and this meeting’s focus on fall, holiday and winter activities — gave our guests some ideas as they move forward with their plans.
We will continue our off-season focus in our next meeting, on January 20. We hope to have representatives from Gloucester 400 join us for an update on plans for the city’s year-long celebration, which we expect will include visitors to Cape Ann.
Anyone with an interest in Greater Cape Ann tourism is welcome to join us for our meeting in January and each month throughout the year. The Council meets on the third Friday of each month at the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offices. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join us or if you have any questions about our focus on supporting Cape Ann’s visitor-based economy by making our community a great place to visit.
Co-owner, Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
Chair, Tourism Council