The Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce will launch a spring program on Zoom this week, designed to reconnect area businesses and residents.
“Coffee with Coop,” will debut at 9 a.m., Friday, March 19, with a presentation focused on tourism.
“We just decided to offer this as a way for our chamber members, but also community members, to connect ... and get caught up,” chamber Executive Director Tara Burke told The Daily Star on Thursday, March 11. “We thought it would be nice to provide people with an opportunity to catch up and see what some of these groups are doing.”
The first event in the series will focus on tourism during the coronavirus pandemic.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Tim Mead, Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum President and CEO Paul D’Ambrosio, The Glimmerglass Festival Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello and Destination Marketing Corporation of Otsego County Executive Director Cassandra Harrington will be part of the panel discussion.
Burke said the summer tourism season is “still uncertain because of COVID,” but she pointed to some signs of hope for the tourism attractions and the area businesses that depend on visitors.
“There is definitely some optimism,” she said.
Last year’s season was mostly canceled by the pandemic, including the Hall of Fame’s Classic game and induction, The Glimmerglass season of performances and the 13-week tournament schedules at the local baseball camps.
Although the Hall of Fame has already canceled the Classic, which was scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend, and shifted the July induction to an online event, some of the other tourism events are still scheduled. The Glimmerglass Festival has announced it will move its performances to an outdoor stage this summer. The two local baseball camps, Cooperstown Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary and Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, have announced they will hold their weekly tournaments, in accordance with state pandemic guidelines.
“I think the news out of the opera (Glimmerglass Festival) was exciting,” Burke said. “I think especially with the people that do accommodations, they were happy to hear that.”
A second Coffee with Coop event is scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday, April 22, and will feature Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Tommy Ibrahim talking about the One Bassett program, which seeks to reform and streamline operations in the five-hospital, eight-county system of health care facilities.
Several more programs will be booked and scheduled for the spring, Burke said.
Anyone who wants to be a part of the first program should email Burke at email@example.com or call 607-547-9983. A Zoom link to the event will be sent Wednesday, March 17, Burke said.
Greg Klein, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7218.