CBICC, CPCVB announce joint effort

STATE COLLEGE — The leaders of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Cen­tre County and the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau are working together to grow tourism and serve the economic needs in Centre County.

CBICC President and CEO Vern Squier and CPCVB Executive Director Fritz Smith said commercial air service and agritourism will be the focus of two newly formed committees. Both executives will serve as co-chairs of the respective groups.

Smith and Squier believe the timing is right to undertake a concerted, collaborative effort to capitalize on the opportunities both issues present.

“Agritourism efforts will be focused on highlighting our proud agricultural heritage, including providing more unique opportunities to attract visitors,” Smith said in a statement. “It makes sense for our organizations to explore ways to solidify existing successful agritourism ventures like the Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail, while searching for fresh approaches.”

Squier said retaining and promoting existing air service, in addition to working to add air travel options is another area in which there is mutual benefit to core constituencies.

“The ability to easily and efficiently travel to and from Centre County directly affects business, education and tourism,” Squier said in a statement.

“With the I-99/I-80 high-speed interchange ‘Drive Forward’ project, we’ve seen what can result from partnerships and collaboration. Add­ing a dedicated air service-focused committee to the transportation infrastructure conversation is a natural extension of this effort,” he said.

Squier and Smith said they look forward to the forthcoming dialogue as the organizations work to help craft a vision for both air service and agritourism in Centre County.