Beehive, ECED combine for new tourism website

Category:  News
Monday, October 19th, 2020 at 2:41 PM
Beehive, ECED combine for new tourism website by Jenna Tupitza
Visitedinboropa.com

On Sept. 21, the Edinboro Community and Economic Development group (ECED) introduced visitedinboropa.com, a new regional tourism website, through a morning presentation at the Lakeside Beach Bar. The site was created through faculty and students at Edinboro’s Center for Branding and Strategic Communication (otherwise known as the Beehive).  

According to their Facebook page, ECED “is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing local businesses, promoting our regional assets and creating a local community we can be proud to call home.” 

“The purpose of the website is to increase tourism in the Edinboro area and to persuade individuals and families to come here to live and work,” said Dr. Tony Peyronel, executive director of entrepreneurial development at Edinboro’s Beehive. “This was a very large project for us. We had a team of about 10 students begin gathering content two summers ago.” 

Edinboro is a small city with many different local businesses to stop at, so somebody needed to “create a one-stop shop for everyone to be able to find out what they need from the community,” said Kevin Opple, borough manager for Edinboro, at the website reveal. 

Cassandra Reese, the Edinboro faculty member who would oversee the website design for the project, said, “This comprehensive resource catalogs all local businesses, services, restaurants/bars and accommodations supporting local tourism and for exploring all of the hidden gems within our community.” The design team also included Mackenzie Bracken, Erin Crowell, Abbey Valentine, Bryant Kay and faculty member Scott Gladd. 

“Professor Cass Reese and her design practicum class spent an entire semester developing the site. Professor Reese and Professor Chris Lantinen also both worked on it this summer and earlier this semester. All told, I would say there were a total of about 25 students and four faculty members who worked on the project over the two-year period,” said Peyronel.  

The website ended up at over 180 pages in size. On top of the design and branding for ECED, students took the photos, wrote the business bios and collected social media tags.  

“We had one summer where several students worked really, really hard to collect all this information. They — Shayma Musa, Dan McClune, Anisa Venner-Johnston, Keith Hepler, Aidan Graham and more — deserve all the credit,” said Chris Lantinen, podcast and social media specialist for the Beehive. “Lucas Hershelman also deserves a lot of credit, as he copy-edited all the business information with me.” 

This project is forever changing as businesses come and go, and new ideas come into play like the “gift certificate” section of the website, but the product had become complete enough for the team to step away and allow ECED to take control. Jason Spangenberg, finance director for the borough of Edinboro, will continue to keep it up-to-date. The borough recently introduced the gift certificate program.

For a small city like Edinboro, this is a big project and with an all-hands-on-deck, multi-year approach, there is now the “one stop shop” that Opple and ECED have been looking for. 

Jenna Tupitza is a staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com. 

Disclaimer: Chris Lantinen, the production manager for The Spectator, was interviewed for the piece.

Tags: eced, edinboro

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