LONDONDERRY — Now, with just a click of a mouse, visitors to Londonderry can check out all the town has to offer.
VisitLondonderry.com is an interactive virtual commerce and visitors center founded and developed by Steve Young and Kathy Wagner.
"The center's website is designed to help both visitors and local businesses," Young said. "Visitors bring business and businesses bring visitors."
The website has been engaged in a soft opening since June, Young said.
"We are now ready to go public," he said. "Beginning Thursday, we'll have videos for visitors to the site to watch as well. We will change the sliders on the home page regularly."
The first one will show Mack's Apples cider being used by Moonlight Meadery to make mead, a honey-based wine. Future videos will showcase the Tupelo Music Hall, Barb's Brew Emporium, Londonderry schools and more.
Visitors can find information about each of the town's farms, sugarhouse, arts and entertainment venues, annual events, places to shop, eat and stay, museums and outdoor recreation facilities.
"It will be ever-changing," Young said.
Young and Wagner are already known for their website, londonderrynh.net, which posts hyper local news from contributing writers and columnists.
"The Commerce and Visitors Center is more focused on highlighting the assets of Londonderry," Young said. "So far, the people that visit, email and call have been from out of the community."
The website has a live support button. People can chat live between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Young said people are more connected by the Internet these days.
"I see them exploring places to visit more online than sitting in a physical space reading brochures," he said.
Young tested the QR code by putting up a poster of apples at Stonyfield Yogurt in the fall. People who utilized the code were shown a listing of farms in Londonderry and times for apple picking.
"It went well, and we'll be putting similar posters around town," he said.
One unique feature of the virtual visitor's center is that membership is not just limited to businesses.
"We have three individual membership levels as well," Young said. "Students can join for $12 a year and from that, may have a chance to intern with us to write for the site or produce videos."
Other individual memberships are at the $50 level and $150 level.
The town of Londonderry has a site, thriveinlondonderry.com, that is linked on the town's home page.
"This is for businesses and developers looking to relocate to Londonderry," said Andre Garron, community development director. "I see Steve and Kathy's site as complementary and we'll probably link the two at one point."
Garron said VisitLondonderry.com is for everyone "looking for something to do in Londonderry."
Young said he will approach the Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce for collaboration.
"We wanted to create a website that incorporated everything that is so wonderful about our town, and make it available to anyone interested in learning more," Wagner said. "Londonderry has so much to offer, and we felt we needed to get the word out."
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