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NIANTIC NAMED FIRST-EVER FAN-FAVORITE STILL REVOLUTIONARY TOWN OF THE YEAR

NIANTIC NAMED FIRST-EVER FAN-FAVORITE STILL REVOLUTIONARY TOWN OF THE YEAR
Village of less than 4,000 Commands Top Spot from Residents and Visitors

(Hartford, CT) May 21, 2013 – Today the Connecticut Office of Tourism announced that the public has named Niantic the first-ever Fan-Favorite still revolutionary Town of the Year. Niantic, a Connecticut village located along the shore of the Long Island Sound, mobilized passionate residents and visitors and earned more votes than any other town, village, city or borough across the state. The second-annual Fan-Favorite social media program generated significant participation from Connecticut residents, as well as New York, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and more, each who rallied to honor their favorite Connecticut town and place. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina was voted the favorite destination within Niantic.

A video, created by Grace, a coastal lifestyle store in Niantic, helped generate the necessary results to win the honor. Featuring more than 34 businesses, destinations and attractions within the town, as well as countless residents, business owners, the First Selectman, little league team and more, the video captured the hearts of the community and propelled Niantic to number one.

“Niantic is a perfect example of what it means to be still revolutionary. From The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, to Grace, it is a place that inspires residents and visitors alike. For this program, they took up the charge and mobilized the masses to vote, creating a movement both on and offline - ultimately elevating this hidden gem to the national stage,” said Randy Fiveash, Director of Tourism. “Our goal is to continue to engage Connecticut residents, visitors and businesses in the evolution of still revolutionary, a brand they helped create, with programs that celebrate what it means to be revolutionary.”

Niantic was honored today by Governor Malloy and the Office of Tourism during Connecticut’s Annual Conference on Tourism.  To celebrate the winning town, the Office of Tourism will create a promotional video of Niantic that will feature the unique, inspirational and innovative places in the community. The video will be promoted online and across the Office of Tourism’s social channels, as well as shared with town leaders to use for additional tourism and economic development promotional purposes. Niantic will also be featured in the 2014 Connecticut Visitor’s Guide and receive widespread public relations and social support, along with bragging rights for all of 2013.

“Being chosen as the Fan-Favorite still revolutionary Town of the Year is an honor for all the members of the Niantic community because we truly believe we’ve got that one thing that no one other place has,” said Paul Formica, First Selectman, East Lyme.  “Winning the title of Fan-Favorite is a testament to the revolutionary spirit that is very much a part of this community – we’re so excited that we will have the opportunity to show and tell more people about how wonderful it is to live, work and vacation here.”

The nine runner up towns include diverse places from all corners of the state, including Mystic, New Haven, Putnam, Old Saybrook, Essex, Wethersfield, Hartford, New London and Wallingford.

Top destinations that were spotlighted throughout the program include Mystic Aquarium, New Haven Green, Flying Carpet Studio in Putnam and Luigi’s Restaurant in Old Saybrook – among many others.

The socially-driven Connecticut Fan-Favorite: Town program asked people to vote for the Connecticut town that they believe most embodies the spirit of the state’s brand, still revolutionary – by being a home for original ideas, inspiration and innovation. Participants also had the opportunity to vote for the business, destination or attraction within that town that inspires them.  Nearly 10,000 votes were cast over a four week period.

Consumers were automatically entered to win a grand prize getaway to the Connecticut River Valley, packed with special stops in some of Connecticut’s most charming towns - including Essex, Old Lyme, Chester and East Haddam. The winner will receive a two-night stay and dinner for two at the historic Griswold Inn in Essex, a two-night stay and dinner at the Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme, free entry for two to the Gillette Castle in East Haddam, a $50 gift card to use at Pattaconk Bar & Grille in Chester and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

For more information on Connecticut’s revolutionary past and present, upcoming events, 52 getaway ideas and travel deals, visit www.CTvisit.com.  Connect through social media by becoming a fan/follower via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

About still revolutionary
In 2012, Connecticut created and launched a new state brand after having been out of the market for two years. In seven months, the award-winning campaign generated an estimated $161 million in tourism spending during spring/summer, which delivered enough tax revenue to pay for the initial investment. Since launching the campaign, major tourism attractions saw a 6.68% increase in visitation and the state generated a revitalization of its social hub for tourism, the Visit Connecticut Facebook page – which is now consistently ranked among the top 10 state pages in the country.

About The Connecticut Office of Tourism
Connecticut’s Office of Tourism (COT), a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development, created the award-winning still revolutionary strategic marketing initiative to build pride among residents and bolster the state’s reputation as a business and tourism destination. Connecticut is home to fine dining and entertainment, serene beaches and hiking trails, historic treasures and world class lodging and museums. To obtain more information about Connecticut tourism or plan your next getaway, visit www.CTvisit.com or call 1-888-CTvisit.

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For Immediate Release: May 21, 2013

Contact:
Rena Calcaterra, Tourism Division
Connecticut Office of Tourism
Phone: 860-256-2744
Email: rena.calcaterra@ct.gov