Those of us that live in the Erie area, are lucky enough to enjoy Presque Isle State Park every day. For our out of town friends, though, coming to our home is an experience. One that the tourism industry in Erie does their best, to make it a memorable one.
"We only have one chance to make a first impression and we need to get it right because we know visitors love to go home from vacation and talk about the good, the bad and the awful," said John Oliver, CEO of VisitErie.
Tourism brings nearly one billion dollars in annually to the area. Oliver says that's in large part thanks to the "front line" employees.
"They're the ones who make the first impression, the lasting impression upon our visitors and really are the ones responsible for visitors having a great time and talking positively about Erie."
Maggie Zimmer and Kevin Mallin are just two of five employees that tourists throughout the summer commended for going above and beyond their line of work.
So what exactly do they do, to make these visitors feel at home while they're here?
"It just makes a big difference when you say 'hello' to them," said Mallin, who works security at Presque Isle Downs & Casino. "It makes them feel welcomed, makes them feel like they're wanted, that they're liked. And it gives them a warm atmosphere."
"Just being friendly to them, and making sure their stay is a good stay," said Zimmer, who works the front desk at LaQuinta Inn & Suites. "If they do have maybe a bad experience at a restaurant, we can tell them to go to this restaurant and try out this in Erie."
All showing that it's not just Erie's treasures that can leave a lasting impression.