World class facility at the head of the Cumberland Valley
Written by Harry Zimbler for Progress & Industry Edition of the Bedford Gazette
Few regions — of any size — can boast they’re home to one of the nation’s premiere resorts. The Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa is a magnificent facility that sits majestically atop the Cumberland Valley. It is, without question or debate, one of the key attractions for Bedford County visitors.
The question that must be answered is this: How can Bedford and surrounding counties make the most of the marvelous beauty that so many struggled to return to its original grandeur?
Celebrating the history and modern amenities of the Omni Bedford Springs, is not enough. Much more can, and should, be done to make the most of the property. So, said Bill Leidholm, General Manager of the Omni Bedford Springs.
“I believe we need to be a bigger voice in how we drive business to the community and the region,” he stated. “We spend about $2 million in local marketing, and public relations to drive visitors to Downtown Bedford and the entire surrounding region. This does not include Omni brand marketing efforts in other areas,” Liedholm said.
“Omni Bedford Springs spends a great deal of its resources driving social media since its target groups look there first for information about the resort,” Liedholm noted. The Omni also uses a public relations agency to get the word out about all there is to offer in Bedford.
“We welcome more than 100,000 visitors to the Springs every year,” Liedholm explained. “And that’s just to our resort.”
According to Liedholm, Omni Bedford Springs Resort is both a springboard to attract new visitors and an anchor for Downtown Bedford.
Referring to the relationship the resort maintains with Downtown businesses he noted that, “it is not a one-way relationship. When small businesses thrive, we thrive. Visitors want dining and shopping options and things to do outside the resort as well,” he said.
A majority of businesses understand the nature of the relationship. Some are still coming to that understanding. “The resorts of today are not the resorts of yesterday,” said Liedholm. “Today’s guests want unique experiences, including within the local community”
In the first quarter of 2019, bookings at Omni Bedford Springs Resort were slower than expected due to the government shutdown.
“This summer will be strong and stable,” said Liedholm. Due to more citywide availability in Pittsburgh next year, 2020, Bedford County’s marketing strategies will need to be even more targeted in order to attract as much leisure and business travel and tourism as possible.