Ontario’s Superior Country will be relocating. Through a partnership with the Township of Red Rock, the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) will be moving from its current location in Nipigon and operating its headquarters out of the Red Rock Marina Interpretive Centre.
“We are thrilled to welcome Superior Country to the Township of Red Rock,” states Mayor Darquise Robinson. “Since the closure of our mill, tourism has been our major economic driver. So, to have Superior Country here, not only will it raise Red Rock’s profile with the touring public, but it’s also allowing us to keep the Marina Interpretive Centre open year-round. Which is key.”
Who is Superior Country?
Superior Country is the local DMO that represents and promotes the North of Superior region as a tourism destination. “Superior Country has been marketing the region since 1976,” says Dan Bevilacqua, Executive Director. “We depend on memberships and advertising revenues to remain operational. Through partnerships, we invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on advertising our region as a world-class tourism destination.”
Superior Country operates within four marketing pillars including Fish/Hunt, Touring, Nature/Adventure and Culture/Heritage, with the goal to increase visitation to the region by being a leader in the tourism industry.
One of their best-known endeavors is the promotion of the Lake Superior Circle Tour (LSCT) through their newly launched LSCT website and trip planning app. They also undertake the annual production of the Lake Superior Circle Tour Adventure Guide, 80,000 copies of which are distributed around the lake in both Canada and the United States.
Since 2020, Superior Country has also managed the Lake Superior North Shore Tourism (LSNST) Project, a three-year, $450,000 initiative focused on tourism product development. Through this project, a full-time team has been hired to support north shore communities from Silver Islet to Manitouwadge in the planning and development of product categories including Culinary, Group of Seven/Indigenous Group of Seven, Trails, Accommodations, Lake Superior Circle Tour, and Lake Superior Marine Access.
How Does Superior Country’s Move Benefit Red Rock?
“Our team consists of five full-time members,” states Bevilacqua. “We also hire two summer students through available funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program. We understand Red Rock will have their summer students working out of the Interpretive Centre too. So, we will provide support to them as needed.”
In addition, future internships and potential student volunteer and co-operative education opportunities may be available through Superior Country. “Our goal is to be able to deliver business experience and tourism skills to local youth,” says Bevilacqua. “Not only will this help prepare them for post-secondary education, but it also generates awareness of current and future business and career possibilities relating to tourism in Red Rock and the region.”
The significance of having the Interpretive Centre highlighted as the new LSCT Headquarters and Stamp Location does not go unnoticed to the Town of Red Rock. “That is huge,” explains Mayor Robinson. “The stamp program gets travelers to go to these specific locations to get their Adventure Guide stamped. Once you have all the stamps, that means you’ve completed the Circle Tour and you can submit it to the headquarters and receive a certificate of accomplishment. With our Interpretive Centre now being a stamp location, it will motivate more travelers to pull off the highway and visit our beautiful community.”
To further identify the Interpretive Centre as the LSCT headquarters, a new wayfinding kiosk will be updated and relocated from the Nipigon Tourist Information Centre to the Red Rock Marina. Other kiosks located at the Wawa Goose and Terry Fox Lookout will also be updated to showcase the Red Rock Marina Interpretive Centre as the LSCT Headquarters. Locals and visitors alike will be happy to note that bait will soon be available for purchase at the Interpretive Centre, supplied by Superior Country member, Lake Helen based Northshore Bait and Tackle. A Superior Picnics branded accessible picnic table will be installed at the marina through the North Shore Tourism Project. This initiative is happening in partnership with seven communities and eight food operators along the north shore. In Red Rock, a Superior Picnics special will be offered by Red Pebbles Café crafted with local, fresh ingredients from Red Rock based market garden Small Town Roots.
Superior Country can’t wait to see YOU!
The Superior Country staff look forward to meeting and collaborating with Red Rock businesses and community members.
“There is no doubt that Superior Country’s presence will have a positive impact on Red Rock,” exclaims Mayor Robinson. “Everything from just having the staff here in the community, shopping or ordering lunch, to keeping our Interpretive Centre open year-round, to offering more summer employment to our students, and of course, increasing tourist visits to our town. This is an incredible opportunity for Red Rock, and we look forward to welcoming Superior Country with open arms.”
On Wednesday June 15th from 5pm to 7pm, Superior Country will be hosting an open house drop-in to celebrate the establishment of their new headquarters. They invite community members and others from the region to come out to the Red Rock Marina Interpretive Centre to meet the Superior Country staff, tour the Centre, and enjoy complimentary BBQ and cake. Everyone is welcome!