Written by Laura Gallup
If you want to go where the locals hang, check out Destination FLX. Launched earlier this year, the website offers insider information on popular tourism spots as well as hidden gems. Whether you want to visit a small town like Trumansburg, a state park like Stonybrook or a winery like Fulkerson, DFLX has the details.
Founder Michael Mills realized the need for an FLX catch-all when he opened a Twitter account, @FLXregion, and within a few months had 500 followers. This got him thinking about the visitor resources available online, and what content was lacking. “There’s lots of places that say ‘If you want to go to a state park, here are the details.’ We want to help people know a little bit more about what that experience is going to be like.” Users can browse the site for recommendations or build an experience with drop-down menus for date, place and activity.
DFLX not only promotes regional businesses, but partners with them, too. They’ve teamed up to offer more tours with Experience! The Finger Lakes and created special events with local breweries. This September, along with Seven Story Brewing in Rochester, they will host the first “Clinton’s Folly Festival,” a celebration of fall, food trucks, beer and the Erie Canal.
And the events are just getting bigger and bigger. In April DFLX ran an online contest “FinalPourFLX.com” to rank the top beers in the region and gathered 30,000 votes in three weeks. They plan to run the beer bracket again in the future with the addition of a live event to announce the winners. The final four breweries in each bracket will make it to the festival, where the victor will be selected through tastings.
Mills hopes that more businesses around the area will jump on board his promotion train. “Our whole goal is to promote the Finger Lakes, no one is competition, the goal is to just get the word out there.”
Laura Gallup is the managing editor of Edible FLX as well as the marketing and events coordinator for the Ithaca Farmers Market. She grew up eating strawberries by the bucketful on her dad’s farm in Hector, NY.
This article originally appeared in the 2018 Wine Issue of the magazine.