Working at tourism

If you’ve driven across the length of Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania you may have noticed the signs informing you that at some point you have entered the area known as Pennsylvania Wilds.

It’s not as well-known as the Adirondacs, the Pocono Mountains or the Black Hills, but given time and the grass-roots work of those dedicated to promoting tourism in this broad swath of northern Pennsylvania, it just may be some day.

Some significant work along those lines will be honored next month by the Pennsylvania Wilds organization.

The Great Event Award will go to organizers of the Warren County Winterfest, which brings thousands of people out in freezing weather to enjoy it rather than avoid it. For several years the Winterfest at Chapman State Park has shown locals and visitors that all four seasons are a great time to take part in the outdoor recreation activities in Warren County, from cross-country skiing to ice fishing, with the lunacy of a polar plunge thrown in for entertainment.

When he’s not helping clients with investment opportunities with Northwest Bank, Joe Colosimo is more than likely thinking about new ways to get people out of doors.

While a love for the outdoors began when he was a child, the idea of some organized effort to get people hiking and mountain biking in the Allegheny National Forest was hatched when he was part of an early class of the Leadership Warren County program. His class of more than a dozen participants organized Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways, with Colosimo in a leadership role.

In the ensuing years, PKP has established a trail system from the Rimrock to the Kinzua Beach area, but they didn’t stop there, with plans still in place for expanding the trail system.

For his role, Pennsylvania Wilds is honoring him with its Outstanding Leader Award.

We don’t just talk about promoting tourism as an economic development tool in Warren County, we work at it.