Abigail Field, who recently became the council’s executive director, said planning the annual publication’s redesign began in January after she started in her new role.
“This was my first guide and in looking at The Guide as someone who has done a fair amount of traveling, I tried to look at it from the perspective of ‘What will make this more useful and attractive to someone who’s never been here or someone who has just gotten here and doesn’t know the area?’” she recalled.
New to this year’s guide is more information about North Fork beaches, farms and local history.
It was also put together with a staple-binding format this time around in order to allow visitors to tear out the middle roadmap, which also lists all of The Guide’s advertisers.
In addition, there are sections on the following topics; beaches and trails; breweries and wineries; dining; essential services (ATMs, banks and post offices); history and museums; on the water; shopping; transportation; and farm stands.
“It’s one thing to have a box listing of a bunch of farmstands,” Field said. “It’s another to see just how many there are.”
The council has also changed its distribution. While there will be a heavy presence of The Guide on both the North and South forks, she said fewer will be in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Instead, more issues will be in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City — “places where we’re trying to recruit more overnight visitors,” she said.
During The Guide’s unveiling party Wednesday night at the Southold Town Visitors Center in Laurel, Supervisor Scott Russell praised the council’s tourism efforts and said he’s looking forward to another good season.
“The reason why we’re doing so well is because of the North Fork Promotion Council,” he said. “People know about the North Fork because of you and I thank you on behalf of all the businesses in Southold.”
Field said the council is planning to release a digital version of The Guide that includes links throughout the publication.
She said the council is looking for feedback on the redesign and plans to add more sections like art galleries and bike paths in future issues.
“We wanted to highlight the reasons people should be coming to the North Fork — what there is to appreciate here that sets us apart as a community,” she said.