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County Chamber hosts seminars for businesses looking to hook bass anglers

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Area business owners looking to hook the hordes of fishing enthusiasts expected to attend the Bassmaster Elite Tournament in August can learn tips to lure them in next month.

The St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is offering classes to help businesses better cater to anglers and the tourists who will come watch the action.

“We’re expecting thousands of visitors to our county in August,” Executive Chamber Director Patricia L. McKeown said. “People want to know about how this tournament is going to benefit the county. The chamber feels strongly that the way to maximize this golden opportunity is to provide as much information as possible to our businesses so they can capitalize on these opportunities.”

The classes will be hosted by Ruby J. Sprowls, a marketing specialist and customer service expert.

Mrs. Sprowls said the classes, titled “The Business of the Bassmasters,” will focus on what visiting anglers need, building good customer service, and developing a strong return-customer philosophy.

“For example, restaurants and gas stations might consider opening at 5 p.m. or earlier to accommodate anglers before check-in,” Mrs. Sprowls said.

The class will also cover entertaining their families, Mrs. Sprowls said.

“Many families will be searching for something to do for the several hours after check-in time and before weigh in,” she said. “They might want to go to spa, see some local sites or go shopping.”

The classes are open to all businesses in the area.

“The most important thing to think about is what the possibilities are,” Mrs. Sprowls said. “The north country is unique. We don’t have just one giant strip mall where the stores are congregated all in one area, so that will spill over to Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Canton and even Franklin County.”

The classes are scheduled 1 to 4 p.m. June 5, at the Dobisky Visitors Center, 100 Riverside Ave., Ogdensburg, from 1 to 4 p.m. June 12 in Potsdam at the Village of Potsdam Community Room, 18 Elm St., 2nd Floor, and from 1 to 4 p.m. June 19 in location yet to be determined in Massena.

Classes are limited to 25 people. Contact the chamber at 386-4000 to reserve a spot.

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