My name is Carl Wilgus and I am the new Executive Director of the PMVB. I've been here since the first of the year having relocated from Boise, Idaho where I was the state tourism director of 20 years. Prior to that I spent 13 years in Sun Valley with the Sun Valley Resort having worked for the Sun Valley Company in various capacities from ski instructor, winter sales manager, public relations director to assistant marketing director. My relocation to the Pocono Mountains was driven by the business potential and a lifestyle opportunity. I have started this blog with two goals in mind. First, to share with readers my thoughts and impressions over the next several months as I travel around the Carbon, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne County area becoming acquainted with this part of the state I now call home. Secondly, to ask your assistance in directing me to those things I should see and experience in the Pocono Mountains. I'm especially interested in activities, attractions and places to dine.
I must admit that in many ways the Pocono Mountains remind me of the Panhandle of Northern Idaho. The climate is similar. In Idaho they say "if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change." I must admit it appears to change even quicker in the Pocono Mountains. The highway systems even appear similar. Lots of state, and county roads intersected by an interstate. The Panhandle of Idaho is boarded by two states, Washington and Montana, not unlike your relationship with New York, and New Jersey. Even the attractions both natural and man-made are very similar. So too are the accommodations. All in all while it may seem a very different world, Northern Idaho and Northeast Pennsylvania have a lot in common.
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of going ATV riding at The Inn at Pocono Manor with Adventure Tours. It was a clear but cold day. This was only my second time riding ATV's, but since I have had considerable experience on snowmobiles, I felt comfortable with my knowledge of the equipment and ability to handle it. I was joined on the ride with the VP of Operations for The Inn, Michael Ramos, his wife and two boys along with three guests from South Korea who were in the area for the weekend skiing at Camelback. It turned out to be a delightful ride. Our guide gave a brief explanation on the operation of the equipment and answered all our questions. Then it was off for a 5 minute ride through an obstacle course to make sure we had all the necessary skills to operate the equipment safely. That done we headed out for an hour ride around the Inn's property, through the woods, across streams, even up and down an abandoned ski hill. Everything was done in a safe and controlled environment with a well qualified guide. All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and I would recommend it to anyone. If you are a hard core rider however and like to really get after it, this tour probably isn't for you.
This weekend I'll be in Washington DC representing the Pocono Mountains at the Washington Golf Show and then on Sunday I'll be joining staff at the Harrisburg Sportsman's Show. I should hopefully return with a much richer sense of what others think of the Pocono Mountains for a variety of recreational interests. Again, I'd like to hear what you all think as well. So long for now. CW