Find your way!
The Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB) announces the installation of its new Morris County Wayfinding Signage Program for the Morristown area which was completed in October. The Pilot Area consists of 22 vehicular signs and two pedestrian kiosks which direct visitors and residents throughout four municipalities to distinctive recreational, cultural and historical attractions.
The planning phase for the project began in 2009 with a study by MERJE Designs. They delivered an extensive, 300-sign countywide system---signage styles, types and a location plan. With the support and financial assistance of the Morris County Park Commission and grant funding from the New Jersey State Division of Travel and Tourism and the New Jersey Historic Trust, the 24-sign Pilot Area was recently unveiled by the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders who also supported the project from the outset. The Pilot Area consists of two pedestrian kiosks, one in Morristown and one at Mennen Arena. The locations that are mentioned on the vehicular signs include: Acorn Hall, the Bickford Theatre, downtown Morristown, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Historic Speedwell, Mennen Arena, Morristown National Historical Park, the Morris Museum and Schuyler-Hamilton House
Leslie Bensley, executive director of the Morris County Tourism Bureau, said at the unveiling, “We are so pleased with the signage system. The design is clean, stylish and communicates our historic style all at once. Our fabricator/installer, Geograph Industries, did a professional job and were a pleasure to work with. Our partners at the County and Park Commission were equally fantastic.”
Amy Curry, executive director of the Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall, is pleased that her location is part of the Pilot Area. “Acorn Hall is now much easier to find, thanks for to Morris County Tourism Bureau’s new Wayfinding project! We thank Lesley Bensley for all her efforts”.
A Wayfinding System helps visitors understand and navigate a new area. When a visitor encounters the system with its unique branding, a positive first impression is formed and a “sense of place” is communicated. Driving visitation to the area destinations is a key goal for the MCTB.
The economic benefits of a Wayfinding Signage program are well documented. The signs direct visitors to places that provide local economic benefits, and when visitors can easily travel between points of interest their overall experience is improved. “Legible” cities are known to experience increased repeat visits to primary and secondary attractions by 30%.
Other local benefits identified include an increase in civic pride, reduction in confusing and distracting sign clutter, and a savings in gasoline with a reduction in idling and air pollution.
The Pilot Area is the first installation phase of a plan that was designed for the entire county by MERJE. Phases two and three are in development as the Tourism Bureau embarks on a three –year capital campaign to raise nearly $1 million to complete the program which requires 300+ more signs to be installed.
The Morris County Tourism Bureau is grateful to its partners in this endeavor: the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Morris County, the Morris County Park Commission and the mayors, administrators and township engineers of Morristown, Morris Plains, the Township of Hanover and the Township of Morris. Further, the representatives of the attractions mentioned previously were also instrumental in designing the pilot signs and approving the locations so that the pilot project could go forward.
To learn more about the project and its future expansion, contact the Morris County Tourism Bureau at 973-631-5151.