Thousand Islands Tourism Director Retiring Friday

Thousand Islands Tourism Director Retiring Friday

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Since 1997, Gary DeYoung has made a career showing off the best of what the Thousand Islands has to offer.

"It's a pretty big catalog," he said.

At the end of the week, DeYoung is retiring from his post as the tourism director for the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council.

These last few days have been filled with goodbyes to many of the people he has worked with over the years.

"I've had several of those kinds of meetings and so that's a little bittersweet. It's a good reminder that you've had a good job and a good working relationship with people," he said.

DeYoung says he's proud of a boost in hotel sales and tourism jobs that he's seen since he became tourism director 21 years ago.

He says he'll miss the many conferences and events he's attended where he could talk to people who weren't from here about their love of the area.

"That perspective is probably something a lot of north country people don't get 'cause you get that fabulous feedback from people who really love it here and have great impressions of our area," he said.

When DeYoung leaves, Corey Fram, the tourism council's marketing manager will take over.

For more than 10 years, he has watched DeYoung work.

"He did what he could every day to share this place with the whole world," said Fram.

Fram, who grew up in Alexandria Bay, will look to continue that work.

"He made this place his home and to know what he's done for this entire region over the last decade is really impressive, and as a resident, I'm really appreciative of it," said Fram.

DeYoung will retire a respected and humble leader.

"It's been a great partnership across communities, across private enterprises, you know, we did our part," he said.

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