Google selected a single business from New York to profile in its annual Economic Impact Report. For 2013, the global internet company picked The Wild Center, in Tupper Lake, citing the Center’s innovative use of the internet to expand its reach. The Wild Center, designed by the firm that built the Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., opened in 2006, and is one of the Adirondack region’s most popular attractions.
Howard Fish, who heads communications at The Wild Center, got the call from the Silicon Valley headquarters of Google asking if the Center would be okay with being New York’s profiled business. “Google had called us a few times already, and had sent a crew up to map the inside of the Center, so the call was not completely out of the blue, but we were still surprised when they told us that from all the businesses in the state, including the ones in Silicon Alley, they picked a venture in the Adirondacks to profile.”
According to the new impact report, Google helped provide more than $111 billion in economic activity for more than 1.5 million American businesses and non-profits in 2013.
Fish said that the Center has been awarded grants from Google to help increase its web traffic, and had visitors to its site in the last 90 days from more than 200 countries and from every province in Canada and every state in the U.S. “We get visitors to the Center from every state, and in a normal year from around 35 countries, and we know they’re exploring us online first,” said Fish, noting that the number of first-time visitors who say they learned about the Center online has jumped by more than 50 percent in the past year. “We have science-based movies that have been seen 50,000 times, and media shows and web pages about Adirondack subjects that are now being read and used by a global audience of tens of thousands of people from Google searches. We really feel like we have a global branch for the Center, and that reaching people who can’t always get the chance to know the Adirondacks in person is a fundamental part of our mission.”
The Google Economic Impact report and Wild Center profile is located online here.