DestinationFLX is an online and real-world platform helping tourists learn about and visit the Finger Lakes (New York) region through exclusive curated content, experiences and a marketplace. The online platform informs customers about the latest regional tourism news; recommends places to eat, stay, drink, and things to do; and provides a marketplace for regional artisans and DestinationFLX merchandise. The real-world activation includes curated events like tastings, hikes, ski trips, water outings and other unique interactions with the Finger Lakes.
We built DestinationFLX and this web platform to promote the Finger Lakes region, its services, artisans and wonders – free of charge to those people and places profiled. We also wanted to curate special events that allow people to intimately experience our favorite things in the region. We launched a van tour to provide more tailored experiences than the “drink ‘til you drop” crawls that are pervasive. And lastly, we are spending a lot of time in Rochester, bringing the “FLX” to residents in the economic region’s “government seat.” That took the shape of a shop in Pittsford to promote vendors, and an increasing number of Rochester-based events to showcase the best of the FLX for the city’s nearly one million people.
Michael P. Mills has been connecting people, and promoting products and ideas in a 20-plus year career that includes work in politics, nonprofits, PR agencies, and corporate public affairs and social responsibility. He came up with the idea for DestinationFLX upon moving back to the Finger Lakes after spending 19 years in his adopted home of Atlanta, Georgia. Mills grew-up in Rochester, attended (and played hockey at) Hobart College but moved to Atlanta for graduate school.
A woman brought him back to Geneva, and in helping to plan their wedding it became clear that the Finger Lakes had so much to offer but it was difficult to find vendors, things to do, places to stay and eat. A seed was planted for this business. And a desire to deploy his PR and people-connecting skills to promote the Finger Lakes encouraged Mills to launch a platform that provided a chance to work more closely with local agritourism entrepreneurs in this pursuit.
Not to mention, Mills loves getting outdoors, trying new restaurants, listening to live music, and tasting the fine wines, spirits and beers from across the region. He’s amazed those pursuits are now a career! Follow Mills and @FLXRegion for the latest #FLX news, activity ideas and reviews. And if you’re lucky, he just might be the enthusiastic driver behind the wheel of Billie Jean for one of our “Come Aboard” tasting tours – likely playing a specially crafted Spotify list, which is what one does if they previously owned a record label and love to pick the right song to set the mood!
John Wilson, Contributor/Outsider Insider/Brainstorms better with beer
John Wilson is a young professional honing his talents as part of the DestinationFLX team, and brings growing experience in content development, and event planning and execution. This Florida State University alum enjoys brainstorming new ideas for promoting the Finger Lakes and its businesses to the rest of New York, and consumers all across the country.
Though based in Atlanta, John does enjoy hopping on a two-hour flight and visiting the Finger Lakes region for “work” as much as possible. Having first visited the Finger Lakes for Michael’s (DFLX’s founder) wedding in May 2016, John has returned several times for trips to Cayuga, Keuka, Seneca, and Owasco lakes. Raised in rural Georgia, and a fan of rural America in general, John feels right at home when he is in the Finger Lakes.
John enjoys incorporating his interests of sports, the outdoors, and adult beverages into his projects with DestinationFLX. When “field research” includes tastings, museum visits, and other activities, can it even be considered work?