MONROE COUNTY– For decades, the iconic image of a Pocono vacation was a honeymoon couple soaking in a life-sized glass of bubbly.
In 2014, visitors are just as likely to be looking for a different kind of thrill, like the zipline at Camelback Mountain resort.
Shivam Desai is just 5 years old and is already hooked. “I was screaming like a baby, I was crying like a baby, and it was amazing,” said Desai.
On Friday, the changing face of Pocono tourism was featured in USA Today with an article titled, “We Still Love the Poconos.”
Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Public Relations manager Elizabeth Richards said articles by travel writers are important because many vacationers no longer use a travel agent. “Whether it is the big national stories, or the regional stories, we love the family bloggers, the moms who really have a huge reach,” said Richards.
Whether it is adventure-seeking families or foodies looking for local flavor, the message from the visitors bureau is that the area offers diverse experiences in a convenient location.
When she was a child, Tara Rainey of Milford, Connecticut vacationed with her family at a Pocono resort that closed. This year, she decided to treat her children to a Pennsylvania holiday.
“We used to go to Ocean City, Maryland every year, and decided after nine years that we wanted something different,” said Rainey.
2015 promises to be a big year for the area. Two brand new indoor water park resorts are scheduled to open.
At Camelback, construction is underway on “Aquatopia,” and a Wisconsin Dells import, “Kalahari Resort,” is also in the works.
The new resorts are expected to attract plenty of publicity.
” The Poconos will not necessarily just be the heart-shaped bathtub destination. It will give you a lot more of a family-oriented, indoor water park, hotel destination,” said Dru Brooks of Camelback Mountain Resort’s marketing department.
Tara Rainey’s son, Anthony, is sold.
“It’s gonna be cool, because it is an indoor water park, and that’s different,” said Anthony Rainey.