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Laurel Highlands 2019 guide has new magazine format |

Laurel Highlands 2019 guide has new magazine format

Jeff Himler
Amber Hebenthal of Pleasant Unity took second place in the “People” category of the 2018 Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau photo contest with this image of an angler near Jones Mill Run Dam at Laurel Hill State Park.

The Laurel Highlands 2019 Destination Guide is a new size and a new style.

Produced by the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, this year’s annual tourism publication for Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties has arrived with smaller dimensions than past versions and with a shift in presentation from a directory-style resource to a magazine format.

In selecting article topics, “We sat down and looked at who had big anniversaries, who had innovative products and who made great stories,” said Anna Weltz, the bureau’s director of public relations.

The guide’s 72 pages may not be as wide as those published in previous years, but the bureau staff hope visitors will be attracted by “a more unique and a visually interesting size,” according to Kristin Ecker, senior director of marketing.

The guide includes extended feature articles focusing on local history, newer attractions and tourism entrepreneurs.

“It was a lot of fun to write it this way,” said Weltz. “In the past, we would have written smaller pieces.”

“Rebuilding it the Wright Way” introduces readers to Tom and Heather Papinchak, owners of Polymath Park in Mt. Pleasant Township, near Acme. The rustic grouping of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or his apprentice, Peter Berndtson, will grow to four this year with the planned opening to guests of the Mäntylä house, a Wright creation relocated from Cloquet, Minn.

The article recounts “the charmed path that has led them to creating this facility and this guest experience,” Weltz said of the Papinchaks.

Other articles include:

• “A Trip Down Memory Lane,” a look at the past era of travel on the Lincoln Highway and today’s Lincoln Highway Experience museum on Route 30 in Unity, recently expanded to house a restored diner and tourist cabin;

• “Making a Splash,” how Confluence natives Kara and John Weld launched the Immersion Research brand of paddling gear;

• “A Taste of Laurel Highlands History,” detailing the creation of Old Overholt whiskey at West Overton Village and the return of distilling operations a century later;

• “How Sweet It Is,” explaining the region’s history of maple sugaring and sharing a recipe for Burnt Sugar Cake.

Returning elements in the guide include a calendar of major festivals and events, a regional map and coupons.

The guide’s cover image is a view of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County. The publication also is illustrated with entries from the bureau’s 2018 photo contest.

Winning images from the contest appear in the publication, along with instructions for the 2019 contest, which has a July 31 submission deadline.

Beginning this week, copies of the 2019 guide will be placed at 85 regional brochure racks, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, VisitPittsburgh and Pennsylvania welcome centers and Laurel Highlands and Pennsylvania Turnpike visitors centers. They also will be distributed to tourism partner businesses and regional chambers of commerce.

A free copy of the guide may be ordered at the bureau’s website,, or by calling 724-238-5661, ext. 101.

Online visitors also may flip through a digital version of the guide.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Lifestyles | Travel
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