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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Life in the Berkshires

We spoke to 1Berkshire’s Sr. Vice President of Tourism and Marketing Lindsey Schmid about her role promoting the Berkshires region in western Massachusetts, one of the country’s top travel destinations.


Lindsey, tell us about your career and how you came to your present role at 1Berkshire.

I went to middle school and high school in the Berkshires. When I left for college, I could have never foreseen how important this place would become for me again later in life. I got my BA in sociology from Skidmore College, and then lived and worked in Costa Rica for two years before moving to Washington, D.C. where I did PR and marketing for a restaurant group for several years. In 2002, I decided to make a change and moved to Colorado to get my MBA at the University of Denver. After an amazing eight years in Denver, where I worked for SCS Interactive, a company that designed and built water parks (I do miss the 300 days of sunshine and those huge mountains), I moved back to the Berkshires and took a job as Director of Marketing for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, which at the time was the regional tourism council for our region.

In June 2016, 1Berkshire was created via a merger of four county-wide economic development organizations: the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation; the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce; the Berkshire Visitors Bureau; and the Berkshire Creative Economy Council.  Around this time, I also assumed the role of Regional Tourism Council Director along with my other responsibilities. My position within 1Berkshire has continued to grow and expand and has led to where I am today as the Sr. VP of Tourism and Marketing. I also still enjoy the role of RTC Director.

Individuals practice yoga outdoors overlooking a vast mountain pass in the Berkshires

Recent MOTT statistics show a strong growth trajectory for the Berkshires hospitality and tourism industry since the pandemic. What is fueling that growth?  

Two words: outdoor recreation! COVID really showed us the importance of being able to access the outdoors, and in the Berkshires, our outdoor resources are just part of the fabric of our lives. Others from across the state and the country discovered this as well, which was reflected in our ad campaign during the pandemic: “Let the Berkshires Be Your Backyard.” Also, once people visit the Berkshires, they have a tendency to come back and discover more of what we have to offer beyond outdoor recreation. With 30 towns and 2 cities filled with world class culture, farm-fresh food, and myriad wellness options, you are never at a loss for something new to do. This has also meant we are seeing a younger demographic visiting, as well as an increase in year-round visitation.

Many visitors think of the Berkshires as an amazing outdoor paradise. But your region also has incredible cultural and culinary scenes too. How do you integrate those assets when branding the Berkshires?

We are lucky to have an embarrassment of riches in our region. The outdoors is an amazing asset for us and is the backdrop for so much more. Our cultural scene is really what sets us apart from many other rural destinations, and this is woven into most of our marketing messages. This really resonates with our older visitors, whereas the breweries and food experiences are a hook we use to tell the Berkshire story to a younger demographic. But ultimately it is all of our assets as a whole that make the Berkshires such a special place to visit and live.


The Berkshires is a perfect place to be in summer and fall when visitors take to the great outdoors. How do you promote the Berkshires in the ‘shoulder-season,’ from November through April?

The 1Berkshire marketing team spends the majority of its time and funds figuring out how to market the Berkshires in the shoulder season; we understand that this is where the growth potential lies. Our summers and falls are already so jam packed, with hotels running at almost 100% capacity, that during this time our work is more about destination management and less about marketing.

Our campaigns during the shoulder-season highlight all there is to do and see when visiting a year-round destination. The goal of our campaigns is to try to level the curve and increase visitation in the slower months, which ultimately helps the entire county and allows for a more varied visitor experience.

Autumn scenery in the Berkshires - multicolored trees along vast green fields and mountains.

Do you have any advice to visitors coming to the Berkshires for the first time, so that they’ll keep coming back?

Luckily, the Berkshires speaks for itself. But if I were pressed to make specific recommendations, I would respond differently depending on the season. In the summer months, I am all about getting in or on the water at one of our many lakes, and of course picnicking at Tanglewood. In the fall, I recommend finding fun ways to enjoy our spectacular foliage, whether that is by hiking, strolling the grounds at the Clark, or ziplining through the trees. In winter, my family loves to ski, so it’s all about getting on the slopes with friends and enjoying great meals together, which is a fun way to enjoy our snowy months. In the spring, one of my favorite activities is the Tulip Festival at Naumkeag, but if you were to ask my daughter, she is all about Hancock Shaker Village’s baby animals. Truly wherever you visit or wherever you look here #intheberkshires, you can find an activity that will suit you. I am  lucky to call this place home and to be able to work every day to promote and introduce this special place to travelers from all over the world.


Thank you, Lindsey.


To learn more about the Berkshires visit and to learn more about 1Berkshire visit