The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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May 4, 2012

GOTL in 34th place in U.S. atlas contest

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE —  Forget Cleveland — Geneva-on-the-Lake is the Best Location in the Nation, according to Marge Milliken.

As director of the GOTL Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Milliken, along with village Councilman Don Woodward, are working hard to earn a place for Ohio’s first resort town in the Rand McNally Best of the Road contest.

The contest, online at bestoftheroad.com, collects votes for the best stops on America’s highways and byways. The 30 towns with the most online votes will get a visit from Rand McNally and USA TODAY judges to vie for the title of most beautiful, most patriotic, friendliest, most fun and best small town for food.

The goal, Woodward said, is to put GOTL on everyone’s road trip map.

“If we do well in the competition, it will simply legitimize what we already know — Geneva-on-the-Lake is one fun place,” he said.

The village was in 34th place on Thursday with 114 votes in four categories, the website reports, and is leading Ohio’s votes. Denton, Texas leads the contest with 840 reviews; Clarksville, Tenn. has 696 votes; and Bardstown, Ky. has 547 reviews. Voters can take the time to write short reviews of the village, from opinions on Eddie’s Grill to the lake to the festivals and events. Voters can also upload photos to inspire people to travel to the lake.

The final day to vote is May 15, Woodward said.

Woodward said the notoriety that comes with the Rand McNally distinction could bring more people down Lake Road and into the village, bumping the tourism industry and introducing people to the local eateries, wineries and festivals in the area.

“When someone sees something about Geneva-on-the-Lake they often say, ‘Hey, we’ve heard about Geneva-on-the-Lake, let’s check that out,’” he said.

Milliken agrees.

“We have families who have been vacationing at Geneva-on-the-Lake for four generations and sometimes those traditions start with someone hearing about this great little lakefront town that has amazing lake views and dynamite hot dogs,” she said.

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