The Matthew Trombetta Tourism Partner of the Year Award is presented to the local tourism-based company, family or individual that best represents Licking County and tourism in a positive light, enhances local tourism and forms partnerships with other destinations in order to promote the greater good.
“It was a pleasure to award the 2012 Matthew Trombetta Partner in Tourism Award to the Dager Family, which owns Velvet Ice Cream,” said LCCVB Executive Director Dan Moder. “The Dagers, Velvet Ice Cream and Ye Olde Mill exemplify everything that is good about the tourism industry, not only in Licking County but around Ohio. Our community is greatly enriched by their presence and we wish them well as they begin their second century of being the premier ice cream maker and tourism partner in the state of Ohio,” Moder said.
The Tourism Partner of the Year Award was named for Matthew Trombetta after his passing. Trombetta was a driving force in Licking County tourism, serving on the LCCVB Board of Directors and as managing artistic director at Weathervane Playhouse. Trombetta is described as having been an inspiration to everyone who worked with him.
Velvet Ice Cream is located in Utica, Ohio, situated on the perfect combination of wooded countryside and rolling, pastoral farmland. A family-owned and operated business for nearly 100 years, Joseph Dager founded Velvet Ice Cream in 1914 and four generations of Dagers have since run the company. Velvet produces more than 5 million gallons of ice cream every year from its headquarters on the 25-acre grounds of Ye Olde Mill. Ye Olde Mill also houses an ice cream and milling museum, a restaurant, playground, picnic area and catch-and-release fish pond. Named by Frommer's as one of America’s 10 Best Ice Cream Factory Tours, Velvet's Ye Olde Mill welcomes 150,000 visitors each year for tours, tastings and events. The annual Ice Cream Festival (May 25-27, 2013), group tour experiences and school learning field trips are among the many draws to Ye Olde Mill, which is open to the public May 1-Oct. 31.