Fort Ticonderoga has released the results of a study that shows the historic landmark at the southern tip of Lake Champlain generates $12.1 million annually in economic impact.
Officials from Fort Ticonderoga and the surrounding region announced the results of the study Thursday. It found that the 75,000 annual visitors to the fort support 151 regional jobs, representing $6.3 million in labor income. More than $2.5 million in annual tax revenue is generated. Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO Beth Hill calls the report a conservative approach to assessing the economic impact. “The one thing that really jumped out at me was that the tax revenue that we bring into the community through sales reduces the annual tax burden for every local household in Essex County by an estimated $73.28. And that’s such exciting news to bring it home to every single person in our county. And the dollars that our work here at Fort Ticonderoga and our perseverance and enthusiasm and drive to build a much greater experience not just for education but for the impact really touches every single household in our community.”
Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism president Jim McKenna is not surprised that the report shows the fort dominating the Ticonderoga region economy, calling it a “one of a kind anchor attraction.”
“There’s a real strategic plan in place now to make the fort more of a destination-type of facility and a year round destination and over the next seven to ten years I see this transforming into a year-round driver of economics for the region. They are looking at things like not only bringing in additional programming but they are also looking at all of the land that they have there and how they can add to our hospitality infrastructure.”
The report found that 85 percent of tourists said Fort Ticonderoga was the main reason they visited the area. Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matthew Courtright calls it a fantastic partner. “We’ve been working closely with the fort for several years now on really promoting the entire area. Obviously the fort is our largest attraction. They’ve been great about sending people to our local restaurants and working with our local lodging properties and really promoting what we have in the community both through their website, through printed materials that we provide them, through joint advertising efforts. So we’re working closely to insure that many of those visitors are supporting our local economy as far the businesses, lodging, retail restaurants.”
Earlier this summer, Fort Ticonderoga launched a $65 million capital campaign that includes construction of a national museum, restoration of the pavilion and fort and an endowment to support education and preservation efforts. Hill, the fort’s president, says the new study provides baseline data. “It shows the measured success and the impact we’re making and it also establishes Fort Ticonderoga as an anchor of our regional economy. And now we are in a position to absolutely catapult us and further develop this place here and most important insure that it’s here for posterity. A historic site, a museum, can’t stand still otherwise it loses traction just any other business. You know I think often cultural sites, historic sites, we focus so much on the long term impact for education and there really is a dollar value for these programs and experiences that we offer.”
The Fort Ticonderoga Association commissioned the Magellan Strategy Group in 2016 to conduct the study, which evaluated only spending connected with Fort Ticonderoga visits.