Tourism

New York State

A federal audit says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration mismanaged $22 million spent to promote tourism in areas affected by three damaging storms.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Following the summer Adirondack Challenge in Indian Lake this past weekend, Governor Cuomo’s office issued a report on the impact tourism has on New York’s economy.  In the regional breakdown, the report found there was more than $1.3 billion in traveler spending in the Adirondack region in 2015.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The U.S. hospitality industry is reporting a decline in occupancy rates across the country over the past year.  Tourism officials in New York’s North Country region cite a snowless winter and unfavorable Canadian exchange rates for driving away winter sports enthusiasts.

Lake Placid Olympic skating rink
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Although it has been a mostly mild season, the third Adirondack Winter Challenge was held Sunday in Lake Placid.  The event was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to promote North Country winter tourism opportunities. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley checked out some of the activities.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Officials in Franklin County, New York are hoping this will be the year that they will be able to impose a new occupancy tax as the Assembly moves its proposal to the state Senate.

State lawmakers are expecting passage of a bill that would help establish a regional visitor center for the upper Hudson and Hoosic river valleys.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

  

Officials Thursday marked the first North American Meetings Industry Day by highlighting success at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

NY Governor's Office

It was something of an unusual sight this weekend: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo riding a snowmobile. During the Adirondack Winter Challenge in Lake Placid, he announced several initiatives to enhance the North Country economy.

wikipedia.org

It’s the peak of the summer vacation season, meaning thousands have flocked to the Berkshires. But where do year-round residents go to relax?

Lucas Willard / WAMC

President Obama paid a visit to Cooperstown Thursday. In a speech at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the nation’s most prominent White Sox fan focused on the importance of the travel and tourism economy. 

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Lake Placid was filled with state legislators, regional and local officials and their families Sunday. They had accepted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's challenge to try winter sports activities available in the North Country in order to showcase upstate recreational tourism opportunities.

Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages

Adirondack tourism interests have launched two new digital platforms to entice people to visit the region.

Mark Kurtz / Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival concludes this weekend with a parade through the village and fireworks above an ice palace. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at the importance of annual event to the village and surrounding Adirondack communities.

Last week, the New York Racing Association’s Board of Trustees voted 10-1 to raise admission fees at Belmont and Saratoga. General admission would raise from $3 to $5, and a seat in the clubhouse go from $5 to $8.

NYRA Board member Rick Violette said he thought it was possible the increase could keep some racing fans away, but it’s necessary.

“It’s never the right time to raise prices, it’s never a time to ask for more money – but we are running a business, and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and raise prices.”

Spirit of Springfield

A switch will be thrown at 5 this evening to illuminate the largest holiday light display in the Northeast.  Bright Nights in Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts is beginning its 19th year.  It is just one of several events and activities that will be produced during the next month by Spirit of Springfield.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the non-profit organization’s president Judy Matt

Lucas Willard / WAMC

National, state, and local officials gathered in the Saratoga County town of Northumberland today to mark the completed restoration of an historic bridge that connects a system of recreational trails.

The crowd gathered on the newly refurbished Dix Bridge spanning the Hudson River between Greenwich and Northumberland, connecting Washington and Saratoga Counties. The original structure was constructed in 1895, and since 2009 local organizations and municipalities have worked to transform the aging span into an accessible walkway open to pedestrians, cyclists and snowmobilers.

A Weekend of Events in the Berkshires

Sep 20, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Events across the Berkshires this weekend are garnering some national attention.

Charles Birnbaum is the president and founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Created in 1998, the organization aims to teach people how to identify and appreciate landscape and landscape architecture.

As the Labor Day weekend approaches, businesses in the Southern Adirondacks are preparing for one last hurrah for the summer season, and a transition to lead the months ahead. 

Labor Day weekend is traditionally seen as the end to the summer season. School starts and the large crowds disappear, but while many are hoping for a strong showing on one last long weekend under the sun, some are also looking ahead to the cooler months.

Recent reports show that the 2013 racing season at the Saratoga Race Course was facing lower levels of attendance over last year in the several days after its July 19th opening.

The Albany Times Union reported that on an opening day with temperatures above 90 degrees, track attendance was down 15 percent from the previous year’s opening day. The slump continued with the next day down 13 percent. On the first giveaway day, attendance was 7 percent below last year’s.

Sen. Warren Wraps Up Berkshire Visit

Aug 5, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wrapped up her trip across Massachusetts in the western part of the state today. The Democratic Senator’s visit included a tour of defense manufacturer General Dynamics’ site in Pittsfield. Senator Warren says the plant is making innovative gains in military manufacturing and research to save the country money while still keeping it safe.

7/10/13 - Panel

Jul 10, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, our News Man, Ray Graf, and the CEO of Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, NY – Philip Morris.

They discuss upstate tourism, the arts, and the impact of casino gaming in NYS.

    As thousands flock to Lake George each year to enjoy its pristine waters, perhaps few understand they have the members of the LGA to thank for those clean and clear waters. The Lake George Association is the leading citizen group responsible for conserving Lake George.

Never ones to let a teaching opportunity to pass, the Association has partnered with the Hyde Collection as part of their “My Summer Place” programming, they will be offering several “floating classrooms.”

The Floating Classroom with the Lake George Association will include a Hyde educator, and a teaching artist to learn about Lake George and the area where George O’Keeffe created her works. The program will include drawing lessons, one near the location of the Stieglitz property, as well as an up- close look at the water of Lake George.

To learn more about the LGA and their floating classrooms, we welcome Kristen Rohne, their Education Coordinator.

    For over a decade and a half, artist Georgia O’Keeffe would return to Lake George for the summer. She referred to it as “My Summer Place.”

For many families throughout the country, Lake George is their family place. It is a spot where families come year after year and others will discover it for the first time – this year.

Michael Consuelo is the executive director at Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce joins us this morning to discuss the impact this exhibition will have on tourism, what impact tourism will have on this exhibit as well as the overall role the chamber plays in the lure of the “Queen of American Lakes” and the surrounding region.

WAMC

A first ever collaborative effort is under way to jointly promote tourist attractions in the Berkshires and the greater  Springfield area in Massachusetts.

   A bus carrying two dozen people representing many of the top tourist attractions in western Massachusetts departed from the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield Tuesday morning bound for Pennsylvania.  The group has meetings scheduled over the next three days with 17 tour operators to sell the region as an ideal destination for group bus trips.

WAMC

A new initiative has been launched to bring more sporting events, and sports fans to western Massachusetts.

   A new division of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau- a sports commission- will focus on bringing events to locations throughout western Massachusetts. Visitors bureau president Mary Kay Wydra said they’ll bid for sporting events that have a high media profile, will fill hotel rooms, and have a significant economic impact.

  Two years after marriage equality arrived in the Empire State, New York State is poised to make a bid for gay vacationers, especially those seeking to hold weddings in the Hudson Valley.

The first-ever gay and lesbian tourism conference for New York State will take place at The Locust Grove estate in Poughkeepsie, NY on March 27. The conference will involve tourism groups from all over the state.

Joining us to tell us more are Rich Volo of the Hudson Pride Foundation, Michele Vennard, President and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Stephan Hengst Co-Founder of Big Gay Hudson Valley.

Photographer Dennis Curran / VermontVacation.com

A new report prepared for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing is showing  a resurgence in that sector with tourists visiting the state spending more.

The report shows that while the number of visitors to Vermont since 2009 increased 1-point-8 percent, visitor spending has jumped 19-point-4 percent.
Most of the increase in spending from the 14 million visitors to the state was for lodging and food.

WAMC

The city of Plattsburgh is deploying high technology information kiosks to enhance tourism opportunities in the city

City officials announced Wednesday that a network of walk-up touchscreen kiosks will be installed in the city.  

The PlattInfo screens will provide information in English and French on restaurants, shopping, venues, events and points of interest in the city.  

Mayor Don Kasprzak says Plattsburgh is one of the first cities to use such technology and it will be made available on the internet and mobile devices.  

ESE

The “Big E” has a new boss.  Eugene Cassidy is the new president and C-E-O of the Eastern States Exposition.  The organization has hosted the region’s largest agricultural fair and exposition on its grounds in West Springfield for 95 years.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul  Tuthill spoke with Cassidy about what makes the “ Big E” such a big draw through the decades.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is attempting to revive New York’s iconic ‘I Love New York’ tourism promotion campaign with some new ads.  The governor says the state not been aggressive enough in its promotions in recent years.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

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