19 Jan Governor Cuomo invests $13 million to bolster tourism in the North Country through new lodging
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Governor Cuomo invests $13 million to bolster tourism in the North Country through new lodging
Lake Placid, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is furthering his commitment to growing tourism in the North Country with the state’s investment of $13 million this year for the development of new lodging properties.
The 2019 New York State Executive Budget, released this week, includes $13 million in capital funding through the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) and the Upstate Revitalization Initiative to spur development of lodging in the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands regions. In addition, Empire State Development will commission a study to identify lodging development opportunities in those regions.
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) convened a lodging task force in 2017 to create a model for successful lodging development as a source of sustainable tourism, after identifying that there is a lack of full-service, modern lodging options that attracts today’s traveler.
“We made a strong case for making some significant funding available for hotel development in the North Country and once again Governor Cuomo has responded positively,” said Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the NCREDC. “It’s the latest example of his confidence in the strategies set by the REDC, and we are hopeful that this commitment will help to attract new, quality development proposals over the next couple of years so we can continue to build a quality future for our tourism economy.”
“Through the NCREDC, we have been activating tourism as a driver to diversify our economy and create demand to accelerate private investment,” said Anthony G. Collins, president of Clarkson University and co-chair of the council. “The governor’s commitment to invest in new and improved lodging across the region will further elevate global recognition of the North Country as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study.”
As reported in the annual State of the State earlier this month, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s investments in tourism, New York state has experienced unprecedented growth in visitation and tourism, resulting in an economic impact of almost $105 billion last year. For this growth to continue, the governor recognizes the need for full-service lodging. With the $13 million, grants will be made available to developers to incentivize building these types of properties.
Members of the NCREDC lodging task force are encouraged by the news.
“Encouraging investment in new and improved lodging has been consistently identified by stakeholders as a key to growing tourism jobs in the region,” said Gary DeYoung, director of the Thousand Islands International Tourism Council and co-chair of the NCREDC lodging task force. “The governor’s commitment to providing the tools needed to attract that investment will go a long way toward assuring tourism continues to be a growth industry in the Thousand Islands.”
“Through the NCREDC’s efforts over the last seven years, tourism has been identified as number one growth industry in the North Country,” said James McKenna, president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and co-chair of the NCREDC lodging task force. “We have the natural environment and attractions, but are lacking modern hospitality infrastructure. The governor’s leadership in identifying tourism as the number one economic driver in our region is the incentive needed to transform the North Country’s economy.”
“The Governor reaffirmed his commitment to the North Country, and the solutions he identified in yesterday’s budget briefing is exciting,” said William G. Farber, Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors and member of the NCREDC lodging task force. “One would think that after all we have accomplished together, this would become more anti-climactic, but success just never gets old. Lodging is a critical Adirondack/North Country need, so the Governor’s partnership on this issue is great news.”