13 Jan ROOST commentary following Governor Cuomo’s Recent Announcements
ROOST statement following the Governor’s address at the Plattsburgh International Airport on Jan. 23:
“Once again, the Governor has identified an issue that affects the economy of the region, and he’s addressing it head-on. Specifically, he has recognized that updating the on-mountain amenities at Gore and Whiteface will help our destinations to meet, and hopefully exceed our Northeast competition,” said James McKenna, president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.
“Given the unpredictable weather patterns, the Governor’s initiative on the zipline and coaster attractions will lead to a stronger year-round revenue stream for ORDA, and help support all of the venues under their management,” continued McKenna.
“More importantly, the resulting increased activity at Whiteface can drive private investment in the surrounding resort communities, especially in the hamlet of Wilmington.”
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) applauds the initiatives that Governor Cuomo identified in his 2017 State of the State on Jan. 12.
During his presentation on Wednesday, the Governor announced a number of program proposals, including several that will have a meaningful impact on the Adirondack North Country.
Plattsburgh International Airport
The North Country region has long been dependent on travelers who drive here from northeast markets. The increased investment and expansion of the Plattsburgh International Airport will make travel easier and more convenient for those from those feeder markets, and there will be better potential for direct flights from U.S. hubs. This, in addition to ongoing investment and improvements at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Harrietstown will play a key role in increasing charter, private jet, and consumer air traffic to the region.
“Successful airports lead to successful economies. Bravo, Governor,” said James McKenna, president of ROOST.
The Governor’s proposed 750-mile paved bike trail network will link Manhattan and western New York to the Lake Champlain corridor. “This proposed trail will expose even more people to the Lake Champlain region, which is some of the most beautiful landscape in the entire State,” said McKenna.
Following the completion of the Finch Pruyn land purchase, the Governor’s proposal for the resurrection of the former Frontier Town property in North Hudson as a Gateway to the Adirondacks is well-timed.
“The Gateway project will serve as an anchor and allow for growth in and around the 5 Towns that comprise the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub,” added McKenna. “This will provide first-time visitors with a terrific jumping off point to explore some of the most scenic wilderness in the region, and increase travel throughout the entire Adirondack North Country region.”
Many Adirondack North Country communities lack transportation linkages that most of today’s travelers take for granted. “Ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber are widely accepted and utilized modes of transportation in many areas of the world,” said McKenna. “The addition of ride sharing options will provide a much-needed service for both residents and travelers to our region, facilitating travel within and between the Adirondacks’ rural communities.”
Sustained tourism growth
In 2016, despite a slow weather-related start, the region has rebounded as a result of investment in warm-weather marketing programs. According to Smith Travel Report, lodging revenue was down 7 percent from January through March as compared to the same period in 2015. At the end of November, lodging revenue is now showing a 4.1 percent increase in revenue over 2015.
We have experienced ongoing sustained and continued growth: 2014 was up 5.2 percent over 2013; 2015 was up 4.6 percent over 2014; and through November 2016, we were up 4.1 percent over the same time period in 2015.
“The Governor’s leadership and new programs will be a game changer here in the Adirondacks,” said McKenna. “His continued promotion of tourism as an economic driver and increased investment through programs such as I Love New York and Market New York, have been a catalyst for significantly increased traveler activity throughout the region.”
ROOST is the accredited destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for promoting Essex County, Franklin County, Hamilton County, the Town of North Elba, the Town and Village of Tupper Lake, Harrietstown, Lake Placid, Piercefield, and Saranac Lake, New York to the traveling public. roostadk.com