North Country Assemblyman Blankenbush, Gov. Cuomo discuss $4.5 million marketing plan to boost winter tourism in area
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 11:23 am

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, his wife Sheila, and his granddaughter Claire join Gov. Cuomo at an event on the importance of winter tourism to the North Country.

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R, Black River) joined Gov. Cuomo at the Ridgeview Inn in Lowville recently to announcing a $4.5 million marketing plan to boost winter tourism in the North Country.

At the event, the governor and Blankenbush praised the region’s excellence in winter tourism and participated in some snowmobile riding.

“The North Country is a prime spot to attract lovers of all winter activities. From hunting and ice fishing to skiing or snowmobiling, we truly have it all here,” said Blankenbush.

“In addition, we boast a community of residents and small business owners renowned for their hospitality and ability to welcome newcomers. I am pleased to see that $4.5 million will be spent on promoting the North Country’s best attributes to potential tourists. The increase in tourism this year alone has been great for both our communities and the state. With this new plan, we can do an even better job promoting the wealth of activities the North Country has to offer,” he said.

With the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) emphasizing the great potential of increased tourism throughout upstate New York, the plan put forth by the North Country REDC was selected as a top performer in the recent Economic Development plan awards.

In the past year tourism increased by 4.2 percent, or 8.8 million visitors, statewide. Overall, the tourism industry generated $7.7 billion in state and local taxes to help communities throughout New York. The state expects direct spending on tourism to reach over $61 billion.

This summer, Gov. Cuomo held various high-profile events to highlight locations in Upstate New York as world-class tourism destinations.

On July 21 and 22, the Governor hosted the first ever Adirondack Challenge, a two day festival with a whitewater challenge featuring the Governor, New York officials, and members of the media. On August 8, the Governor also attended the BassMasters Tournament in the Thousand Islands, which drew more than 34,100 people to the four day event.

There, he announced that the 2014 BassMaster Elite Series will return to New York in 2014, including the “Governor’s Challenge,” a fishing competition featuring the Governor, elected officials from New York State and some of the biggest names in professional fishing to highlight the state’s many fishing and vacation opportunities.