Tourism | WAMC

Tourism

The former armory on Bannerman's Island
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Owned by New York state and maintained by the Bannerman Castle Trust, Bannerman’s Island is quite a sight for anyone riding the train past Beacon. There, on a 6.5-acre rocky island, stand the ruins of a Scottish castle in the Hudson Highlands. 

Main Street, Lake Placid, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Upstate New York has seen a migration of sorts caused by the pandemic, with evidence of people moving north out of the New York City area, in search of more space, the great outdoors, and a lower cost of living. The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is a destination marketing firm based in Lake Placid. ROOST recently partnered with EDC Warren County on a survey to try understand the impact of new year-round residents in the Adirondack Region. 

Rep. Elise Stefanik
Pat Bradley / WAMC

State travel restrictions and the closure of the U.S./Canada border during the coronavirus pandemic has put severe stresses on northern New York’s tourism industry.  New York’s 21st Congressional District spans the state’s northern region and straddles the border from Watertown to Lake Champlain. Representative Elise Stefanik recently held a virtual roundtable to discuss the pandemic’s impact and update the industry leaders on remedial actions in Washington.

U.S. Canada border crossing at Champlain-LaColle
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The border between the U.S. and Canada will remain closed to non-essential travelers until at least June 21st.  Northern New York border interests say the move is disappointing but not unexpected.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

An upscale travel magazine has listed the Adirondack region as a top travel location for 2019.  Those who promote the region are excited to see global recognition of the area.

Lake Placid fall foliage (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There are varying predictions of what to expect as we approach this year’s fall foliage season — a key tourism driver in the Northeast.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley checked in with a forester who has been studying Vermont’s trees for decades.

Craft beer is on the rise across the country, and New York has been near the center of the revolution. With now over 400 breweries across the state, New York is currently ranked 4th in the country for number of craft breweries. But craft beer is not about mass production; it is about passionate locals employing artisan skills to infuse the values of their community into flavorful and memorable brews.

In each half hour episode of the new PBS show, "Brewed in New York," hosts Matt and Maya travel to a different tourism region of the state, visiting craft breweries and learning how the unique geography, agriculture, and character of the region influences each brewery’s individual story and craft.

Daniel Swinton and Leanne Robinson-Maine are both producers and writers on the show -- which starts airing on WMHT on September 9.

A panel discussion was hosted by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
Lucas Willard / WAMC

One day before the start of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, members of the thoroughbred racing and tourism industries gathered in the Spa City to share their thoughts on the racing season.

The hundreds of tourism signs the Cuomo administration installed along New York's highways could wind up costing the state $14 million in federal funding.

New York officials are promoting wine trails now that the fall grape harvest has begun.

Lake Placid sign with snow
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lake Placid has been chosen to host the 2019 International Children’s Games and the 2021 Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships.  New York’s governor made the formal announcement over the weekend during an annual summer event in the Adirondacks.

New Hampshire welcome sign
Hollis1138/Public Domain/Wikimedia

New Hampshire tourism officials are anticipating 17 million visitors and $2.25 billion in visitor spending this summer, up 4 percent in both categories over last year.

Wikipedia.org

New York U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Northern New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, have announced the passage of a bill they say would save hours of delays at Northern Border crossings.

Pixabay/Public Domain

On Monday night, the House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Democratic Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont that would measure the economic impact of outdoor recreation.

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?

Obama Speech
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.

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