January 2016 Cover Story: Economic Outlook

Slow and steady
growth wins the race

OUTLOOK 2016 / MILITARY: A soldier salutes during the presentation of the colors last year in an activation ceremony for the 10th Mountain Division Divarty. As the post avoided major cuts in 2015, Fort Drum officials remain positive that 2016 will be a healthy year for one of region’s top economic sectors. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

OUTLOOK 2016 / MILITARY: A soldier salutes during the presentation of the colors last year in an activation ceremony for the 10th Mountain Division Divarty. As the post avoided major cuts in 2015, Fort Drum officials remain positive that 2016 will be a healthy year for one of region’s top economic sectors. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Despite a few challenges, experts say the region is on pace for a positive year in 2016. Six sectors of the north country’s economy are ripe with opportunities for growth.

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

A grim fate cast a pall over the north country in early 2015, as federal budget sequestration threatened to cut up to 16,000 personnel from Fort Drum in an effort by the army to trim its active duty force from 490,000 to 450,000 by fiscal year 2017. [Read more…]

September 2015 Cover Story: Youth Sports

A competitive growth industry

The Watertown Giants get pumped up before their Pop Warner football game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown, August 29, 2015. Photo by Coty Giannelli, NNY Business.

The Watertown Giants get pumped up before their Pop Warner football game at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds in Watertown, August 29, 2015. Photo by Coty Giannelli, NNY Business.

As participation in youth sport multiplies, businesses, organizers see new opportunities for positive regional economic activity

By Ken Eysaman, NNY Business editor [Read more…]

June 2015 Cover Story: Tourism

Creating new tourism opportunities around natural resources

Kate Montgomery, Rome, won the grand prize in the 2014 Camping Photo Contest with her submission of a starry night at Keewaydin State Park outside Alexandria Bay. The contest, sponsored by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation, showcased New York’s scenic outdoors. Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation/Department of Environmental Conservation.

Kate Montgomery, Rome, won the grand prize in the 2014 Camping Photo Contest with her submission of a starry night at Keewaydin State Park outside Alexandria Bay. The contest, sponsored by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation, showcased New York’s scenic outdoors.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation/Department of Environmental Conservation.

Despite a falling Canadian dollar and a dip in cross-border visits to Northern New York, officials are working to market the region’s strengths, including its hundreds of miles of lakes and rivers and seemingly infinite number of outdoor recreation activities.

By Norah Machia, NNY Business [Read more…]

June 2015: Guest Essay

Developing local tourism products

Guest writer Gary DeYoung

Guest writer Gary DeYoung

As a destination marketing organizations, the task Thousand Islands International Tourism Council is to market the region as a visitor destination. The postcard scenery of the Thousand Islands, its historic character, its rural charm, its recreational opportunities are all attributes have long been used to draw visitors who spend money. In the end, money is what tourism about. It is not about simply drawing visitors, it is about drawing the money they spend while visiting. How do you monetize the St. Lawrence River? How do you cash in on history? How does fishing on Lake Ontario translate into local jobs? [Read more…]

Loonie likely to stay weak, slowing Canadian shopping in NNY

WATERTOWN — Jeremy S. Askins, manager of J.C. Penney in Salmon Run Mall, said he’s noticed Canadians are making fewer cross-border trips this year to his store. [Read more…]

Economic Outlook 2015

The long road to recovery is less bumpy

Signs of a still-strengthening economy are starting to percolate as new opportunities across the region are born


Now that the country seems to be making its way out of the Great Recession, most sectors of the economy across the board and across the north country seem to be on an upswing for the coming year.

“If I had to pick a best bet – agriculture,” said Gregory A. Gardner, an assistant professor of business at SUNY Potsdam and a regional authority on Northern New York’s economy. “Especially the wineries and nondairy areas of agriculture. It has the strongest growth rate.”

Mr. Gardner also listed retail, construction and health care as sectors we can expect to see on an uptick, while retail and hospitality have tempered down.

“If I had any sort of bad news, it would be that the U.S. dollar is going to stay very strong, or get even stronger, through 2015,” he said. “That’s going to slow Canadian sales.”

The real wild card will be the military, the one sector dealing the highest impact to the rest.

“If they do move troops out of Fort Drum, that’s going to hurt our economy pretty much across the board,” he said. “There’s a ripple effect. It doesn’t just touch businesses that sell to Fort Drum, but businesses that sell to businesses that sell to Fort Drum. It would ripple through virtually every sector of our economy.” [Read more…]

Business Briefcase – January 2013

T.I. businesses cite confidence in tourism

Survey says: Optimism among Thousand Islands-area business is growing.

According to a recent survey on tourism, gathered by the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council 65 percent of U.S. and Canadian business owners predicted that the tourism industry would improve over the next five years; only 8 percent anticipated a decline.

Findings were based on 170 “usable” responses from business owners. Forty-seven percent of respondents predicted an improvement, 36 percent believed the status quo would prevail and 12 percent had a negative outlook on growth of the Thousand Islands region. [Read more…]