NNY businesses report strong tourist turnout for Memorial Day weekend

Lydia Maloney clears a table at Bella’s in Clayton. Warm weather has drawn large numbers to locations dependent on seasonal business. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Lydia Maloney clears a table at Bella’s in Clayton. Warm weather has drawn large numbers to locations dependent on seasonal business. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

On Memorial Day Monday, Melissa A. Ringer-Hardy said customer traffic was so high at her bistro, Bella’s, that she had trouble getting enough staff in place. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

DANC launches $2 million regional tourism loan fund to give industry boost

Hotels, marinas, wineries and recreational businesses now will have a chance to secure loans for tourism-related projects across the north country.

A $2 million regional tourism revolving loan fund was established Wednesday by the Development Authority of the North Country’s board of directors, thanks to state funding secured in 2012 by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. The regional council, which covers seven counties, designated DANC to serve as the administrator of the loan. Low-interest loans will be funded up to $250,000.

The funding was applied for by the regional council’s tourism work group, which is comprised of about 20 tourism directors and municipal officials. [Read more…]

Lower exchange rate will not scare Canadian shoppers, tourism director says

Watertown Daily Times

The Canadian dollar has dipped to 95 cents against the U.S. dollar, the lowest exchange rate for the loonie since November 2011, but that is not expected to hurt north country businesses catering to Canadian shoppers.

A lower exchange rate might cause a small reduction in Canadian traffic to the north country, said Gary S. DeYoung, executive director of the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council. [Read more…]

Tourism helps transform region

Thousand Islands International Tourism Council Director Gary S. DeYoung. Norm Johnston/ NNY Business

Is tourism an essential part of transforming the north country economy? When the North Country Regional Economic Development Council created its development plan in 2011, it titled it “Transformational.”

The plan looks to implement projects that transform the north country’s economy into one that works in the 21st century and tourism was identified as an important part of the mix.

That’s not surprising in a region that includes the Adirondacks and 1000 Islands. What is interesting is the way tourism was included. One of the visions in the North Country Economic Development Council’s plan is to “Activate tourism as a driver to diversify our economies.” The idea is that tourism is not an end to itself. It is not an industry separate from other business activity. In this vision, one of the most important things about tourism is that it can be used to build communities that are more livable and, therefore, more competitive in attracting other types of business. [Read more…]

Marketing NNY’s best-kept secrets

TI tourism director Gary S. DeYoung confident region will continue to attract

With all its natural splendor, many people say the north country is a best-kept secret. Since 1997, Wisconsin native Gary S. DeYoung has worked to share some of the secrets that attract thousands each year to the region’s fresh waterways and unspoiled assets. We sat down with Mr. DeYoung to talk about a part of NNY’s economy that, despite a slow-paced national economic recovery, is a bright spot.

[Read more…]