Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C-Mohawk Valley and the Adirondacks) co-hosted a Tourism Task Force event at the Great Sacandaga Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 6 alongside Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) and Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R,C-Horicon), as well as Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) and Co-Chair of the Assembly Minority Tourism Task Force Assemblyman Brian Maher (R,C-Walden). There was a roundtable discussion and press conference which allowed the group to meet with local business owners, chambers of commerce and leaders to discuss tourism in upstate New York, and more importantly, how the state can assist in making it better.
“Wednesday was a very constructive day, and I hope we can have more days like it in the future so we can better support our upstate businesses,” said Smullen. “Holding these discussions where we can hear the concerns of business owners and local leaders will help us improve the tourism industry and promote opportunities for upstate communities for years to come. I thank all my fellow assembly members who joined me for these discussions, and I thank our upstate business owners and residents for coming out to voice the challenges they have faced over the years and the ideas they have proposed to the state to aid in helping their communities thrive.”
“Tourism is vital to the economy, which is why it’s imperative the state invests in all the regions around New York that make it so great, such as the Great Sacandaga Lake,” said Walsh. “By supporting and enhancing these unique destinations, we not only boost local economies but also showcase the incredible diversity and natural beauty of our state to visitors from near and far.”
“The Minority Tourism Task Force provides an excellent opportunity for us as legislators to actively engage and receive first-hand insights into the challenges small business owners and regional economies are facing. I was glad to sit in and participate in such a robust dialog. Thank you to the Historic Hotel Broadalbin for hosting our sit-down,” said Simpson.
“The conversation between local tourism leaders, elected officials and business owners at the Great Sacandaga Lake was fruitful and was another success in terms of addressing how to continue to bolster the tourism industry after the pandemic,” said Gray. “In this region, we identified areas for tourism improvement and will take local business concerns—including issues like cell phone reception, internet coverage, infrastructure, cost of operations and access to local beaches—to the state level for action.”
“We have some of the best natural and recreational sites in the country. The Great Sacandaga Lake is a beautiful site, and the Historic Hotel in Broadalbin is a highlight of hospitality in the region. It takes a lot of passion and care to be successful in the industry, and I am thankful Dave and Zoe Thompson were willing to talk with us,” said Maher, “There are so many insights we can learn from each tourism site and business in the state. I look forward to applying what we learn to develop recommendations in support of the tourism industry.”