Welcome Center Along Adirondack Northway in Warren County to Promote State's Booming Tourism Industry as well as Local Attractions, Food and Beverages, and Historic Destinations
Welcome Center Scheduled to Open in Fall 2018
Renderings of the Adirondack Welcome Center Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction has begun on the Adirondack Welcome Center along the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in Queensbury, Warren County. The state-of-the-art Welcome Center, once operational, will support the Governor's commitment to growing regional economies through the state's booming tourism industry, while supporting local businesses and enhancing the state's agricultural sector. The Welcome Center is expected to open fall 2018.
"New York's Adirondack Region is one the state's great treasures, offering travelers world-class attractions year-round," Governor Cuomo said. "The new Adirondack Welcome Center will greet millions of people who travel the Northway each year and will serve as the gateway to the beautiful Adirondack Park."
New York's tourism industry generates an economic impact of more than $100 billion per year. The Adirondack Welcome Center will serve as a gateway to the Adirondack region and the communities that keep the economy going, while highlighting regionally-specific attractions linked to the history and natural beauty of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected park in the contiguous United States.
The Adirondack Welcome Center will combine two existing structures at the current rest area located just north of the Hudson River. The new 8,615 square-foot, LEED certifiable building will feature a classic Adirondack theme, expanded parking, as well as a boat inspection and washing station for boating enthusiasts to help prevent the spread of invasive species. The Welcome Center will also feature food and beverages made in New York through vending options under the Taste NY brand, as well as an Adirondacks Walk of Fame.
I LOVE NY interactive kiosks will showcase locally-based attractions and tourism destinations throughout the Adirondack Park. The Center will also feature an Adirondack floor map and an I LOVE NY selfie wall with a decommissioned ski life chairlift. For family travelers, an outdoor children's play area, pet comfort area, free Wi-Fi and picnic tables will be available.
The Adirondack Welcome Center will also have a number of environmentally-friendly features, including geothermal water source heat pumps for both heating and cooling the building, LED light fixtures, electric car charging stations, water efficient landscaping, energy efficient windows and doors, and storage and collection of recyclables.
Funding for regional welcome centers was included in the Fiscal Year 2018 State budget.
State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Governor Cuomo's support of the state's tourism sector has propelled the industry into an economic engine in all regions across New York. These new Welcome Centers will raise awareness of the many exciting experiences New York State has available, in turn creating new opportunities for local businesses and visitors, while enhancing economic growth."
The Adirondack Welcome Center is located on a 22-acre lot on the northbound side of Adirondack Northway (I-87), just over the Saratoga County line between the Hudson River and Exit 18. The Adirondack Park includes the Lake George region and Lake Placid, New York State's winter playground, rich with Olympic history.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Adirondack Welcome Center will showcase the region's endless opportunities and unparalleled natural beauty, and encourage even more visitors to explore local attractions."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Taste NY is excited to be a part of the Adirondack Welcome Center, helping to spotlight the region's fantastic food and beverage businesses and agricultural producers that represent the very best of the North Country. The Welcome Center is the perfect complement to the existing Taste NY Café at Whiteface Mountain and will help drive even more agritourism throughout the region."
Senator Betty Little said, "Great hospitality starts with a great welcome. This improvement has been a longtime coming so I am very eager to see the work begin. I am certain this new Welcome Center will very fittingly highlight so much of what our incredible region offers. With Governor Cuomo and my colleagues in the Legislature, I've been pleased to push for more money for tourism, and investments in infrastructure such as this, which are critical for a region like ours."
Assemblyman Dan Stec said, "This is a great investment in public infrastructure for the Adirondack region. I thank our state partners in transportation, tourism and agriculture for their continued commitment to enhancing the economic vitality of the worldwide attraction that is the Adirondack Park."
Warren County Board of Supervisors Chair Ron Conover said, "The Welcome Center will provide a wonderful modern gateway to the Adirondack Region. It is a great enhancement of New York State's tourism economy by providing visitors a central location for information relating to local attractions, places to visit and things to do."
Matthew J. Simpson, President, Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages said, "The Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages welcomes the new Adirondack Welcome Center to the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in Queensbury, Warren County. This new facility will promote the best of the Adirondacks while providing for the protection of our natural resources with a new boat wash facility. We applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Elizabeth Little for their unwavering commitment to the Adirondack Region."
Governor Cuomo has supported New York's tourism industry since day one, committing historic funding to the North Country and hosting Adirondack Summer and Winter Challenges to highlight world-class attractions and destinations found throughout the region. In 2016, nearly 12 million people visited the Adirondack region - 250,000 more visitors than the previous year, generating nearly $1.35 billion in direct visitor spending. This represents a 3.4 percent spending increase over 2015, and a nearly 14 percent increase since 2011. In addition, regional tourism generated $169.4 million in state and local taxes last year. The tourism industry supports more than 21,000 jobs and $639 million in labor income annually in the Adirondack region.
The Governor's unprecedented investments in tourism have also generated record-breaking spending and visitation statewide, including 239 million visitors who spent nearly $65 billion in New York State in 2016. Tourism remains the state's fourth-largest employer, supporting more than 914,000 jobs annually, and in 2016, the total economic impact of tourism exceeded $100 billion for the third straight year.