July 17, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Success of 2016 Adirondack Summer Challenge

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Success of 2016...

At Adirondack Challenge, Record-High Economic Impact of Tourism in New York State Unveiled: $102 Billion – An Increase of More Than 25% Since 2010

More than 150 Elected Officials and Community Members Participate in the 2016 Adirondack Summer Challenge with Governor Cuomo’s Administration

TV-Quality Highlight Video of Today’s Adirondack Challenge Here; Photos Here

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the success of the 2016 Adirondack Summer Challenge to promote New York’s top tourism destinations and highlight recreational opportunities in the North Country. More than 150 elected officials and community members – including Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul – participated in this year’s Challenge to showcase outdoor activities, including rafting, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, available to visitors in the region. While at the Adirondack Challenge, the Lieutenant Governor unveiled a new record-high economic impact of tourism in New York State of $102 billion – an increase of 25 percent since 2010.

“The Adirondack region – from its awe-inspiring vistas to activities for every age – is one of the greatest places in the world to explore,” Governor Cuomo said. “This year’s Adirondack Challenge highlights the best the region has to offer, and celebrates the crucial role tourism plays in creating jobs and growing the North Country economy. I encourage everyone to put the Adirondacks at the top of their vacation list this summer.”

"Under Governor Cuomo, New York State continues to shine a spotlight on the beauty of the Adirondacks and leverage this great natural resource as a major economic driver through tourism,”Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Each year, the Adirondack Challenge highlights what this region has to offer by bringing people from across the State to experience the authenticity of the Adirondacks, and creating new ambassadors for the area."

Photos Audio

The 2016 Adirondack Summer Challenge brought together more than 150 state and local officials, tourism industry leaders and outdoor enthusiasts to participate in the day’s events, explore Upstate New York, and enjoy local Taste NY food and beverage products. Events hosted today included a whitewater rafting trip down the Indian River; golfing at Cedar River Golf Club in Indian Lake; a 6 mile hike to OK Slip Falls, which concludes at the highest waterfall in the Adirondack Park; fly-fishing on the Cedar River; mountain biking to Pine Lake; and horseback riding.


VIDEO of the awards ceremony, which includes remarks by Lieutenant Governor Hochul, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Senator Betty Little and awards presented by DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos is available on YouTubhere.

VIDEO of a highlight reel of the day, including Lieutenant Governor and Challenge participants whitewater rafting down the Indian River is available on YouTube here and in TV-quality format here.

PHOTOS of Challenge participants in various events are available here.

Video of the Lieutenant Governor’s remarks and 2016 Adirondack Summer Challenge awards ceremony will follow.

Record-High Economic Impact from Tourism 

Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State’s investment in tourism is paying dividends. Since 2011, the State has invested $130 million in tourism; today, the economic impact of the industry in New York is at a record-high $102 billion – an increase of 25 percent since 2010. The increase in tourism has brought industry-related jobs to a record 894,000 statewide – an increase of 21 percent sincec 2010.

Lieutenant Governor Hochul unveiled the all-time high while at today’s Adirondack Challenge. Details of the breakdown are available in the Economic Impact of Tourism Report, which includes the following findings for New York State tourism in 2015:

  • The industry generated $8 billion in State and local sales taxes.
  • Visitor spending was up 26 percent compared to 2010, at $63 billion.
  • The number of domestic and international visitors to the Empire State is projected to have grown more than 19 percent since 2010, to nearly 234 million total visitors in 2015‎.


The Economic Impact Tourism Report was conducted by Tourism Economics using IMPLAN software, which is used by governments, universities, and public and private sector organizations across the globe.

Adirondack Tourism

Tourism is up across the board in the Adirondacks. Last year, the region brought in more than $1.3 billion in direct visitor spending, an increase of more than 14 percent since 2010. In addition, regional tourism generated $162 million in State and local taxes in 2015. This economic sector is particularly important to the region’s economic growth, supporting more than 21,000 jobs and $612 million in labor income in 2015.

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development said: “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to Upstate New York has resulted in record-breaking numbers, from the lowest unemployment rate since August 2007, to the highest economic impact from tourism in the State’s history. At today’s Adirondack Challenge we are experiencing first-hand all that there is to love about this world-class region, and encouraging visitors, in and out of the State, to come see for themselves why it’s one of New York’s most celebrated tourism destinations.” 

Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation said: “The Adirondacks are a world class destination, and through Governor Cuomo's leadership, we are making this incredible Park more accessible to all New Yorkers and our visitors. Our open space and water quality protection efforts provide the basis for the growing tourism industry that provides vital economic support to local communities throughout the park."

Richard Ball, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets said: "No one has done more to promote our state's tourism assets and agricultural producers than the Governor. The Adirondack Challenge provides us with the opportunity to showcase the very best of these two industries in the region. Through the hugely successful Taste NY initiative and the iconic I LOVE NEW YORK campaign, we are able to share with the world both the North Country's world-class local foods and beverages and it's unique natural beauty and recreational attractions."

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