May 25, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Encourages Travelers to Visit Taste NY Locations This Summer

TOP Governor Cuomo Encourages Travelers to Visit...

Expanded Taste NY Offerings at State Parks and Travel Hubs Ahead of Peak Travel Season

Locally-Grown New York-Made Products Available at More Than 35 Welcome Centers, Taste NY Stores and Displays Across the State

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today encouraged travelers to visit Taste NY locations this summer to support the growth of local businesses and enjoy some of the best food and beverages the state has to offer. From travel plazas along the New York State Thruway and other roadways, to major airports and train stations, hundreds of New York-made products will be available at more than 35 travel hubs across the State. Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores in the Mid-Hudson, Long Island and Southern Tier regions drive tourism and boost the local economy.  In addition, Taste NY concessions have now been expanded to 10 state parks.

"The busy travel season is the perfect time to visit a Taste NY store and experience first-hand the high-quality of Empire State-made products," Governor Cuomo said. "Our hard-working farmers and businesses produce some of the finest food and beverages out there, and I encourage every traveler to stop by a Taste NY store or concession this summer to experience these world-class, locally-grown products for themselves."

Taste NY at New York State Parks

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and New York State Parks are partnering to increase and highlight locally made foods and beverages at even more New York State Parks this summer. These offerings will not only support local businesses but also attract additional visitors to New York's state parks by offering them more fresh and healthy food options while setting out to explore New York’s public lands.

In 2017, Taste NY products will be available at concession stands at ten state parks and historic sites:

Columbia County
Olana State Historic Site

Rockland County
Bear Mountain State Park

Suffolk County
Bethpage State Park
Robert Moses State Park
Sunken Meadow State Park

Nassau County
Jones Beach State Park

Wyoming and Livingston Counties
Letchworth State Park

Niagara County
Niagara Falls State Park

Saratoga County
Saratoga Spa State Park

Schuyler County
Watkins Glen State Park
 

Taste NY at Travel Hubs
A wide selection of food and beverages produced by hundreds of New York-based companies are sold at nearly 30 travel plazas and rest areas throughout the state, including the Long Island Welcome Center and the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill.  Nearly one dozen rest areas along the New York State Thruway will also host Taste NY farmers' markets this summer.  A list of participating rest areas and farmers’ markets can be found here.

In addition, travelers will find Taste NY at six major airports, Grand Central Terminal, and on several Amtrak trains, giving visitors an opportunity to taste top-notch, local products and to purchase gifts and souvenirs as they visit New York’s tourism destinations. A complete list of Taste NY locations across the state can be found on the Taste NY website, here.

Long Island Welcome Center
The Long Island Welcome Center features a large Taste NY market, which encourages agritourism throughout the region by connecting visitors to local food and beverage producers. According to the Long Island Farm Bureau, agribusinesses in the region employ well over 8,000 people, supporting Long Island’s largest industry—tourism, travel and hospitality.

The Welcome Center also features a seasonal farmers' market and an interactive I LOVE NEW YORK experience highlighting the region's history and tourism destinations. An interactive map provides suggested destinations based on the user’s interests, allowing them to browse regional attractions, from historical sites to local wineries, and create an itinerary, which they can take with them via email.

Taste NY Market at Todd Hill
The Market at the Todd Hill rest area on the Taconic State Parkway is the state’s first standalone Taste NY store and one of the most popular.  It sells more than $1 million of local products each year, including farm-raised meats, dairy products, and pantry items such as maple syrup, pickles, and tomato sauce.

The market also operates a seasonal outdoor farmers’ market to offer additional delicious, fresh produce and a variety of other farm products. The farmers' market runs from June through October. More information on the vendors and schedule is available here.

Broome Gateway Center
The Broome Gateway Center is one of the Southern Tier’s busiest rest areas.  Located between the Pennsylvania state line and Exit 1 on Interstate 81 in Broome County, the rest area sees approximately 1,400 to 1,600 visitors each day during the summer.  To improve the experience for travelers and drive tourism by highlighting the region’s top assets, the Broome Gateway Center will undergo renovations starting May 30. During construction, a variety of delicious, locally made foods will continue to be available, the I LOVE NEW YORK mobile pod will continue to provide travel information, and bathroom facilities will be available to visitors.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Taste NY promotes a variety of farm-based foods and craft beverages, allowing consumers to explore the diversity of our agricultural landscape and the innovation of our entrepreneurs. Once shoppers get a taste of their incredible products, they come back for more time and time again. I echo the Governor’s call to travelers to experience all that this great state has to offer."

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Fresh and healthy Taste NY farm-based foods are a perfect combination to the array of recreational opportunities ready to be experienced at state parks and together lead all New Yorkers and visitors to a more invigorating and active lifestyle. With more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, golf courses, recreational trails and boat launches, it is beneficial and advantageous to fuel our bodies with the very best that New York State has to offer before setting out for the wonderful adventure that only the Empire State can provide."

Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch said, "The New York State Thruway not only connects hundreds of millions of motorists to historic communities each year, many of our 27 Service Areas along our 570-mile superhighway also give travelers the chance to sample some of the finest locally grown produce that New York's farms have to offer at Taste NY Farm Markets. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is a great partner of ours helping to connect our motorists to some of the best produce and locally made items in the country."

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "As families hit the road this summer to see all of the amazing things New York State has to offer, we encourage travelers to visit one of New York’s many Taste NY locations to learn about local history, find new places to visit, and sample delicious local food and beverages. New York’s rest areas and Welcome Centers are the perfect place to take a break on a long drive, stretch your legs, and learn something new about the Empire State."

Taste NY supports the economic growth of hundreds of local businesses and helps set New York apart as one of the country’s top tourism destinations. The state welcomed a record 239 million visitors in 2016. In February, Governor Cuomo announced that sales of New York products at Taste NY locations topped $13.1 million last year, nearly triple the total sales in 2015. This significant growth reflects increasing consumer demand for local products, which drives growth in New York’s agricultural, food and beverage sectors. The state also continues to see a rise in visitors, bolstering the State’s $100 billion tourism industry.  
 
About Taste NY
Taste NY is an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York;s food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park.

Over the last three years, the Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition. The program reported sales of $4.5 million in 2015 and nearly tripled those figures to more than $13.1 million in 2016. Today, New York products sold under Taste NY branding are available in more than 60 locations throughout the State as well as the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For more information about Taste NY, please visit www.taste.ny.gov. Connect with Taste NY through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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