Category Archives: Travel and Tourism

Explore New York with I Love NY


I Love NY is reminding all New Yorkers of the great things to see and do in New York state this summer. In June alone, hundreds of events will take place statewide. Some highlights include:

Path Through History Events

More than 200 special events are planned for New York State’s Path Through History Weekends , June 7-8 and 14-15, at venues throughout the state. Path Through History Weekends are designed to make it easy to experience the Empire State’s rich heritage and diverse attractions. Attractions include the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy in Jamestown, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, and State Parks. For more information, visit the Path Through History website.

Baseball Hall of Fame

In recognition of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 75th anniversary, festivities are taking place in Cooperstown this summer. Highlights include an anniversary birthday and member celebration, June 12-14; the annual Hall Of Fame Weekend, July 25-28; and an anniversary concert on August 2 at the Clark Sports Center.  For more information, visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum website.

Americade Motorcycle Rally

Americade is the world’s largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, attracting over 100,000 annually. Come for the day or for the week to the “Best Riding Event in the U.S.” with the most factory demos, a massive motorcycle expo, lots of incredible motorcycle events and more amazing rides than any other event in the country! Visitors will also want to check out all that the Village and surrounding Warren County have to offer. For more information, visit the Americade website.

The Business Council supports New York’s broad tourism industry that includes culture, history, restaurants, entertainment, destinations, parks and more.

In 2013, New York hosted almost 9 million visitors that generated approximately $7.7 billion in state and local taxes while producing 24,800 jobs for New Yorkers.

For more information on these great New York events and more, visit the I Love NY website at

“I Love My Park Day” this Saturday

parksThis Saturday, May 3, New Yorkers across the state will celebrate the third annual “I Love My Park Day,” by volunteering at their favorite state park or historic site. There is still time to register on the Parks and Trails New York website to participate at a location near you.

Governor Cuomo said, “I encourage all New Yorkers to take some time to give back and join the thousands of volunteers that have already signed up to participate in ‘I Love My Parks Day’ this Saturday. New York’s park system is one of our state’s most valued assets, and by helping improve these sites, we can all play a part in preserving them for generations to come.”

This year, it is expected that almost 6,000 volunteers of all ages will help improve parks and historic sites through hundreds of projects including park clean-up, planting flowers and trees, and trail maintenance.

In 2013, 78 participating parks and historic sites hosted 4,000 volunteers for “I Love My Park Day.” 

The Business Council is a proud sponsor of this event!

Military veterans join racing veterans at Yonkers Raceway this weekend

This weekend, Business Council member Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway will host HorseAbility for Heroes on Saturday, April 26 at  7:00 p.m. The special event is a culmination of efforts between Robbie Siegelman, a long-time New York-area horse trainer, HorseAbility of Old Westbury, N.Y., the Standardbred Owners Association of NY (SOANY) and Yonkers Raceway.

Siegelman is a volunteer at HorseAbility, a therapeutic center which offers a wide range of equine-related therapy programs to children and adults.  As part of the HorseAbility For Heroes program, Siegelman teaches military veterans and their families to jog Standardbred horses.

Veterans will demonstrate newly learned horsemanship skills by jogging horses for the first time on the racetrack as they lead the post parades for the first three races of the evening.  Along with their family members, they will also present trophies to the winners of the evening’s races.

In a special tribute to the veterans, members of the Yonkers Police Department will serve as the color guard for the National Anthem beginning at 7 p.m. Following the races, the veterans and their family members will enjoy a trackside dinner in the Empire Terrace Restaurant.

Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. The Saturday 12-race card features the $567,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and the $371,400 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.

For more information, visit HorseAbility of Old Westbury’s website.



New York State Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit

Today, at the second New York State Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the State will be launching a $6 million marketing and promotional commitment to raise the profile of New York’s beverage producers, a dramatic increase from the campaign launched at the first summit in 2012. The summit featured the farm-based beverage sector together with agricultural producers and government officials in an effort to accelerate and prolong the rapid growth exhibited by the State’s beverage industry.

Under the new marketing and promotional commitment, the State will commit $2 million in direct spending to support the industry’s growth via a $1 million targeted advertising campaign and $1 million in tourism promotion funding. Additionally, Empire State Development (ESD) will launch a $2 million grant program that matches $2 million in industry contributions for the marketing and promotion of wine, beer, spirits and cider produced in New York State. Entities deemed eligible for this grant funding will include not-for-profit organizations whose primary purpose and mission is the promotion and marketing of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits and cider.

“Agriculture and tourism have the potential for tremendous growth in New York, and over the past few years we have seen that our investments in the farm-based beverage industry are resulting in new opportunities for small business owners throughout the State,” Governor Cuomo said. “The proposals and actions announced today will make it easier than ever before to start a farm-based beverage business, raise the profile of producers across the State, and open up new markets where our entrepreneurs can succeed. Today’s summit was all about creating jobs and stimulating the economy, and I am confident that by working alongside our partners in the private sector our producers will be able to thrive and compete anywhere in the world.”

Since the first summit, legislation has been enacted and initiatives have been launched to help the beverage industry open new markets and expand its visibility across the globe. This in turn has helped create thriving new businesses, increase agritourism opportunities and grow jobs in every region of the state. Since the first quarter of 2011, State actions that support agricultural producers have contributed to an 83 percent growth in farm-based beverage licenses.

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “New York has a host of businesses and products that put our state on the map as a leader in agriculture-based beverages, including our award-winning craft breweries and wineries that stretch from the Finger Lakes to Long Island, as well as the small, artisanal distilleries and cider-makers that are just starting up. The initiatives Governor Cuomo is proposing to bolster New York State’s beverage industry will help to ensure that small businesses can continue to grow. Not only do these proposals encourage entrepreneurship, but they help businesses succeed and stay here in New York.”

Additional actions and efforts being undertaken to support the continued growth of the farm-based beverage industry are detailed below. For further information on the 2014 Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, click here.

Final New York state budget needs to grow jobs and economy

As the Governor and New York State Legislature progress in final budget negotiations, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. is calling for a final state budget that boost jobs and New York’s economy.

“Job creation and economic growth are key to building strong communities in New York,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Continuing to restrain spending, implementing broad-based tax reform and mandate relief need to be a priority for a final state budget.”

The Council also debuted a new ad, “Help New York’s economy grow,” focusing on how tax cuts will help improve New York’s economy. Watch the ad below.

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Business Council Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Pokalsky’s letter to the editor was published in the Albany Times Union. Read his letter that outlines how increasing taxes won’t help create jobs in New York how tax cuts would help create a more competitive economic climate to generate good-paying jobs and healthier communities.

A study earlier this year by The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. (PPI), “Analysis of Economic Impacts of New York Corporate Income Tax Reform,” showed that when the tax reforms are fully adopted, major business and employment sectors will grow including construction, trades and business service sectors, manufacturing, and financial services.

Among the other issues of concern to The Business Council in a final state budget: Paid Family Leave, Out-of-Network Mandates, Energy Tax, Campaign Finance Reform, Brownfields, and education and tourism funding. Read more on The Business Council’s website.

Business Council Supports Funding New York’s Tourism Industry

The Business Council of New York State joined more than 200 tourism industry professionals in Albany for the Tourism Industry Coalition’s Tourism Action Day on Tuesday, March 4, supporting sustained and increased funding for New York State’s travel and tourism industries.

“New York has made great gains the past few years in supporting and investing in the state’s tourism industry,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “Connecting tourists with the best New York has to offer is a wise investment, boosting our economy and creating jobs. The Council supports the state sustaining its investment in tourism related programs.”

The Business Council supports continued funding for the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils, funding for the state to host more tourism related summits and initiatives that create private sector investment and job creation. The Executive Budget includes funding for Market-NY at $5 million; Taste-NY at $1.1 million, I Love NY at $2.5 million; and the county matching funds program at approximately $3.8 million for FY2014-15.

The Business Council also supports the continued funding of the Wine and Grape Foundation appropriated at $713,000, for FY2014-15 and the state’s continued investment in the Regional Economic Development Councils, Open for Business and NY Works, which was estimated at $60 million in 2013.

The Business Council members attending or being represented at Tourism Action Day included: Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Express, BBL Hospitality, Destiny USA, Inns of Aurora, LLC, The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, Empire Resorts, Inc., Fox Run Vineyards, Inc., Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa, IN New York & Where magazines, The Lodge at Welch Allyn, New York Power Authority, Niagara Honeymoon Sweets, New York Wine & Culinary Center, New York Wine & Grape Foundation,  Palace Theatre, Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce, The Sagamore, Saratoga Casino & Raceway, Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, Tri-City Valley Cats, VisitRochester, and the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism.

The Business Council supports the level of funding appropriated to the tourism industry in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget and encourages the New York State Legislature to approve this level of funding.

For more information on The Business Council’s support of the Travel and Tourism industry, visit

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State tourism progress report

The state’s tourism initiatives showing that the number of visitors to New York increased by 8.8 million this year. The industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes with direct spending expected to reach $61.3 billion and add 24,800 jobs by the end of the year.

In the last year, New York’s tourism industry has grown in revenue, job creation, the number of visitors, and hotel occupancy.  In 2013, the tourism industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes. Direct spending is projected to reach $61.3 billion, an increase of 7 percent since 2012.

This year, Governor Cuomo kicked off the state’s tourism efforts by hosting the Tourism Summit in Albany, which The Business Council participated in.  He announced $60 million in tourism funding – the highest level of tourism funding in decades – as well as other initiatives including: a new I Love NY marketing campaign with the Port Authority and MTA, Taste NY marketing efforts, an international tourism campaign, I Love NY in Times Square, and I Love NY LGBT.

More information on the report is available online here.

I LOVE NY online store

In an effort to promote tourism, New York state has launched a new I LOVE NY online store featuring a variety of I LOVE NY logo related merchandise. includes “The Collection,” featuring special takes on the classic I Love NY logo, designed to promote the state’s tourism assets.

The Collection includes the classic I LOVE NY, I LOVE NY LGBT logo and limited edition merchandise featuring variations of the I LOVE NY logo representing recreational activities and attractions.

Through a special licensing arrangement with the NFL and the Buffalo Bills (a Business Council member), The Collection will also have t-shirts featuring a “I Buffalo NY” mark, using the vintage 1962 Buffalo Bills logo, to promote growing tourism to the Buffalo area.

New York City commuter delays

Commuters travelling into New York City from the northern suburbs should expect travel delays for up to a week following a train derailment on the Metro-North Hudson line over the weekend.

Service was suspended on the railroad’s Hudson line, which serves 26,000 on an average weekday, between the village of Tarrytown and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal and could be closed for a week.  Governor Cuomo told news media outlets that commuters should “plan on a long commute or plan on using the Harlem line.”

Amtrak’s temporarily disrupted service between New York City and Albany, N.Y. was restored as of Monday morning but travelers were told to also expect delays.

State funding for Whiteface Mountain Veterans’ Memorial Highway

Governor Cuomo announced the state will provide $12 million in funding to repair the Whiteface Mountain Veterans’ Memorial Highway, in the Adirondacks.

The eight-mile scenic roadway is open from mid-May to mid-October each year and is traveled yearly by more than 28,500 vehicles as well as numerous cyclists and hikers going to Whiteface Mountain.

Governor Cuomo said, “The North Country is truly one of the most scenic and special places on the planet, and today the State is continuing to support the region and help draw tourists and outdoor enthusiasts to come experience all the Adirondacks have to offer.”

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), which maintains the highway, has not been able to acquire the resources to undertake comprehensive repairs.