Tourism Highlights: Growing New York State’s Tourism Industry, from the Adirondacks to Niagara Falls

New York State’s vital and booming tourism industry – with an economic impact that now eclipses $100 billion annually – continues to grow, and the Governor has proposed $55 million in initiatives to ensure that growth continues. Coinciding with that commitment are a number of announcements that reflect the State’s ongoing support for tourism-related development, including a planned Gateway to the Adirondacks and the opening of a new hotel in Niagara Falls – located in two of New York State’s iconic vacation destinations.

Governor Cuomo announced plans on January 23 for a world-class tourism hub at the southeastern edge of the Adirondacks, located in the Town of North Hudson and on the site of Frontier Town, a former theme park that had been vacant for more than 10 years. A master plan for the 300-acre site has been developed with state and community partners, and incorporating protection of the Adirondack Park. The blueprint includes plans for a visitor information center and event center, a DEC campground and day use area along the Schroon River and an equestrian camping and trail area. 

The announcement included news that Paradox Brewery, a New York State-born craft beverage business, which currently operates a tasting room at Schroon Lake, will expand operations at the Gateway location and open a saloon featuring New York beers and food. Those additions reflect a $2.8 million investment and creation of 22 additional jobs in North Hudson. The State will secure an estimated $32 million, working with public and private partners, to create the new tourism and recreation hub – a community revitalization that is at the center of the North Country’s regional economic development plan.

The announcement of a new hotel opening in downtown Niagara Falls came on the same day as the Adirondack news. A $37 million DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is part of an ongoing area resurgence which includes the state’s $60 million in infrastructure improvements along the Niagara Scenic Parkway, and private-public developments that are aimed at preserving and promoting this world-renowned destination.

The latest DoubleTree by Hilton property, developed by the Merani Hotel Group on the site of the former Fallside Hotel and Conference Center, is the group’s third in the area, located adjacent to Niagara Falls State Park and overlooking the Niagara River. The hotel has 16,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space and can host events with up to 450 people. 

With this latest addition, downtown Niagara Falls now has five new hotels either built or under construction or renovation, with other plans in the works.