Neighbors to NASCAR
If you were out-and-about this past weekend, you might have noticed a bit of additional traffic. Or, maybe you had trouble getting a table at your favorite Finger Lakes eatery, or a campsite or hotel room for guests. The sporty amongst us all know what was going on, but, if you are (like me) entirely out of the loop when it comes to sports news, you might appreciate learning what the cause was: we had the first experience of “NASCAR in the Next County.” And it was, according to the wineries, fruitstand operators, and restauranteurs I have discussed it with, a VERY good thing for the local tourist economy.
Now, promoting tourism development is always a thing about which reasonable people can disagree– like the GrassRoots Festival, an annual NASCAR race will bring a huge cash infusion, along with a number of new visitors who may learn to love the area, but, also, crowded conditions, and people who look and act as if they don’t know where they are going. For the record, we drove through Watkins Glen twice over the weekend, and did not confront a traffic jam either time. Unless you count the 18-wheeler blocking both lanes of Rt. 14 in Dundee because he tried to do a U-turn and ran out of gas– but, that is just professional lapse, not tourism congestion. Heck, more NASCAR tourists might even result in a gas station on that side of the lake, and keep the truckers from getting in embarrassing predicaments.
I’m an unabashed booster of Finger Lakes tourism myself, and was entirely overjoyed to learn that we locals who feel that way are getting a little help promoting the idea– from the Governor, no less! Check out this story for details: http://www.stargazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070813/NEWS01/708130326/1001/News
A waterfront hotel in Watkins? Could be a good thing if it was done well, but, it might raise the prices on those $3 movies at the local theater… and/or help us keep some steady tennants in the storefronts on T-burg’s Main St. Well worth considering– congrats to the Schuyler County planning and development crew, and their Chamber, for having a Big One on the line down on the waterfront.