Hayssen calls for I-90 Casino Corridor summit

Seneca County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Hayssen today called on Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. to join him in creating an I-90 Casino Corridor Association and convening a summit of elected officials, business leaders, tourism experts and the casinos themselves to help market upstate tourism from the Capital Region through the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and the Finger Lakes Region.“The day after Lago Resort & Casino (a destination resort casino) and a new Capital Region casino are selected by the New York State Gaming Commission, I would like to convene elected officials, business leaders and others to join with the two new casino operators and Turning Stone and create a new association – the I-90 Casino Corridor Association,” Hayssen said. “I hope County Executive Picente will join me in this endeavor to help the people and economies of a large swath of upstate New York, as the Governor and State Legislature envisioned when they enacted the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act.“Not only should the three casinos want to work together to increase the market for their facilities, but the three regions should absolutely work together to attract those from other regions of the state, other states and other countries to our diverse, historic and beautiful regions of New York and all that we have to offer,” Hayssen said. “From the lakes and vineyards of my region, to the beauty and wonderful attractions of the Mohawk Valley, to the history and excitement of the Capital Region, we have an opportunity to build a new, prosperous Upstate New York.”Hayssen’s proposal would encompass creating a new association comprised of public and private sector leaders committed to working together to turn the competition among the three casinos into a win-win for the casinos and the regions. He suggested that Vernon Downs and Saratoga Racetrack would also benefit from participating in the association.“The goal of Lago, Turning Stone and the Capital Region casino or casinos, as well as the racetracks, should be to attract out-of-towners to all three regions. All three regions have magnificent natural beauty and restaurants, hotels, attractions, and other businesses that would benefit greatly from an increase in tourism. That is how we grow the economy of all three regions and create jobs and real economic opportunity for current and future generations. That is how we bring new money (disposable income) to our regions and not simply recirculate, local existing money through the casinos,” Hayssen said.“Yes, there will be competition among the casinos. That’s OK, in fact that’s good. Look at the Western New York/Canada cluster of casinos. They’re all doing well and they are all helping to build their individual local economies,” Hayssen said. “In this case, we’re talking about two or three new casinos about one hundred and fifty miles apart, with Turning Stone nearly equidistant between the two or three new casinos.“How do we attract downstaters and out-of-staters to spend a day in the Capital Region, a day in the Mohawk Valley and a day in the Finger Lakes? That should be the goal. And that’s what this new association can accomplish,” Hayssen said. “I hope you’ll join me, Mr. Picente. It’s good for our constituents, our regions and a brighter Upstate New York future.”

Also on FingerLakes1.com