Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an unprecedented $16.2 million investment to further enhance Watkins Glen’s transformation into a world-class destination and cultural center – all part of his ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create opportunities for the Southern Tier. The projects announced today include $9.7 million for 14 Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects throughout the village and the new $6.5 million main entrance to Watkins Glen State Park as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 program. The improvements are a component of Southern Tier Soaring, the region’s blueprint for economic growth.
“Watkins Glen is a New York State treasure, featuring its beautiful state park, an internationally renowned race track and a vibrant downtown,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects and investments will continue to revitalize this area, boosting the economy and helping the Southern Tier soar. I congratulate Watkins Glen and its residents, businesses and leaders for working together with the state to bring these ideas to life as we usher in a new era for this Upstate gem.”
The projects were announced at the ribbon-cutting for a new main entrance to Watkins Glen State Park. The $6.5 million project converted a decrepit parking lot at the base of the gorge into green space, creating new park amenities and enhanced interpretation of Watkin Glen’s unique natural and cultural history. The project relocated a parking area away from the gorge and across Franklin Street to improve vehicular traffic flow on village streets and pedestrian traffic flow in the park. The old asphalt parking lot was transformed into a more natural landscaped park setting, including: