COBLESKILL – Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation (SEEC) is kicking off 2020 with an ambitious slate of Prosperity Forums, presented as creative collaborations meant to identify and explore areas that are essential to the successful economic growth of Schoharie County. The Forums will be co-hosted with strategic alliances to address key issues, brainstorm solutions, highlight market opportunities, generate creativity and mobilize investment in Schoharie County. Each Forum will be targeted to stakeholders and other advocates that have an interest in advancing the community.
The announcement was made today by SEEC Executive Director, Julie Pacatte, who also revealed that the first Forum will address the need to enhance overnight accommodation choices throughout the county. The Lodging Possibilities Forum will be held Friday, January 24 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (check-in to begin at 9:30 am) at the American Hotel in Sharon Springs, NY and will be co-hosted by SUNY Cobleskill, Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce and Destination Marketing Corporation (Schoharie County’s Tourism Promotion Agency). Areas of focus for the Lodging Forum will include “Strengthening the Schoharie County Brand,” “Assessing the Quality and Quantity of Current Lodging Options” and “Introducing Opportunities for New Investment.”
“Tourism is a significant economic driver in Schoharie County and lodging is a very big piece of the puzzle,” said Pacatte. “The benefits of a robust lodging infrastructure are two-fold. Not only are we adding jobs, but we’re making the county more accessible and giving our visitors the ability to explore everything that our area has to offer,” she added.
In the last decade, the New York Department of Labor reports that the Mowhawk Valley was one of the top five regions in New York State for travel and tourism wage growth. Based on 2017 data, the Governor’s Office reports that New York State tourism generated $8.5 billion in state and local taxes, saving each NYS household an average of $1,172 in taxes. Tourism was the third largest private sector employer in New York State in 2017, supporting 938,800 jobs state-wide. 2017 also saw a 2.3% increase in passenger counts at all New York State airports, while hotel room demand increased nearly 4%.
“Tourism has the ability to enhance just about every other part of the local economy,” said Erynne Ansel-McCabe, the Schoharie County liaison to Destination Marketing Corporation, co-host of the upcoming Lodging Prosperity Forum. “It’s important to present a collaborative and cohesive tourism program in Schoharie County to fully appreciate these impacts,” she added.
Each of the SEEC Prosperity Forums will be open to the public and will follow a similar format. Panel discussions will feature keynote speakers, followed by smaller breakout sessions/discussions and concluding with a 30-minute networking session for those in attendance to talk one-on-one with featured guest speakers.
The anticipated SEEC Prosperity Forum Series will address priority community topics such as:
- Downtown development
- Access to capital
- Invention, innovation and technology
- Commercial & industrial development
- Agriculture value add products
Locations will be purposefully selected to feature topic-related Schoharie County assets. Dates for future Forums will be announced at a later date.
To register as an attendee for SEEC’s Lodging Possibilities Forum, visit https://schoharie-chamber.com after January 1, 2020. For more information about how to participate in SEEC’s Prosperity Forum Series, email firstname.lastname@example.org.