Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Local Officialdom Fumbles ... Ball Picked Up by North Country

Interesting news can be gleaned from surfing the internet ... news of local interest, but not reported in the local media . . . or at least not with all the pieces in one place at one time.

According to yesterday's Business Wire, Northway Island Associates, Inc. of Utica, NY, announced last week, that it has closed on its purchase of approximately 928 acres of land to develop an entertainment complex in the St. Lawrence area which is expected to attract tourists from both the U.S. and Canada.

(Sounds like a BIG Project for a local company!)

News 10 Now reported last year that the project would be a $108 million speedway complex that might even entice NASCAR to the region. According to the report:
Once the speedway complex is up and running, it's expected to generate about $36 million annually. And people here say it will be the economic boost the North Country has been waiting for.
(It IS BIG!)

Now . . . here's the kicker . . . (from an article tucked away in April 2006's CNY Business Journal):

The project is the brainchild of Julius DeSimone, principal of Northway, who originally looked to locate the complex in the Utica area several years ago. When the idea was not well received by local officials, DeSimone started looking further north, Colachino says. [emphasis supplied]

Imagine the synergy that could have been created with such a facility in the same region as Turning Stone! and the Boilermaker! and maybe even Destiny USA! . . . Think of the positive press coverage and feelings of excitement from living here, having America's biggest 15K PLUS PGA Golf PLUS NASCAR! Our area would have become a WORLD CLASS TOURIST DESTINATION.

Don't you just wonder which local officials blew this one? Shouldn't we know? I'd like to know!

Have you Had Enough (local incompetence) Yet???

[Update -- Please check out the comments below]


Anonymous said...

Youd think that the OD wouldve spotted this, but all that Boilermaker coverage must be killing them already....

You blogs are amazing sometimes, most people think the OD is the be all end all of the enews etc.

I read stuff here that you never hear until it *gets important* to w.k.t.v. and OD.

Once again an internet so-called *idiot* trumps the local "fake news".

Too much boilermaker kinda tourist fluff and not enough issue solving make Utica a dull town.

Anonymous said...

There has been news of constructing a NASCAR race track in Northern New York State. I am not a NASCAR race fan. I regret that I fail to comprehend the attraction of the sport, but many people would say the same about my passion for politics and public service. What I do comprehend is micro and macroeconomics. I have personally witnessed what NASCAR has done for the residents of Daytona Beach Florida. It is nothing less than an economic field day in terms of generating outside revenue for business and government.

I have experienced the massive congestion caused by a major race event. I actually witnessed a small to medium sized metropolitan area (the greater Daytona area) become as busy as an aunt farm! Businesses that were normally moderately busy became overwhelmed with customers. One could not help but notice the signs on hotels and motels flashing “no vacancy” in an attempt to alleviate the constant flow of race fans looking for a place to stay during the week of events. Parking lots around the race track, that were normally half empty, were packed during race week. The typical parking space in one of these lots will cost the race fan sixty to one hundred dollars a day to park. There were other parking lots, located several miles out of town, charging fifty dollars a day per space for cars, and double per space for trucks and RV’s. The shuttle service that runs to and from these remote parking spots will cost the fan an additional ten dollars per day. I noted that the tailgate parties in these parking lots appeared to be as entertaining, in terms as being another significant social event, as the actual race was.

Economic development is not stagnating in Florida. What seems as an unfeasible task for central New York economic development and elected officials, in terms of mutual intergovernmental relations, is business as usual in Florida. Daytona and Orlando Florida City Officials are in the process of constructing a super-sonic high-speed shuttle train to connect the two metropolitan areas together. The synergy of connecting the Race and LPGA fans with the Disney vacationers, in terms of sharing accommodations during off-peak times, is as practical as it is brilliant. With intelligent planning, both metropolitan areas will benefit from each other’s major events. By shuttling visitors between metropolitan areas during these events, financially benefit the establishments located in each area by enabling them to maintain a higher rate of business activity. This creates a win/win situation. Not only will this additional commerce benefit the businesses themselves, but during a time that would only normally draw a minimal amount of sales tax and bed tax revenue, will now generate additional income for the both local governments as well.

I love Central New York. I grew-up in the Corn Hill section of Utica, New York. I have traveled to other parts of the United States as well as Canada. But one must look very hard to find an area with all of the attributes that Central New York has to offer. However, what Central New York lacks is its motivation to cooperate in terms of mutual intergovernmental relations. They lack the vision needed to foster new and innovative economic development. Rather than work together, they opt to fight each other for existing economic crumbs. In Central New York, local governments have become fiefdoms only lacking the massive walls that protected the city-state castles of ancient Europe.

With the prospect of having a NASCAR type race track constructed in Northern New York, one must do their homework and practice caution in terms of easing the growing pains for the local governments as well as their residents. They would do well to study other areas that have had the good fortune to have this type of economic boom befall upon them. The elimination of local property tax for its residents would be a great first step to insure local acceptance to the minor inconvenience imposed on the local residents. Perhaps low interest loans could help local businesses expand to accommodate the increase commerce.

Good luck to the folks of Northern New York and Canada. Please remember to take photographs of the before and after views of this undertaking. You will astonish future generations when they look back at your metamorphous from stagnant to a vibrant economy.

Anonymous said...

Should anyone be surprised of the continuing saga of incompetence in Oneida County.

GUESS who has been running the "show for the past couple of decades?" REPUBLICANS?

Next time people vote, remember, vote Democrat, if only, to see a DIFFERENT face. They may not have all the answers, but if they do not do their job, then they too, will be thrown out of office.

Our vote counts and remember that this vote is precious. Exercise your right to vote.

Anonymous said...

I agree with and yet beg to differ with “Concerned Voter” in terms of the political party that is to blame for the stagnation of economic progress in Oneida County. It is unfair to solely blame the Republicans for the entire Central New York mess. Yes the Republicans are largely to blame, but the “good ol’ boy” mentality of political parochialism has the lines between Republican, Democrat and Independence political parties blurred. In Oneida County, there seems to be little if any difference between Republican, Democrat or Independence parties. Yes I am saying that the voters are being manipulated. These Oneida County Chairpersons are on a first name basis and regularly confer with each other – in collusion – to choose which hack they will allow to be presented to the voter as the anointed candidates. For this reason, Central New York will surely stagnate until the brain drain and population loss reaches a manageable level to insure unfettered political control.

Sorry for the bad news, but after a little research you will discover just how true this fact is. A total political overhaul is indeed needed to salvage the escalating decline of this area.

My advice: GET INVOLVED or risk losing everything.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. My one issue with the Republicans is the fact they were the party in power. Republicans having the majority to push their legislative Agenda could do anything with impunity - whereas the Democrats, being in a minority had a token effect on legislation.

Simply put the Democrats were powerless to do things. However, I do question why they did not reach the public conscious? The simply chose not to. Just because a Group may not be the party in power...I have always felt that the Court of Public Opinion trumped any "evil" force pursuing an Agenda that was laden with pork barrel political overtones.

On balance, Anonymous is correct and I do appreciate this author pointing out possible issues with my commentary. This is what its all about, great but honest and factual dialogue.

Anonymous said...

There is no way on earth that they are going to get a NASCAR race there. This project is complete pie in the sky stuff. Don't fall for it. Need proof? The guy is from Utica. Enough said.

Strikeslip said...

Time will tell if the project pans out as hoped-for, or fails.

BUT, the promoters apparently were able to make a good enough showing to get the backing to enable themselves to close on 900+ acres of land.

Someone, obviously, was willing to give more support than a pat on the back.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there's a certain demographic, or at least a few posters here to the blogs that sit and deny the 'believeability' of these news bits.

As in: Local Troll, probably affiliated with the "leadership", that lost these great chances at local sucess in the first place, trying to shoot down the worth and validity of these business ventures that went elsewhere.

"This project is complete pie in the sky stuff. Don't fall for it. Need proof? The guy is from Utica. Enough said."

Actually: Buying several hundred acres speaks more to me than Troll saying: "He's a loser from Utica"...

Sounds like a sore loser in damage control mode for local "Leadership"...

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like a sore loser in damage control mode for local "Leadership"... "

Nothing could be further from the truth. The lack of ethical, moral, honest and competent county leadership is the reason why this area continues to decline. The entire county legislature should be dumped and we should return to the days where the county was run by a Board of Supervisors, like Saratoga County does, and quite successfully I may add. No county tax or outlandish sales taxes there.

That being said, this is all about building a casino in the North Country and nothing more. If it fails, they will sell the land.

Remember the racetrack proposal at Griffiss. It was all smoke and mirrors. They threatened to take it elsewhere and when the attempt failed, nothing ever happened. Duh.....

Don't believe everything you read.

Strikeslip said...

I think this WAS the race track proposal for Griffiss you are talking about, "Dont fall." And at the moment it seems to be progressing.

Anonymous said...

If you really think this track will be built in the North Country, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

clipper said...

If one looks at where NASCAR tracks are built and where they succeed, one will realize that it doesn't have to be in a major metropolis. I presently live in Bristol Tn. The home of the most popular track on the Circuit, with the exception of Daytona. We area a city of only 44,000, and not near most of the larger city areas.

Pocono is at Long Pond, PA. It is out in the middle of nowhere, as is the track at Louden NH. I have always said that when they turned down the proposal to do it at Griffiss, they made a huge mistake.

The track here in Bristol has been a wonderful neighbor. Bruton Smith makes major contributions to local projects. He even paid for a 4 lane highway to make access from I81 easier.

We have over 200,000 guests spending money and staying in local campgrounds and lodging twice a year. They spend millions of dollars supporting our local economy.

Development has grown around, and because of the track and dragway. People come to a race, see the beauty and serenity of NE Tennessee and they move here and invest here.

New York State and the Mohawk Valley blew it big time when they "poo pooed" the idea of a race track at Griffiss.