Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The One That Got Away . . .

In the "this one really hurts" department, here is a story from the Plattsburgh Press-Republican: Proposal for massive entertainment and racing complex shared. The project includes:
  • Five hotels with 2,040 rooms.
  • 6,000 slot machines.
  • A three-quarter mile speedway with seating for 120,000.
  • A 20,000-seat, quarter-mile drag strip.
  • A 1-mile harness-racing track that seats 10,000 people.
  • A 270,000-square-foot entertainment/events center and arena.
  • An 18-hole championship golf course.
  • A parking garage.
Why does this story hurt? The project is by a Utica company and is one in which our local officials showed no interest!


Anonymous said...

Other than the proposed speedway (which won't be built), we already have that and more at Turning Stone. Why would you want to duplicate what we already have?

Strikeslip said...

Why would anyone want to limit this area to what we already have? Unless, of course, one is afraid of the competition . . .

Local officials missed the boat on this one. NASCAR added to what we already have here with Turning Stone, Vernon Downs etc, would make a bigger draw for all. But now these new northcountry venues will compete with our local ones for many of the same out-of-area dollars. Too bad that our local leaders had no vision to keep everything here.

Anonymous said...

i remember when this was floated around when Griffiss closed. "Govt" wanted no part of a sports complex like a track because they saw "technology" as the future. Yeah, whatever. Marcy can't even get a chip plant, so much for enticing technology to the area. Homestead, Florida was demolished, leveled, nothing left standing from a hurricane(Andrew I think). They built a $50 million NASCAR race complex which paid for itself in 2 years. They could have built the race facility and still had room for "technology". The biggest draw at the time was the airstrip as most teams and drivers have their own personal aircraft which they fly to races. A guy by the name of John(his last name escapes me now) was trying to spearhead an effort for a race facility similar to what is proposed in the north country with a drag strip, NASCAR track, and concert arena which I believe was going to be designed to also entertain potential professional sports.(wcup102)

Greens and Beans said...

It’s true. Anonymous number two is correct. When the NASCAR investors visited Oneida County and proposed a race track at the former Griffiss Air Force Base, they were all but told to go home. It was as if they were run out of out of Central New York on a rail. As we all know, the “high tech” motif EDGE and GLDC originally intended for the Griffiss Technology Park has been contrarily trumped by some dubious economic development failures.

I blogged on this very subject some time ago after I had an extended stay in the greater Daytona/Holly Hill area of Florida. I - not being a fan of NASCAR racing - was particularly impressed by the awesome amounts of revenue generated by the massive business synergy the race track produced. It actually has an airport on one end of the track. The City of Daytona, in conjunction with Volusia County, has a team of special project managers who coordinate events from the races and the LPGA events that keep businesses competing for people to employ. I was astonished to discover that the average property tax per-thousand in Volusia County Florida is approximately one-eighth of what we pay here in Central New York. If only our public officials were not so narrow minded and learn to think out of the box, this business atmosphere could have been the case right here in the Rome/Utica area.

As Anonymous one pointed out, with the Oneida Nation Turning Stone Casino and their PGA world-class golf courses, we already have a good amount of this leisure business already in place. But with the proposed Franklin County $108 million auto-racing track/harness track/casino complex, the news article (http://www.pressrepublican.com/0100_news/local_story_153214556.html) points out that all of the governing entities share in the revenues generated. In FY 2007, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe generated a profit of $51.1 million in slot-machine revenue after remitting $9.2 million to the State of New York, with Franklin and St. Lawrence counties each receiving $1,150,000, and the Towns of Norfolk and Brasher each receiving $287,500. However in our area the State, Oneida and Madison Counties, and their municipalities receive ZERO dollars from the Oneida Indian Nation Enterprise operations.

So let me ask one question from all of you: Where would you propose we - here in Central New York - should start in order to emulate what other communities seem to be profiting from?

Anonymous said...

Ok everyone - this is not Florida with an ever expanding population. This is upstate NY. Nascar is not going to take a race away from one of its existing venues and place it in the middle of nowhere. Heck, we couldn't even support a top notch golf event at Turning Stone. Get real here folks.

Strikeslip said...

We GOT the PGA event . . . and Binghamton has had a PGA event for years . . . and Watkins Glen had their thing for a long time . . . get real Anon. There is no reason why this area can't do the same.

Anonymous said...

Yea, sure we GOT the PGA event. Attendence was dismal at best. The residents of Central New York did not turn out in large numbers to support it. Why?

Strikeslip said...

Gee, Anon . . .PGA did not seem to have a problem with the first year's attendance . . . Why do you?

Check out Clipper's Recent Comment on the older story.

Our leaders have NO VISION!