Tag Archives: Dave Turner

Regional traveler growth on the rise in Oswego County

Tourism in Oswego County is on the move based on data from the 2012 report prepared by Tourism Economics, which shows that there has been a significant increase in traveler spending.

The report is focused on the Thousand Islands Seaway Region, which covers Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.

According to the report commissioned by New York State, tourism in the Thousand Islands region is a $480 million industry that supports 8,896 jobs. Oswego County increased traveler spending last year by 13.2 percent. In 2010, travelers spent $102,713,000 in the county and last year that amount jumped to $128,621,000.

Travelers in Oswego County spent the bulk of their travel budget, $37.4 million, on food and beverages in 2012 with second homes and lodging placing second and third at $27 and $15.9 million respectively.

Both state and local taxes made the jump as well. Collection of state taxes from tourism activity in the county increased by 12.6 percent, while local taxes had an increase of 13.7 percent. If it were not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in the county would have to pay an additional $338 to maintain the same level of government service.

“Some of the reason for this huge increase in visitor spending is the result of excellent fishing conditions and the increase in angling effort,” said David Turner, director of Community Development, Planning and Tourism. “Other factors include the opening of the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego, maintenance outages at the nuclear power plants and ongoing construction at the Novelis facility.”

Turner explained that the Salmon River steelhead catch has increased dramatically in recent years, making the total angler hours on the Salmon River 751,127 compared to 488,792 in 2005. The Oswego County Fishing Hotline also received 15,442 calls in 2012 from anglers all over the country hoping to take advantage of the world-class fishery here.

“While fishing is our main attraction, we are also blessed with an abundance of natural, cultural and historic resources here,” said Turner. “So it is no surprise that, as more people become aware of what we have to offer, our visitor numbers continue to improve.”

Oswego County launches free snowmobile trail app

The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning has partnered with Mohawk Valley GIS and the Oswego County Snowmobile Association to offer a free trail app for riders in the snow blessed Tug Hill region.

The app contains interactive maps of 378 miles of snowmobile trails, public parking locations, 10 snowmobile clubs, 25 restaurants, 21 gas stations, 11 lodgings, and several more snowmobile-related and supporting businesses along the Oswego County trail system.

As of press time, 837 people had downloaded the app, which displays the rider’s current GPS location and trail data. Once it’s been loaded on a smart phone, the trails can be accessed at any time.

“Oswego County is blessed with a wide variety of natural resources that are enjoyed by thousands of visitors from around the world throughout the year,” said Dave Turner, director of the county Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

“Our annual snowfall (sometimes the highest this side of the Rockies) is near the top of the list of attractions here for outdoor enthusiasts. We were delighted to be selected as the model for this new service, and we hope that it will become the tool that helps create a safe and enjoyable experience for resident snowmobilers and wintertime visitors alike.”

Linda Rockwood, developer of the www.NYSnowmobileWebMap.com site and owner of Mohawk Valley GIS, approached the county more than a year ago and offered to develop the app as a pilot project.

“The timing was perfect, said Rockwood. “Oswego County wanted to include their trails in the interactive trail map website project, and we wanted to create a free app that featured the trails in one of our state’s more popular regions.”

As part of the joint promotional effort, sponsoring businesses in Oswego County were offered a discounted advertising package that includes the countywide paper trail map, web map, premium statewide and free trail apps, and GPS trail sets.

The Snowmobiling Oswego County app is available in both Apple’s appStore and Google’s Play store.