SCHENECTADY — An extensive advertising campaign promoting the revitalization of the “New Schenectady” is currently rolling out, former Price Chopper CEO and city advocate Neil Golub announced in an event at Proctors Theatre on Wednesday morning.
Golub is the driving force behind the $250,000 television and print “New Schenectady” campaign, which is designed to rebrand the city to residents of the Capital Region and beyond as a hub of business development, housing and entertainment.
“This has been a 30-year journey for me,” Golub said following Wednesday’s event. “The first part was to clean it (the city) up and the second part was to create a funding source (Metroplex) and the people that were brought in to run it did a great job. And now it comes time when we’ve spent 20 years of doing the fix up and clean up and all of these new facilities, that with a fresh new start it’s time to tell the world that we’re different. So my job is done when we’ve announced the new brand. We are new and we want the people to know that we’re not the old Schenectady, we’re the new Schenectady.”
@dgazette Neil Golub unveils ‘New Schenectady’ ad campaign at Proctors event – 4/19/23 – More at DailyGazette.com
Golub, who is funding the ads, said the campaign would last six months, at which time he hopes the initiative will be carried on by Discover Schenectady, the county tourism agency.
“I’m kind of feeling that as momentum picks up and there’s more grassroots support with Schenectady businesses that we’ve tried to get involved, that it will grow a little,” he said. “So it could last longer, but we’ll have to see that.”
State Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville, said that the advertising campaign should give tourists a reason to rediscover the city.
“It’s to let people know about the rejuvenation and the comeback that we’ve made here,” he said after Wednesday’s event. “We’ve got a tremendous downtown and moving forward we’ve got a tremendous number of projects moving forward. We’ve got economic development and housing and all kinds of jobs being created in this great city and county. So I think we have to get the message out that there’s a reason to come down here.”
Golub said the “New Schenectady” branding proved effective in market research sessions.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said the campaign will shine a light on the city’s revitalization efforts, exemplified by the opening of the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady in 2017. McCarthy said the casino is now the top tourist destination in the Capital Region.
“It validates and reinforces the changes that have happened in the community,” McCarthy said of the ad campaign. “There’s still people who haven’t been to Schenectady recently and view it as it was two decades ago. We’ve really gone through a transformation and renaissance, so this will hopefully raise people’s awareness of it and encourage them to come here.”
MVP Health Care President and CEO Chris Del Vecchio said the Schenectady-based health insurer is proud to support the New Schenectady Campaign to raise awareness about the city’s history and downtown transformation.
“Over the past two decades, Schenectady has experienced tremendous growth and change and has emerged as an economic hub that MVP is proud to call home,” Del Vecchio said. “We look forward to collaborating with Mayor McCarthy, Price Chopper, and other community organizations to further highlight Schenectady’s rich history and continued development.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, attended Wednesday’s event and noted that he saw the ups and downs of the city while growing up in the city as Schenectady transitioned from a manufacturing hub anchored by General Electric and American Locomotive Co. to its current status as a home to businesses including Transfinder, a thriving software company.
“I think this promotional campaign is a good thing because people are going to have the opportunity to check out what’s going on in Schenectady,” he said. “Maybe they haven’t seen the new investments here or know that there’s a movie studio in Schenectady (Armory Studios NY). This really puts Schenectady on the map. It really is a tourist destination and you really need a rebranding because from the time I grew up here to now there really has been a renaissance and a revitalization.”
Golub said that billboards advertising “New Schenectady” will roll out in the Capital Region in early May.
“We’ve picked some good spots where they’ll be noticed,” he said after Wednesday’s event. “There’s a lot of little billboards on small roads in the boondocks, but people don’t see those. So we’ve tried to put them in spaces where people will see them.”
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.