Ever wondered how much it cost to put the I [Love] NY logo on the grassy slope near Exit 9 of the Northway?
The State Department of Transportation shelled out almost $10,000 for the project, according to records secured through a Freedom of Information Law request by The Daily Gazette.
The iconic logo also appears next to roadways around Buffalo, near the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders and in the Southern Tier, with a total price tag of $49,940.
The logos, which have a diameter of 34 feet, are part of an effort to promote the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry, said DOT spokesman Beau Duffy.
“The idea was to put these logos in high-visibility places so they would be a reminder to people that New York has a lot to offer,” he said.
The work was done this summer by Chenango Contracting, which was selected because it did a similar logo for the state DOT on Interstate 90 a few years ago. Duffy said the project was not put out to bid because the cost was below the minimum threshold for competitive bidding.
The effort to boost the state’s tourism industry is in line with the vision of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who held a tourism summit in May, when he announced increased funding for the state’s I Love New York campaign.
“The department is proud to support tourism efforts in New York state,” Duffy said.
According to state figures, more than 4.6 million people annually make an overnight visit to the Capital Region. About $1.6 billion is spent every year by travelers in the area, and tourism is responsible for more than 33,000 jobs in the region. Across the state, the tourism industry is responsible for about 714,000 jobs and generated $57 billion in direct spending last year.