Schenectady County legislators will discuss this week the creation of a tourism and convention bureau.
The proposed bureau would be a not-for-profit corporation with the role of coordinating conferences, conventions and other tourism initiatives within Schenectady County to promote arts, cultural, entertainment and leisure activities in the area.
“Our economic redevelopment efforts have put Schenectady County on the map as a true tourism destination,” said Anthony Jasenski, chair of the county legislature, in a press release.
The timing is ideal, Jasenski said, with the upcoming opening of the Rivers Casino & Resort along the Mohawk Harbor. The casino is expected to open in early 2017. Other developments on the harbor site include a Marriott hotel, slated to open this year, and townhouses.
The Schenectady County Tourism and Visitors Bureau will be funded by the county’s hotel/motel bed tax, which is restricted for county-wide arts and tourism efforts, according to a press release.
The bureau would be led by a board of directors, which would be made up of representatives from different segments of the county’s entertainment, hospitality and cultural sectors, according to a press release.
The Schenectady County Legislature already features a Committee on Tourism and Special Events. The committee would work closely with the bureau, but the new organization would be its own entity, said Joe McQueen, Schenectady County spokesman. Events like SummerNight and Battle of the Bands would still be coordinated by the county, he said, though specifics of the partnership between the bureau and the existing committee will be discussed further.
Legislator Gary Hughes, who is sponsoring the resolution to create the bureau, said in a press release that the county needs to position itself to take advantage of the area’s growing entertainment district.
“Our efforts will attract overnight visitors for meetings and conventions, as well as those looking to see a show or go out to dinner, generating additional sales tax revenue,” he said.
Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels at 395-3113, [email protected] or @Brett_Samuels27 on Twitter.