NY State Tourism: Casinos, Upstate NY Marketing

Cesar Perales, Secretary of State of New York, detailed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for New York. Check back with Patch for more on his presentation


Cesar Perales, Secretary of State of New York, detailed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for New York. He presented a powerpoint and fielded questions at Ramapo Town Hall Monday night. He looked at several aspects from economic development to education standards.

The big push was “NY one-two punch: Jobs and Education.” With education, the state’s new plan is to look at “More and better," including more and longer school days and full pre-K. Read more about Cuomo's education goals in this Patch post. 

Economic development was an important topic during Perales’ presentation. Better and greener technology was part of the goals for Cuomo’s NY economic development. He also looked at tourism.

  • Market Upstate NY
  • Casinos/Destination Resorts

Upstate Economy

Cuomo is looking to put a heavy focus on upstate economic development after decades of decline.

Upstate job growth lags behind. 

Regional Job Growth (2002) Upstate 5 % NYS 11 % NYC 16 % US 9 %

“We’ve implemented a number of programs to revitalize Upstate.”

  • Buffalo Billion
  • REDC
  • Energy Highway
  • Property Tax Cap
  • Agriculture Initiatives

Also, today’s new intiatives work for upstate as well such as , workers comp and unemployment insurance reform, no new taxes, training linkage and NY SUNY 2020

Currently there is no real marketing plan for Upstate NY, so Market NY will be a new multi-faceted marketing plan to bolster Upstate growth

Market NY Products:

  • Have a coordinated marketing plan around NY products (e.g. wine, beer, yogurt).
  • New TASTE-NY program will aggressively promote NY products
  • Create duty-free stores across the state to promote NY grown and produced products

Market Regional Attractions

  • Currently, the state provides funds to county-specific marketing efforts, which results in counties competing with each other, no coordination and no regional synergy
  • Counties must be incentivized to work together to forge regional synergies

NYS will hold a $5 million advertising competition for best regional marketing plans

  • Niagara Falls
  • Finger lakes
  • Thousand Islands
  • Hudson Valley

Special Event Marketing Campaigns

  • The challenge is to reintroduce people to the beauty and assets of Upstate NY
  • Advertise special events and create new ones

NY State will sponsor a national whitewater rafting competition that is scheduled for this year: The Adirondack Challenge. Part of the competition can be between government officials (Politician Division).


  • You must have at least 6 people in the raft.
  • The teams must be co-ed.
  • Rafters must be bona fide government employees for at least 6 months (“no ringers” policy).
  • All rafters must paddle
  • Identical rafts, equipment (except for security reasons)

Casinos/Destination Resorts

Casinos are already in NY. There are 17 facilities across the state. However, there are gaming facilities surrounding New York: 39 casinos in the adjacent states and provinces.

"New Yorkers  are supporting outside casinos. If people are going to gamble, then let them gamble in New York and let us tax those casinos," said Perales. 

Cuomo’s plan proposes a Casino Gaming Plan to boost Upstate development

  • We propose a “PHASE 1.” Up to 3 and all Upstate.
  • No casinos in NYC—plan is to bring downstate New Yorkers to Upstate.
  • Revenue split of 90% for education and 10% for local property tax relief.
  • Local government/community support factor in selection.
  • Hold a national competition and leave locations up to Gaming Commission to pick best.
  • Would require a November referendum. 
  • “We currently use (80 or 90 percent of) the money that we tax gambling enterprises … goes to education. That will continue to be (how we use that taxed money),” said Perales.

Check back with Patch for more on Perales' presentation


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