A number of additional improvements are greeting visitors to this year’s New York State Fair, but what’s planned for next year that could transform the venue year-round. Governor Andrew Cuomo helped open the fair this morning, and says while he’s impressed by this year’s new midway sky tram, there’s something else he says will truly boost attendance and tourism.
"I'm even more excited for the new Expo Center next year...130,000 square feet...the largest convention expo center north of New York City...in the entire Northeast," Cuomo said.
The Expo Center will be a multi-use venue for car shows, equestrian events, trade shows, auctions, and more. The State hopes to begin construction on the center this November, generating over 700 jobs and finishing just in time for its big debut at the 2018 State Fair. Cuomo finds that such an epicenter for shows and events could bring vital revenue to Central New York’s hospitality industry.
"You bring people to come see car show, a horse show, or an equipment show...that's good for Hotel Syracuse, that's good for the restaurants, that's good for the shops. Tourism is a phenomenal engine for Upstate New York,” Cuomo said.
The Fairgrounds will have a total of 450,000 square feet of air conditioned space once the Expo Center is complete. Improvements will also be made to access roads, driveways, and other utilities around the Expo Center to keep up with increased volume. Cuomo is optimistic that the Fairgrounds will attract larger crowds.
"We broke the record last year for fair attendance...I believe with this Expo Center next year we are going to break the record, again next year, and the year after, and we are going to have year round activity right here at the Fair,” Cuomo said.
The 171st New York State Fair runs through Labor Day September 4th.