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Get Involved: Economic Revitalization
The 524-mile New York State Canal System and the remnants of its predecessor towpath-era canals represent a regional asset for economic development. The National Heritage Corridor has leveraged $23 million in funds to date and awarded
$350,000 in grants to communities throughout the Corridor.
 
Current and Past Projects

Downtown Investment Forum- June 18, 2014
Hotel @ The Lafayette, Buffalo

 
A spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism built the Erie Canal and spurred growth in New York State and the nation. Our daylong forum brings together experts, community leaders, and developers to facilitate a solution-oriented dialogue for downtown investment opportunities. Registration opens in April.
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Supporting Regional Economies, cover Supporting Regional Economies
National Heritage Areas and their Impact
A study published by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas in 2013 found that national heritage areas contribute $12.9 billion annually to the national economy, 148,000 jobs and $1.2 billion annually in federal taxes.
 
The report also noted the National Heritage Area Program is one of the Department of the Interior's most cost-effective initiatives, in which every dollar of federal funding is matched with an average of $5.50 in additional public and private funding.

 
Read the full report >
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Gateway Harbor, North Tonawanda New York Consolidated Funding Awards (CFA)
In both 2011 and 2013, Consolidated Funding Awards announced by Governor Cuomo as part of his Regional Economic Development Council Initiative directed nearly $30 million to preservation, parks, and waterfront improvement projects in the Canalway Corridor.
 
Link to the full list of CFA projects >
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Herkimer Home State Historic Site Economic Impact Study of Historic and Cultural Sites (2010)
Visitors to historic and cultural sites in the eastern part of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (Albany to Rome) generate an estimated $38 million in sales at local businesses, which support 507 jobs, providing $14 million in wages to local residents.
 
Download the full Economic Impact Report >
 

Key Findings:

70% of visitors to East Region are day trippers and 80% are from New York State.
 

More than half of visitors to sites in the eastern region come for a specific cultural and heritage tourism site or special event, rather than to visit the region in general. Historic sites and festivals are top attractions, followed by museums. This is in contrast to visitors to the West Region of the Corridor, where visiting family and friends is a more typical draw.
 

The typical profile of a Corridor visitor is an adult between ages of 46 and 75, with income of $75,000 or more per year and travelling with immediate family members.
 

These visitors patronize local businesses: of those that shop, 57% visit historic downtowns, 43% shop in locally owned stores, 50% of meals eaten are in locally owned restaurants, and 21% of overnight visitors stay in locally-owned lodging facilities (vs 29% who stay in chain hotels/motels).
 

Most survey respondents reported learning about Corridor sites and activities from a previous visit and from the Internet. Family and friends was the next most common method for visitors to get their travel information. Repeat visitation to the Corridor is high – 54% reported being a repeat visitor.
 

Total visitors to heritage sites in the eastern region are estimated at 998,000 per year. Most of these visitors are day trippers who live in or near the Corridor. (See attached for maps of visitor origins).
 

Day trip visitors spend approximately $33 per trip and overnight visitors spend approximately $360 per trip (See attached for visitor spending details).

 
     
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  Congressman Paul Tonko
 
 
 

 
"This study shows that we must continue to preserve sites that are historically and culturally significant -- and we are blessed with an abundance in upstate New York."

  
Congressman Paul Tonko
   

 
  For more information, contact Hannah_Blake@nps.gov or (518) 237-7000, ext 202.  
 
 
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