The Finger Lakes Welcome Center, one of 11 centers across the state, has made its debut on the shore of Seneca Lake in Geneva, Ontario County. It will be the first location to sell New York State-made wine, beer, and cider at its Taste NY Market.
The Finger Lakes Welcome Center’s theme, “Wine and Water,” aims to promote the world-renowned assets of the Finger Lakes by paying tribute to the region’s famous vineyards and namesake lakes. The region is home to more than 100 wineries, and wine barrels are featured prominently throughout the location.
Wine tastings and other programming surrounding New York State’s booming craft beverage industry are being planned. The tasting bar will be available to local wineries and other food and beverage producers to use for promotional events with reservations made available through NY Kitchen. New York Kitchen, formerly the New York Wine and Culinary Center, will operate the Welcome Center.
“Since the inception of the NYWCC, now the New York Kitchen, we have been proud of our deep-rooted connection with the State of New York to highlight NYS wine, craft beverages, food, agriculture and tourism,” said Ginny Clark, president of New York Kitchen.
The Welcome Center is designed to boost regional tourism. In 2017, New York had 243.8 million visitors, who generated $67.7 billion in direct spending. The center has multiple interactive I LOVE NEW YORK kiosks positioned throughout, allowing visitors to test their knowledge of the region or design a trip itinerary. A large LED screen promotes regional tourism attractions and destinations, and an artifact wall features curated regionally-specific items. Canoes donated by the Finger Lakes Boating Museum are suspended from the ceiling and have been transformed into custom lighting fixtures. A glass-encased community room offering stunning views of the picturesque Seneca Lake. Organizations and groups may register to use the room for not-for-profit meetings and events.
“The Finger Lakes are one of New York’s greatest treasures, and the new welcome center in Geneva celebrates the region’s rich culture and heritage and encourages visitors to explore the world-class attractions,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Tourism is vital to regional economies cross the state, and our new visitor and spending records are proof positive of the success of our investments.”