Two events aimed at helping Canalway Trail communities take advantage of the growing bicycle tourist market will be held in Schenectady on September 15 and 16.
An evening Bicyclists Bring Business roundtable is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Proctor’s Theatre, 43 State Street, Schenectady. The roundtable will focus on how to attract and profit from the area’s growing number of bicycle tourists. There will also be time to network with business people and tourism professionals from other communities and enjoy some light refreshments.
Local business people, elected officials, Chambers of Commerce, Tourist Promotion Agencies, and interested citizens are invited to attend. Attendees will receive a copy of the guidebook, Bicyclists Bring Business: A Guide for Attracting Bicyclists to New York’s Canal Communities.
As a follow up to the roundtable, on Wednesday, September 16 there will be a Bike-a-Round designed to use the previous evening’s presentation as a basis for experiencing Schenectady and the Erie Canalway Trail by bicycle. Participants will meet at 10:00 a.m. in front of Proctors Theatre. Following the Bike-a-Round, participants will gather over a pay-your-own lunch at Bombers Burrito Bar to discuss the ride and possible solutions to identified issues.
Drawing more cyclists to the Canalway Trail can have a significant economic impact. According to a 2014 study conducted by Parks & Trails New York and funded in part by the New York State Canal Corporation and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Erie Canalway Trail (ECT) experiences more than 1.58 million visits per year. Spending by ECT visitors annually generates approximately $253 million in economic impact and $28.5 million in sales and income taxes and supports 3,440 jobs in the local economies within the trail corridor. The study also found that those who were vacationing on the ECT spent on average $939 per person per visit and stayed for one to three nights. While overnight visitors represented 18% of the annual visits to the trail, they account for 84% of trail-related spending.
The Bicyclists Bring Business event is organized by Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the New York State Canal Corporation and hosted by Proctors Theatre, Friends of the Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail, City of Schenectady, County of Schenectady, and the Capital District Transportation Council.
For more information and to RSVP to attend, visit the Bicyclists Bring Business page on Parks & Trails New York’s website.