First New Major Theme Park in Northeast in More Than Four Decades
Highlights Revival of New York's Tourism Industry, Encouraging New Yorkers to Safely Explore Great Destinations Across State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the final land to open at LEGOLAND® New York Resort in Goshen, Orange County - the first new major theme park in the Northeast in more than four decades. Developed by Merlin Entertainments, the 150-acre project is the first LEGOLAND® theme park in the Northeast, the third in the United States and the ninth in the world. It features seven LEGO® themed lands, each with its own rides and attractions, and strong educational elements for children ages two to 12 and their families.
"The pandemic took a devastating toll on New York, and as we make our comeback, the new LEGOLAND®New York Resort in Orange County is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity that this state has always been known for," Governor Cuomo said. "This magnificent destination for people of all ages will help spur the Mid-Hudson region's economic recovery, jumpstart the state's critical tourism industry, and provide a world-class, family-friendly experience for travelers from all over the world."
The theme park is the first to feature the world-premiere LEGO® Factory Adventure Ride, which transforms guests into Minifigures and gives them a whimsical "brick's eye view" of how LEGO® is made. The ride also incorporates a specialized ADA vehicle capable of carrying a guest who uses a wheelchair. It is one of several amenities that allows LEGOLAND® New York to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities, including a "Sensory Room" where children and families can combat sensory overload.
A 250-room LEGOLAND® Hotel is now taking bookings starting August 6. Built for kids, each of the Hotel's fully LEGO® themed rooms will feature a separate children's sleeping area, with daily children's entertainment and scavenger hunts for LEGO® prizes. Located just steps away from the theme park, the Hotel will also feature a heated resort-style swimming pool.
Stephanie Johnson, Divisional Director of LEGOLAND® New York Resort, said, "We appreciate the support of New York State and Empire State Development as LEGOLAND® New York Resort prepares to welcome guests from far and wide to build unforgettable memories this summer. We aim to be a child's first theme park experience, and we've always seen the Hudson Valley as the perfect fit for LEGOLAND® New York Resort, not only for its picturesque setting, but its proximity to the largest tourist market in the world. After the challenges of the past year, we are pleased to see signs that people are ready to travel again, and we're proud to play a part in the rebirth of New York's crucial tourism economy."
LEGOLAND® New York was supported by $15.1 million in grants through the Regional Economic Development Council and Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Additionally, LEGOLAND®New York and New York State invested more than $40 million in new road and bridge infrastructure to enhance capacity and improve reliability, including the reconfiguration of the Route 17 Exit 125 interchange; construction of a new bridge over Route 17; widening the South Street and Route 17M intersection; and the reconstruction of Harriman Drive.
More than $37 million has also been invested to grow and modernize nearby New York Stewart International Airport in the Town of New Windsor. This included expanding the terminal by 19,850 square feet, adding a permanent federal inspection service facility, expanded service, more restrooms, and the construction of a solar canopy over the airport parking lot, providing 90 percent of the power needs for the entire passenger terminal. In March, the governor announced three new initiatives to support and encourage larger passenger volumes with the revitalization of travel and tourism.
Today's announcement also underscores New York's commitment to the state's tourism industry. Throughout the governor's administration, historic investments in the tourism have generated record-setting levels of visitor spending and economic impact while supporting thousands of jobs. However, the industry was disproportionately impacted during the pandemic. To support and encourage the revival of tourism across the state, the governor recently unveiled the first two phases of a $40 million global campaign, showcasing some of the world-class attractions in New York City and throughout Upstate New York. Those efforts, combined with new attractions like LEGOLAND®New York, will help to rebuild the state's tourism economy, while welcoming visitors and residents alike to explore all the state has to offer and find what they love.
The health and safetyof guests and staff remains a top priority at LEGOLAND®New York Resort.In accordance with New York State and CDC guidance, face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated guests, while guests who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear face coverings while at the Park. All tickets and passes will be digital, transactions will be cashless,andmobile app-based food and beverage offerings will include digital menus in the future. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the theme park andsocial distancing is encouraged.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, "New York State could not be more proud to welcome Merlin Entertainments' newest LEGOLAND® resort to the Mid-Hudson Region, as today's announcement is just the latest and greatest example of Governor Cuomo's successful regionally-based economic development strategy. With families expected from across the country and around the world, this ambitious project will play a key role in spurring the Empire State's tourism economy and emphatically announces that New York State is back and open for business and for visitors worldwide."
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The State Department of Transportation is proud to have played a role in making LEGOLAND® New York a reality. This exciting new theme park will not only bring joy to the hearts of countless New York children and their families, but it will also bring new tourism and economic activity to Orange County, demonstrating once again the intrinsic link between sound transportation systems and the vitality of our communities."
SUNY New Paltz President and Mid-Hudson REDC Co-Chair Dr. Donald P. Christian said, "The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council is proud to have supported this project, and eagerly welcomes the Northeast's first LEGOLAND® park to our great region. For a decade, the REDC has been cultivating the Mid-Hudson region as a top destination for visitors and a great place for residents and businesses. Merlin Entertainment recognized this, and our positive, productive partnership will yield job opportunities, infrastructure improvements, and economic development locally and across the region."
LEGOLAND® New York remains committed to education, offering year-round educational opportunities to school-aged children throughout the region, with programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education. The new theme park will also bring significant community benefits to the Town of Goshen. LEGOLAND® New York will pay the Town a Host Community Fee, based on attendance, of at least $520,000 the first year and increasing each year thereafter for 30 years, with no cap on payments. The theme park will also host two Community Days for the Town per year, donating 50 percent of event ticket sale revenue to the Town.
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, "Orange County is proud to welcome LEGOLAND® New York which joins other attractions that make the County a destination for tourists from around the world. We had a great opportunity to bring LEGOLAND® to Orange County and it will be a major economic draw for the region. Not to mention it has made a lot of young children in the area very happy."
Goshen Town Supervisor Douglas Bloomfield said, "Today's announcement is a major step forward in transforming Goshen's economy for generations to come, and the eagerly anticipated opening will help spur significant job growth and local tourism. I want to thank Merlin Entertainments, Governor Cuomo and all of the elected officials who made today possible, and I look forward to years of fun ahead at LEGOLAND® New York."