The Empire State Ranks Fourth in National Skier Visits with Over 4 Million Visits; Developments Underway for Upcoming Seasons NEW YORK, June 4, 2009 - New York State (www.iloveny.com) surpassed four million skier visits over the '08-'09 season, according to the State's ski areas, a record-breaking number for the State moving into the top fourth position ahead of Utah for the first time in decades. New York State's Division of Tourism partnered with Ski Areas of New York (SANY) to create successful winter promotions marketing the state as a nearby and accessible option for winter travel. "We were able to help New Yorkers and travelers up and down the East Coast see that they could stay at home or hop in the car and travel a short distance for a fantastic ski getaway," said Thomas Ranese, Chief Marketing Officer of Empire State Development and the I LOVE NEW YORK campaign. "In other words, schlep less and ski more!" Scott Brandi, president of SANY, cites a combination of varied level ski areas, outstanding conditions and value-minded incentives as among the reasons the Empire State achieved unprecedented success. "Breaking the four million skier visit threshold in New York State is a major accomplishment and a testimony to the excellent job our resorts have done," said Scott Brandi, President of the Ski Areas of New York. "Infrastructure upgrades, a focus on customer service, and the enhanced ski and ride learning programs all helped to grow the sport while serving as the upstate tourism economic engine during the winter months." With more ski areas than any other state in the country, New York State offers a ski destination for any skill level. Governor David A. Paterson's designation in January as "Learn a Snow-sport Month" encouraged those who previously hadn't had the chance to learn how to ski or snowboard to give it a try at a lowered cost, boosting visitation throughout the state. With this success behind them, New York State ski areas are already gearing up for the next several seasons. At Gore Mountain in North Creek, NY, construction will begin on the mountain's interconnect to the historic North Creek Ski Bowl where Gore has been open for tubing since December 2002 and skiing/snowboarding since December 2007. This project will physically link Gore Mountain and the Ski Bowl while creating an outstanding mix of new terrain. Five trails, including the existing Pipeline, will comprise the development, serviced by a new triple chair. The Interconnect is scheduled to open for the 2010/2011 season. At Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, NY, construction is currently underway on the Tamarack Hotel as well as to rebuild the Champagne Mountain Top Warming Hut, with additional snowmaking improvements and plans for rebuilding the main lodge. At the Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, NY, the Hope Lake Lodge & Indoor Water Park is set to open in October, 2009 as a four-star expansion of the popular ski area. The indoor water park will be the first of its kind at any ski resort in New York State featuring a wave pool, waterfall, three-story tube slide, indoor/outdoor pool and indoor/outdoor hot tubs. Bristol Mountain Winter Resort in Canandaigua, NY recently announced the ground breaking for their new "Galaxy Express" quad lift scheduled for completion for the 2009-10 winter season enabling guests to ride from the base to the top of the mountain in approximation four minutes. For more information about New York State ski areas and travel opportunities to the areas' attractions in every season, visit www.iloveny.com or www.skiandrideny.com. About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information visit www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.
# # #Dara Yaffe/Terence Gallagher Lou Hammond & Associates Tel: (212) 308-8880; Fax: (212) 891-0200 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com Lisa Willner Empire State Development Corporation Tel: (212) 803-3740 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org