Cayuga Summer Events Have Many Ups, a Few Have some Downs

Cayuga County, New York. – September 23, 2003– Each year the Cayuga County Office of Tourism takes a random attendance survey of some of the County¹s summer events to get a feel for summer activity in the area. The survey is not a scientific one, but it does give a fairly good picture of how events did around the county. The biggest jump was seen at Sterling Lake Shore Park & Nature Center that reported a 50% increase in attendance. Others that saw a healthy boost in numbers this year were the Auburn Doubledays, Auburn Summer Celebration at Emerson Park, East Side Wine & Dine, Harriet Tubman Pilgrimage, and the Seward House Garden Party. The Seward House keeps good track of their visitors and knows that they have already had 6,357 visitations through August 31 of this year. Not surprisingly, the bulk of their visitors come from New York State, but Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida are also major feeder markets. International visitors are also a pretty common occurrence at the Seward House, with people traveling from Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, France, Australia, Honduras, and other countries to see this great treasure. The Merry-Go-Round Playhouse had another record-breaking year at 98.6% capacity with 34,922 people attending their performances. With most theatres filling between 75-85% of their seats, the popularity of the Merry-Go-Round theatre is extraordinary and it apparent why they need to add more seats. According to Marketing Director, Nancy Furdock, ³we frequently have to turn away patrons because there are not seats available!²Weather and economy did take a toll on some of the County¹s events. For instance, the Bon Ton Roulet saw a 7% decline in numbers and the Fair Haven Arts and Crafts Festival was down by a reported 29%. Although Fair Haven Beach State Park remains a huge attraction in the County with 202,865 visitors, they too reported a 16% decline in attendance for Summer 2003. Other events that experienced lower participation numbers this year were the Great Race, Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fishing Derby, and the Sterling Renaissance Festival. TomatoFest, which happened to occur on one of the most beautiful (and rain-free) weekends of the summer was able to maintain its 2002 numbers. One attraction which has not been previously surveyed is the Finger Lakes Drive-in which reported 24,267 patrons. The Finger Lakes Drive-in is one of only three drive-ins in New York State and is looking at expanding with a possible second screen. Jesse Kline, Communications Specialist for the Cayuga County Office of Tourism, interfaces with many of the thousands of visitors that come to Cayuga County and use our visitor information services located at 131 Genesee Street in Auburn. She notes some of the more interesting tourists that come though the doors during the summer.A Mennonite couple from Michigan visiting Amish country in the Finger LakesThe female lead from ³Singin¹ in the Rain² playing at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse looking for things to do when her fiancé visitsA young cyclist from Oregon en route to Boston looking for grape pie and good bakeriesAnother cyclist from Australia, who flew into San Francisco, and biked his way across country to Auburn. Jesse mapped the rest of his route – final destination – the Rosco Diner!A family from Florida whose daughter read about Harriet Tubman in the second grade. They came to Auburn to visit The Tubman Home and Tubman¹s grave site.A couple from Toronto that extended their stay, just so they could do the Route 90 Garage Sale.These are just a few of the interesting people that came to Cayuga County this year, to visit our attractions, stay in our fine hotels and B&Bs and attend our great events. For more information on Cayuga County call 315-255-1658/800-499-9615 or visit www.TourCayuga.com.


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