EDITORIAL: An important day for tourism in our region

Yesterday was a good day for tourism, not only in Oneida County, but in the entire Mohawk Valley.

Oneida Nation Enterprises has officially opened The Cove, a vacation rental destination in Sylvan Beach consisting of 70 modern and beautifully appointed two and three bedroom cottages with extensive amenities on Oneida Lake.

The $35 million project includes not only housing but also a personal pontoon boat for each tenant.

In another announcement, there was news that would appeal to fans of hiking and cycling.

The Mohawk River Trail will be expanded with a $3,576,000 grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), funded through the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the state Department of Transportation.

Both projects will strengthen the economic strength and attractiveness of our region. Silwan Beach and its surroundings will be a place where visitors will want to return.

Pontoon boats, dedicated boat sheds, personal fire pits and gas grills, cottage kitchens and other essentials are among the features.

Inside the cottages there are fully equipped kitchens in addition to amenities such as built-in bunk beds with curtains.

At a ceremony on Tuesday held at 750 Pioneer Ave. Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter was joined by a state senator. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome; Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr.; Richard Sullivan, Mayor of Sylvan Beach; and Brian Cohen, head of Benchmark Development.

Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said the trail award is significant as it will fund the completion of one of the last legs of the Mohawk River Trail to the Roman Fish Hatchery and Golf Road.

The $3.576 million will allow Rome to build “an additional 2.5 miles on a multi-use recreation trail connecting the existing Black River trail,” Izzo said.

A second phase of the project is currently under construction which will extend the trail from East Chestnut Street to Wright Settlement Road. Once the second phase is completed, it will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel through the Greenway and Erie Canalway system all the way to Delta Dam, the mayor said.

These two projects will draw attention to our area to promote sustainable modes of transportation and make it easier and safer to cruise, walk, bike or hike.

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