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Schumer promotes tourism bill

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U.S. Senator Charles Schumer made a swing through the Adirondacks Friday to promote legislation designed to boost tourism across the state and the country. Schumer was in Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Blue Mountain Lake to boost support for the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act, or TRIP Act, which would award federal grants to tourism destinations for infrastructure and marketing efforts. Chris Knight was in Lake Placid for Schumer's visit and filed this report.

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Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

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The TRIP Act, if approved by Congress, would direct the U.S. Commerce Department to set aside $10 million for tourism destinations as part of a competitive grant application process. Tourist attractions would be encouraged to partner with chambers of commerce and local towns and villages to develop a tourism plan and compete for matching grants between $100,000 and $1 million.

At a Friday morning press conference in Lake Placid, Schumer said the program would help tourism destinations in the Adirondacks and across the state improve their infrastructure and marketing.

He said "Some help is warranted. This is not help like a handout. This is an investment that will be paid back over and over again."

Funding for the grant program would be taken from federal revenues though a bill he said has bipartisan support.

James McKenna head of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and Lake Placid Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said program could provide a boost to communities that have a lot of visitors but don't have the necessary tourism infrastructure, like lodging.

She said, "We get a lot of people that might come here and hike our trails and everything, but a lot of our communities don't have the man made facilities where people can leave money behind so the community gains something. This program will allow communities to start establishing that, so we get some investment in lodging. It doesn't have to be large hotels; it can be small Adirondack inns and those types of things. We have to get the facilities in place for Adirondack communities to gain something out of tourism."

Following his stop in Lake Placid Friday morning, Schumer traveled to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake and later made a stop at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake to promote the legislation.

For NCPR, I'm Chris Knight in Lake Placid.

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