How much do you readily recall when asked about places of interest in Oneida County?
Billboards displaying messages highlighting various points of county pride are starting to appear around the county. Oneida County Tourism launched the campaign to both welcome visitors and remind residents of the many features, attractions and recreational opportunities special to the county.
"Visitors travel here from around the world to enjoy our county’s natural beauty and outstanding attractions. But, for people who live here, it’s easy to forget all that is available when caught up in busy daily life," said Kelly Blazosky, president of the tourism promotion agency.
The billboard series contains 14 different designs, each celebrating something notable in the county like "29 golf courses within 29 minutes," "25,000 works of art," and "New York’s best burger." New billboards will be posted monthly until October.
Two of the signs were slated to go up last Friday. One about bocce was slated for Route 12, 3.5 miles south of Route 5. The Rome Toccolana Club is home to the yearly World Series of Bocce. The second sign featuring Utica’s Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute was going up near Rome along Route 49, east of route 233.
Other signs will highlight such venues and events as Fort Stanwix National Monument, F.X. Matt Brewery and the Boilermaker.
Blazosky is hopeful the billboards will reinforce Oneida County Tourism’s message that the county is a getaway destination.
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., concurs.
"Wherever you travel in Oneida County, there is something to be proud of, and something worth seeing, whether you are visiting for the first time or have lived here for decades," he said.Travel-and-leisure activities generated more than $1.1 billion in the county last year.
"Tourism is a major part of the continued economic development of this county," said Legislator Edward P. Welsh, R-21, Utica, who is chairman of the Economic Development & Tourism Committee.