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Why the surge in hotels in Oneida County?

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Why the surge of hotel building? That's the question many have been asking as more and more hotels opened up throughout Oneida County in recent years.

The Oneida County Tourism office says it's because they've been seeing an increase in demand for hotel rooms.

"In 2010 we saw an over eight percent demand for rooms in Oneida County," says Kelly Blazosky of the Oneida County Tourism.

In 2011, the demand of people requesting rooms was up an additional six percent from that.

This demand is all based on location, with developers attracted to Utica for being right on the New York State Thruway.

"We are one of only a few cities that has direct access to the thruway," says Blazosky. "When you get off the thruway, you're right here in the city just a few hundred feet from the downtown area."

Developers say they're also attracted to Utica for being right on the Erie Canal.

"We don't have many access points in Oneida County other than Sylvan Beach," says Blazosky. "For commercial boaters to pick a spot and stay, this is really going to open up doors for the commercial boaters and leisure boaters."

Oneida County tourism says the new development coincides with their push to finish the Erie Canal bike trail and develop the area further.

"If we provide an access point, then that's more reason for people to come and use us as their home base stay here stay in out hotels," says Blazosky.

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