Comptroller candidate James Zecca outlined his plans to boost tourism in Utica. Among his ideas are:
1. Arts and Culture
Candidate Zecca comments, "We already have the Munson Art Institute, the Stanley Theater, and the Auditorium. We need to realize that in order for businesses to benefit, the city must facilitate some of the marketing. That put everyone on the same team."
2. Enhance the Railroad
"America's romance with the train will never end. Folks of all ages enjoy the feeling of a train ride whether out in the hills or through a cityscape. We will make a huge mistake if we do not enhance and expand the current Adirondack Railroad system."
3. Make Utica more Transparent
"Tourists like to know a lot about the places they plan to visit. They make it a habit to visit that city or town's website. Right now, our website says 'Don't visit here'. That needs to change if we are to be successful. As of today, we do not even have a social media strategy for the community."
4. Make The Town Safer
"Instead of sweeping the problems under the rug, we need to get introduce a more comprehensive approach from the City Administration level. Public grandstanding that the criminals can easily avoid is not helpful. The Police Department has its own role, the city administration has its role. The two are to remain separate."
5. Become a regional hub
"Not only do we have a lot to offer right here in Utica, we could be a gateway community to all of upstate New York. This strategy would immediately boost our local hotels. Boosting our hotel business immediately enhances the prospects of the eateries directly in the area. Just by taking this approach, we could revitalize the downtown."