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Date ArticleType
8/7/2017 Chamber News
I Love NY Meets I Love Lucy

Once again, New York State has reaffirmed its commitment to the National Comedy Center, Chautauqua County, and the Western New York region.  Governor Andrew Cuomo made a special trip to Jamestown last week to kick off the annual Lucy Comedy Festival weekend. During his speech the Governor announced that the National Comedy Center will get its first major sponsorship from the I Love New York tourism program with $500,000 dedicated to promoting this unique attraction.  This support is in addition to the $14-million the state has already invested to see that the facility is built.

The Governor got an up close and personal look at the museum that is under construction. The project at the corner of Second and Washington Streets is utilizing existing buildings and infrastructure with the addition of a welcome area and a connecting tunnel to the refurbished Jamestown Gateway Train Station. Once complete the facility will be home to interactive exhibit experiences, comedy programming and archived material. Governor Cuomo pointed out that his approach to economic development has been to highlight the diversity of each region in New York State as each community has its own unique assets to build upon.  In noting the Comedy Center project here in Chautauqua County, he stated we “already have the formula and are building on it.” 

President and CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, Howard Zemsky, noted, “Economic development is a team sport.”  Zemsky, a Brooklyn native who spent decades in Buffalo and has a summer home on Chautauqua Lake, said no one has focused on the Upstate and Western New York economy like Governor Cuomo.

The announcement of additional funds to help launch marketing for the National Comedy Center is welcome news for our entire county.  The Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, County Government, public and private entities along with our organizations view this project as an important gemstone in a multi-faceted piece of jewelry.  Our region already features spectacular natural beauty, a prime spot on Lake Erie, several inland recreational lakes, Chautauqua Institution, and an array of other extraordinary attractions.  Coupled with $10-million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding to help boost support services and attractions in Jamestown, the National Comedy Center will expand on an already burgeoning tourism industry.  As the Governor stated, “You can feel the energy here.”

Congratulations to the board and staff of the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum for their vision, dedication, and hard work.  With sold out shows again this year, the annual Lucy Comedy Festival brought in visitors from outside our area, made them welcome, and made them laugh.  It doesn’t get much better than that. 

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