An Uncertain Future: Conflicts and Opportunities
Is the goal of creating a world-class ecotourism attraction at the former Depot realistic? Is it consistent with the economic development goals of local businesses and residents? We believe it is.
It is easy to visualize conflict between economic development and preserving wildlife, but careful development of this vast site can support both. With a 10,800 acre site, we have the space to preserve wildlife, establish a military history site, and develop major industrial facilities.
Establishing an ecotourism center will not require large investments for improvements and infrastructure that many industrial uses would necessitate. Conserving the valuable habitat and wildlife would involve building on the existing infrastructure, rather than adding costly and disruptive facilities.
Finger Lakes Tourism Hotspot
The Depot can readily take its place among the Finger Lakes’ premier tourist attractions. The unique herd of white deer, unparalleled birding opportunities and fascinating military history have already drawn thousands of visitors — and we have hardly scratched the surface of advertising its potential.
More than 4,800 people took our bus tours of the Depot in 2006 and 2009. The tours sold out weeks ahead of time and hundreds had to be turned away. Tours have just begun again for Fall, 2012. Clearly, the Depot is a huge draw and can grow tremendously. In cooperation with the renowned Finger Lakes region’s other natural resources and world-class wineries, the Depot’s tourism potential is an iceberg; only a small part is visible, but a far greater future hides beneath.
These attractions draw 21 million tourists a year. In the Central Finger Lakes region, these tourists support 14,000 jobs, $165 million in tourism payroll, $200 million in taxable visitor spending, and more than $8 million in state tax revenues.
Now is the time for us to take action to make this ecotourism and military history center a reality. Join us in the effort to Save the Depot!