Some say this train service could provide opportunities in tourism and development for every community along the Adirondack Railway. But others disagree. There was a heated debate in Boonville last week, and tonight, City Hall was a full house as community members from all over the Mohawk Valley voiced their opinions.
"I think it's an opportunity that Utica and the whole region needs to rally behind," says Eugene Falvo, Utica resident.
"And something like this opens a whole new marketplace," says Kelly Blazosky, president of Oneida County Tourism.
Kelly Blazosky is the president of Oneida County Tourism, and she says tourism in our region already generates $1.1 billion dollars. With this possible railway...
"Such a unique rail service would definitely be a great asset because you would be bringing people up from Manhattan, from the NYC environment, hopefully to be able to interface with Utica," says Blazosky.
But others don't think this will be the case.
"You're somehow going to get people from the Adirondacks to come to Utica and use this as a hub is a little silly. We do have vacationers but the truth of the matter is there there on vacation, they're not looking to go elsewhere," says Jim McCulley, Snowmobiling Club.
Jim McCulley is a member of the snowmobiling club, and he says snowmobiling generates nearly $870 million dollars each year.
"In the Adirondacks, 55% of all business is closed in Winter time and this is the most important trail in the Adirondacks because it connects all the trails in the park," says McCulley.
But if this train goes into operation year-round - they'll lose that.
"If they run Winter trains, snowmobiling is done on the corridor," says McCulley.
Still, other Utica residents think the good outweighs the bad.
"As somebody who lives and works in this area, and I want my kids to be able to be here, I want this area to succeed, and this is the way to do it," says Falvo.
The Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society and Iowa Pacific Holdings announced a partnership in the development of this train service. But the president of Adirondack Railroad says this project will take several years. There goal is to have business plans complete by the end of 2012.
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