QUEENSBURY - A new week-long event being launched this year in Lake George Village received a sizeable pledge of public funding Monday as Warren County's Occupancy Tax Committee reviewed applications Monday from various organizations for tourism-related grants.
In all the committee earmarked 9,250 for 31 different events, primarily for promotional purposes. The groups' requests had totaled $636,070. The committee's decisions are subject to endorsement by the full board at its upcoming December meeting.
New on the Lake George calendar is the LakeGeorge.com Family Fun Festival, scheduled for July 5 through 9.
The event includes over a dozen activities and contests geared for children of all ages as well as adults, promoter Jason Sherry said.
Proposed events for the five weekdays include a sand-sculpting contest, a youth triathlon, a teen dance contest, a sand sculpting competition, horseback riding, and train rides in North Creek. The event also includes a Lego building competition, an arts and crafts contest, beach volley ball and mini-golf tournaments, an ice cream social, a family film festival, a video game contest, and an evening at the Great Escape theme park.
The county Occupancy Tax Committee earmarked $8,000 to Adirondack Promotions and Mannix Marketing for promotion of the event.
Sherry told county supervisors Monday that the days immediately following the Fourth of July in Lake George were ripe for promotion, because accommodations in the town were fully staffed, yet tourism was typically slow in this particular week.
On top of that, hotels in 2009 had an occupancy decrease of 16 percent, and 2010 is expected to follow that trend, he said.
Various accommodations will be discounting their prices or participating in offering package deals for tourists, Sherry said.
The Family Fun Festival is expected to draw 3,500 children, generating 1,750 hotel and motel reservations, representing 5,250 room-nights, he said.
Promotion of the event will primarily be conducted by e-mail "blasts" and Internet marketing, he said.
Another new attraction to be launched this year in Lake George Village is the Summer Concert Series at the Lake George Forum. Six concerts are planned to be offered from June to September 2010, with an expense budget of $285,000 with local businesses and other entities raising about $30,000 in support of the series. The county awarded it $9,000 for promotion.
Another event receiving county funding for the first time is the Queen's Great Boat Race, which enjoyed its heydays in the 1990s. In this event, a variety of storied tour boats on Lake George stage a race from Bolton to Lake George Village while hosting revelers. This year's event, set for May 21-13, is expected to be expanded to include 75 to 100 privately owned boats, from kayaks and canoes to cruisers and speedboats. To be headquartered at Fort William Henry Resort, the Queen's Great Race Weekend is expected to result in about 200 motel and hotel rooms being booked. The county awarded this event $6,000.
Other Lake George-based events awarded funding Monday were:
• Last of the Mohicans Outdoor Drama for 6 fully staged performances in early August, $10,000 - last year, they were awarded $2,500 for two limited presentations;
• Adirondack Wedding Association's Bridal Weekend Jan. 9 and 10 at Dunham's Bay Resort on the east shore of Lake George, $1,000 awarded;
• Lake George Elvis Festival, set for June 3- 6,award of $6,000, which is down from $8,000 in 2009 because it is now well-established;
• Albany Rods & Kustoms' 22nd annual Adirondack Nationals Car Show on Sept 10-12, $15,000, a reduction of $5,000 from 2009;
• Lake George Jazz Weekend on Sept. 18 and 19, awarded $5,000, an increase of $2,000 for 2008;
• Great Escape's "Holiday in the Park" events from Dec. 10 through 31, 2010, a grant of $25,000, up from $12,309in 2009;
• Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association's annual Convention and Parades June 16 through 20, an award of $20,000;
• Americade Motorcycle Rally, the traditional annual stipend of $50,000;
• Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce's Restaurant Week promotions, $8,000; plus $7,000 to the Chamber of ongoing Canadian tourism promotion;
• Velo Quebec Bicycle Tour, with thousands expected for a two-wheeled adventure in August starting in Lake George, an award of $3,000;
• Lake George Winter Carnival, $5,000 for their four February weekends; and
• Lake George Community Band's Summer and Holiday Concert Series, an award of $1,000. The Community Band was denied funding for its Summer Community Band Festival, which annually features 500 musicians in more than a dozen bands from all over the Northeast. It had been funded for the past three years, but Glens Falls Supervisor Bill Kenny recommended it not get funding because there wasn't proof that it prompted any substantial overnight stays - although it runs three days. No sponsors of the event were present Monday to defend their application.