For Immediate Release:

November 14, 2017

Media Contact:

Nicole Mahoney

Regional Director, FLRTC

585-451-0050

Off-Season Programming Supports Winter in the Finger Lakes
From outdoor recreation to culinary creations, there is no lack of activity in the region this winter season
Pittsford, N.Y. - Snow has officially made landfall in parts of the Finger Lakes, which means the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC), the official tourism promotion agency for the region, has turned its focus to "off-season" winter promotions. Though temperatures drop and the landscape becomes blanketed in snow, the Finger Lakes remains an exciting vacation destination for travelers - with plenty of unique offerings. And with the colder months drawing in smaller crowds, winter is the perfect time to visit the Finger Lakes for wider availability at hotels and attractions and a more personal experience.
 
Outdoor Recreation
When the lakes and waterways freeze over, the Finger Lakes turns its focus to the mountains. Ski mountains like Greek Peak Mountain Resort (and its on-site hotel and indoor waterpark at Hope Lake Lodge), Labrador Mountain , Song Mountain Resort , and Toggenburg Mountain welcome patrons as soon as they are covered with the first dustings of snow. Labrador and Song are considered "sister mountains" due to their joint ownership and offer an "Inter-Mountain Passport" for no additional cost or restrictions. Night skiing is available on all four mountains. 
 
On the other side of the region, Bristol Mountain offers 1,200 feet of vertical to downhill skiers, and over 35 slopes and trails. The "Bristol Brigade Programs" provide season-long coaching for all levels of skiers and snowboarders to improve technique, build confidence, and take skills to a new level- starting at age five to adult. "First Timers Learn to Ski Camp" will be offered at various times throughout the season and a "Holiday Adventure Camp" will be open to kids ages 5-17, to learn to ski or snowboard over school vacation (visitors can take part too - it's only four days long).
 
For the non-skiers, Bristol Mountain also offers ziplining at the Aerial Adventure Park . Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing is offered throughout the region in its many state parks and outdoor trails (check out the historic site at Ganondagan, for starters). And ice skating is another great favorite - found at indoor rinks and famous downtown areas, such as Clinton Square in Syracuse, N.Y. and MLK Park in Rochester, N.Y..
 
Winter Events
Known for its festivals and events, fun in the Finger Lakes doesn't slow down in the chillier season. Instead, the region turns its focus to celebrating the holidays and all things snow. Take events like " Christmas Around the World ," an annual holiday tour of theLake Ontario Wine Trail. Visitors or locals can celebrate the season by sampling traditional holiday dishes from around the world, paired with local award-winning wines, spirits, and ciders. Participating members like Casa Larga Vineyards, JD Wine Cellars, Apple Country Spirits, Embark Craft Ciderworks, and more will each represent a different country and offer samples to guests - along with plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping.
 
Other notable wintery happenings include:
 
 
Specials & Packages
Those looking for a vacation or a stay-cation can find many specials and packages during winter that offer discounted overnights with added perks. A top property in Aurora, N.Y., the Inns of Aurora , offers one of these such deals with its "Holiday Whole House Package" - allowing you to take over the whole building with a group sized from 14 to 20 people. With this package, the group gets overnight accommodations, a wine and cheese hour prior to dinner, a full homemade turkey and striploin meal with all the trimmings and dessert, an on-site innkeeper, and a small, complimentary, coffee and scone breakfast in the morning. Rates are dependent on the property chosen (the Inns have two buildings included in the special) and are available from November through January 2018. 
 
Other hotels and resorts throughout the region offer similar special or discounted offers - often found only during the "off-season".
 
The Great Indoors
Don't forget those indoor attractions that make winter in the Finger Lakes so enjoyable. It's easy to forget about the blustery weather while exploring cultural favorites like the Corning Museum of Glass , Strong National Museum of Play , Geva Theatre Center , George Eastman Museum , Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) , and Destiny USA . These year-round attractions really showcase the "great indoors," and make the perfect day-long experience for residents and visitors alike.
 
For a little less art and a little more gaming - the new del Lago Casino Resort and Tioga Downs Casino make great stops. Tioga Downs had a soft opening of their new hotel (with full-service spa, fitness center, three pools, two rooftop decks, events center, and restaurant) this month, with a grand opening planned for December - making both locations a great place to both play, and stay.
 
Culinary
Winter is also a great time to check out some of those elusive Finger Lakes favorites that fill up during the busy season. Like FLX Table in Geneva, N.Y., which opened in October 2016 and was named Best New Restaurant of the Year by USA Today just two months later. Playing on the fun and friendly atmosphere of the dinner party, the small restaurant invites parties of 14 and under to dine as a collective group at one long table. Serving a set five-course dinner menu based on seasonality, the menu is always new and exciting. In the summer months, reservations book months in advance - but for winter, seatings are available for December and will open shortly for the new year.
 
Explore the Region
With all of this great winter activity in mind, the eastern part of the region went so far as to proclaim Syracuse, N.Y. and the surrounding area the "Official Home of Winter" as of January 2017. The city and local destinations leading the charge (including Cortland and Cayuga counties) are both embracing the snowy season and educating visitors on its merit - there is no lack of activity or fun found during this "off-season."
 
Visitors looking to plan a visit can turn to social media for inspiration on where to go and what do see and do within the Finger Lakes. Each of the counties within the region have their own social channels (check out this great one from VisitWatkinsGlen ) and the region can be found on Facebook ( Finger Lakes Travel ), Twitter ( Finger_LakesNY ) and Instagram ( FingerLakes_NY ). Or discover more online at www.fingerlakestravelny.com
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The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council

The breathtaking Finger Lakes takes its name from eleven lakes spanning the region like a giant handprint, stretching from its easternmost point in Onondaga County to its westernmost border in Livingston County, near Letchworth State Park. Boasting a mix of nature trails and natural beauty, wineries and breweries scattered across the region, and quaint villages close to large metropolitan areas, the Finger Lakes Vacation Region has a plethora of tourist attractions within its borders.

In January 2014, the 14 Official County Tourism Promotion Agencies of the Finger Lakes Vacation Region formed a 501(c)(3) organization known as the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council (FLRTC). The FLRTC Board includes representation from all 14 TPAs and counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates. For information about attractions and events throughout the Finger Lakes region, visit www.fingerlakestravelny.com or call 1-888-408-1693.