August 2, 2021
News, Happenings & Collaborations
Included in this Issue ...
We are pleased to share the following news, happenings, and collaborations with you! The information contained in this week's newsletter was shared with the Chamber on or before noon on the Thursday before it was sent. To have your information considered for inclusion in future issues, please submit your information on or before noon on the Thursday before you'd like it published.
  • Save the Date: August Mixers
  • Roam the Empire & breweries
  • Register for September tourneys
  • Diversity Officer named
  • Hero Act deadline approaching
  • Dock Listings
  • Vote for Best Wine Region
  • NASCAR events
Visit Watkins Glen
& Schuyler County
Watkins Glen
Area Chamber
Pandemic Spotlight Updates

From Governor Cuomo: New Yorkers beat back COVID before -- going from the highest positivity rate on the globe to one of the lowest -- by staying smart, following the science, and having each other's backs, and that's exactly what we'll keep doing in this next phase of the pandemic. We are reviewing the CDC's new recommendations closely in consultation with federal and state health experts.

Vigilance is the word of the day. Continue to check the CDC and State web sites for updates. Scroll down for helpful information. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date, but it is likely that there will be new updates as soon as we hit send!
NY Forward & Other Government News

  • Recent stats
  • Schuyler vaccine clinics & others
  • Join your neighbors and VaxUp
  • $800 million in grants for small businesses available
  • FEMA funds
Chamber News
Keep us (& your visitors) in the know

The Chamber is looking for restaurants and attractions that are open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our favorite saying this summer is "Every day is a Saturday in Schuyler County!" Lots of visitors with intense interest in our area. Where should we send them? They need places to eat.

On a related note, we often use search engine results (like google and bing), social media, and websites to determine if our members are open or closed and what your offerings are. We really want to share accurate information, so we and our visitors hope that your online information is up-to-date.
Join us at the
August MixerS!

This month, the Chamber is hosting TWO mixers for our members.

The first will be at the Elks Lodge, with light food provided by the Bucket and wine tastings offered by J.R. Dill Winery. Join us for a couple hours of relaxing, networking, and tasty treats, 50/50 raffle, and door prize drawings. Bring your business card: with thanks to the Elks Lodge, the winner of the business card drawing will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Bucket Bar and Grill. Cash bar will be available with all drinks $5 or less. Register online.

August 4 from 5pm to 7pm
Elks Lodge #1546
300 N. Madison Ave., Watkins Glen

The Chamber has re-imagined the Alternatives Federal Credit Union Disc Golf event to be a Chamber mixer (members are free; non-members $10). On August 19, members are invited to attend a mixer at Castel Grisch. Bring a desire to play disc golf (and discs if you have them). Daniel Ragland, a recognized player with the Professional Disc Golf Association, will offer disc golf demonstrations, after which the course will be opened for casual play for Chamber members. The Chamber will have some discs available for those who want to try their hand at this up-and-coming sport. Cash bar, light bites, and raffles. Register online:

August 19 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Castel Grisch
3380 County Route 28, Watkins Glen
More networking.
All skill levels welcome.
Register your team today!

The Chamber is registering teams for 2 September events. We want you on the course, for sure, but we know that timing and staff might be issues. If you can't play yourself, recruit some of your best staff and most loyal customers to represent you! Meet reps and customers from other businesses -- all prospective partners and customers. Here's the summer line-up:
> Corning Credit Union Cornhole Tourney (Sept. 2)
> Chemung Canal Trust Company Golf Tournament (Sept. 17)

Register your team now to secure your spot online ( Also, we're looking for sponsors who want to share their message with Chamber members and the public. Call Michael Hardy for options!
Marketing Opportunities

The Visitors are here. Summer is here. Share your message with several great marketing opportunities with the Chamber.
Window space at 214 N. Franklin Street: $125/month

Video segments at the State Park & at 214 N. Franklin: $130/month
Questions? Contact Executive Director Michael Hardy: or (607) 535-4300.
Roam the Empire campaign features Schuyler County breweries

The New York State Tourism Industry Alliance is in the midst of a season-wide campaign that encourages New Yorkers to Roam the Empire. Social posts on July 23 featured many of our member breweries, including Lucky Hare Brewing Company, Grist Iron Brewing Company, Scale House Brewery, Two Goats Brewing, and Wagner Valley Brewing Co.
Chamber/FLWC/NASCAR partner to
show NASCAR pride

It's NASCAR week! If you purchased materials in support of the regional, community-wide campaign to welcome NASCAR fans, teams, and drivers to our community in August, please make plans to stop by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber offices at 214 N Franklin Street for pick-up as soon as possible. Free, printable materials can still be accessed with the info below.

Printer Ready 8.5x11 Sign

Customizable 8x5x11 Sign /ma6ti2nure5i32ivsw0zt/FLXNASCAR-

Choose from either a PDF, ready for you to print, or a customizable Word document to include your business’ name. Please note, NASCAR has approved the logo/design and we ask that you do not alter it in any other way. Display these in windows, on doors, at your point of sale, or in any other highly visible areas of your business.
Let the Chamber know about
your events and summer traditions 

Let us help you celebrate summer traditions, holidays, and festivities! We want to share your events on our social media platforms and newsletters. Like us on all our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and we’ll return the favor! Using this form, ( please submit your public event to notify the Chamber and its staff. Just a reminder ... the event calendar can be printed to share with future guests. Remember to print a few days ahead of their impending arrival and a few days after to encourage longer stays. Pending membership the Chamber will assist in promoting the event to visitors and locals alike! 
Hints from Hardy

Business and hospitality hints
from Michael Hardy

HINT 1 Competition can be inspiring
Sometimes, competition among business owners gets a bad rap, and if a small town has 16 laundromats, that reputation is probably deserved. Often, though, competition in a free market economy is helpful and underpins a healthy economy. Competition allows for more choices, improves the quality of products through the efficient use of resources, and enhances economic growth through increased investments. In most cases, the results of competition are almost always positive. By way of example, this article in the Democrat and Chronicle highlights the fast growth of a car wash that opened as a single unit next to a franchised, already flourishing, car wash. According to the article, they used differentiation, the consumer experience, and value-based pricing to succeed. An important take-away of this article is the benefit of eliminating as many pain points, including times you have to say "no," to visitors as possible.
NASCAR driver appearance:
Protect Your Melon

Meet NASCAR Xfinity driver Ross Chastain on August 5 from 9am to 12pm at 106 S Franklin St. (across from the Watkins Glen State Park) and from 1pm to 4pm at the Village Square. Get a behind the scenes take on NASCAR & the best way to Protect Your Melon! The racing archives will have this year's car to be raffled on display with raffle tickets available.
Beer Garden pops this weekend

August 7, 2021
Noon to 8pm
Village Square

Come for lunch. Stay for an afternoon of craft beer, featuring Glen Ale, great friends, and live music.
Wine Education on our doorstep

Cultivate FLX helps people grow their knowledge about wine through the globally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Fund (WSET). Located here in the Finger Lakes, Cultivate FLX is an approved program provider, offering best-in-class education and qualification to "inspire and empower wine professionals and enthusiasts." Credentials obtained through WSET are recognized around the world and set the standard for wine expertise. Options are available for people who are just starting in the industry as well as those with established careers. Should you want to enhance your knowledge of the wine industry, please visit Cultivate FLX online.
Join us for
"Talking Tuesdays"

Chat with the Chamber about pressing issues for tourism-based businesses in the Finger Lakes. The next "Talking Tuesdays" will be August 10 from 10am to 11am. This is the only Talking Tuesday this month. These sessions are comprised of brainstorming, planning, information from the Chamber, and from time to time a guest speaker. At most upcoming sessions, we will review Domo+rove mobile device data collected for 2019, 2020, and into 2021. These mobile device stats are great for making marketing and advertising decisions for your businesses, both in the short- and long-terms. All tourism-based members and partners are welcome. All sessions are held via Zoom, and advance RSVP is not required. Coffee break, snacking, and /or brown-bag lunches during zoom are encouraged.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 874 4108 3852 
Passcode: 896020
Live entertainment in Lafayette Park

Mark your calendar: On August 3, enjoy the Sgro Brothers, featuring big band sounds and the harmonica. Performances begin at 7:00pm. Share this news with family, friends, and visitors.
CLASH Watkins Glen
is on the books

In combination with Wine Fest Weekend 2022, triathlon athletes will be in the Glen we call Watkins. Mark your calendar for July 8-10, 2022, for the CLASH Watkins Glen® to participate (register here) or cheer on those who are. The course will finish at the historic Watkins Glen International Speedway, where the Finger Lakes Wine Festival will be in full swing and hosting a finish line festival. Just an FYI ... the Ironman is being held the same weekend in Geneva.
Roll up your sleeves sessions

First Fridays with Cornell Integrated Pest Management: August 6 from noon to 12:30pm and the first Friday of each following month. Presented virtually. Speakers will offer practical solutions to pest problems. Details here.
Italian American Festival

The Italian American Festival committee is working hard to prepare for this year's event scheduled for Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14. At the moment, there are no events on Sunday. Bookmark this page for the schedule to stay updated.
Construction to the north

Construction continues in downtown Geneva, with sewer work, pavement cutting, and full-depth excavation. Please allow for additional time if your route includes Geneva. This will impact visitor traffic to Watkins Glen. Please share with your front line so they can assist guests and visitors who are making travel plans.
Member News & Collaborations
Updates all around

Does your organization have news to share? A promotion, a new service, a new product? New hours or location? Send us your news so we can help you share it. Looking for advertising opportunities? We have them too. If you'd like to encourage sales of your product line and/or service offerings, please contact Stephanie Specchio.
August is Wine Month
August is Wine Month in the Finger Lakes. Specialty tastings, unique experiences, virtual tastings & events, & happy hours/special menus at restaurants highlighting everything NY’s largest wine region has to offer. Stay in the know here: This is a great opportunity to help encourage guests and visitors to choose the Finger Lakes as their destination. Please include in your messaging and social posts.
WGI partners with Weis Markets

Watkins Glen International announced a multi-year partnership with Mid-Atlantic food retailer Weis Markets, along with the winner of its recent fan-friendly racing promotion, the Hungry for Speed Sweepstakes. Watkins Glen will host its NASCAR Go Bowling at the Glen weekend Aug. 6-8. The Clean Harbors 100 at the Glen ARCA Menards Series Race will be on Friday, Aug. 6 at 6pm. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the United Rentals 167 at the Glen, will be on Saturday, Aug. 7 at 12:30pm and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4pm On Sunday, Aug. 8, the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at the Glen takes the green flag at 3pm. The Chamber staff and members wish WGI's staff much success during this busy week.
Locations with docks

Thank you for the responses to last week's request for locations that have dock access. Should you be asked, please reference this list of Chamber member options for those who want to visit us by boat:
  • Ongoing list ... please continue to share information
  • Miles Wine Cellars
  • Sapalta on Plum Point Road
  • Tiki Bar at Anchor Inn (Watkins Glen)
  • Village Marina (Watkins Glen)
  • Seneca Lake State Park marina (transient slips)

When talking to your guests, please feel free to share that the topography of Seneca's shoreline -- with steep cliffs and hillsides -- is not easily accessible by boat. This topography, though, is one of the factors that makes Seneca Lake a prime location for growing grapes. Also, please share with people that Seneca Lake is part of the Erie Canal system.
Cayuga Health Names
Chief Diversity Officer

Cayuga Health has named Herb Alexander as Chief Diversity Officer, a newly created position, to enhance diversity programs and create a more inclusive culture for their health care organization that reflects the communities which they serve.  
Alexander most recently was Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Dean of Students for Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester. He holds a Master of Science in Strategic (Business) Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Roberts Wesleyan College. He starts this new role on August 2.
Update from
Sunset View Creamery

Sunset View Farmers Market will be participating in the National Farmers Market Week, held this year from August 1 to August 7. The Creamery will be offering recipes that will include the vegetables/fruits that will be available that week. Watch for updates from Sunset View Creamery. If you will be participating in this national event, please let us know!
Silver medal winner in regional competition

Congratulations to Horseheads Brewing for its silver-medal finish in the Fruit and Spice (non-sour) category of the Best Beers in NYS Craft Beer Competition. Their ale was chosen from 79 entries. Read more about the competition here.
A Summer of art planned

The Franklin Street Gallery has a summer of art planned. The En Plein Air Artist Series features Mike Kniffin on Saturday, August 21, and Sandy Cook on Saturday, September 18. All events are from 11am to 2pm and will be in the Village Square (intersection of Third and Franklin Streets).

The Montour Falls Library also has a summer learning program is in full swing, with a Tails & Tales series, programs every Friday through August 13, and Grab & Go Activity Packs. Registration is required for some activities and quantities may be limited. For more information call (607) 535-7489.
Any and all accommodation members are welcome to share their food, entertainment, and packages with the Chamber. We will help spread the word here in our e-news and on our social media platforms and website. Please know that we do NOT have complete information on availability and openings. In most cases, we direct guests to, where they can find links to area lodgers. With this in mind, we hope you will keep your listings current and be sure to post your offers for the public and members on the WGACC Bulletin Board when you are checking out and/or updating your listing on the Simpleview Extranet.
Government News
Grants for small businesses

The successful recovery of small businesses is key to New York State's future. Empire State Development is happy to announce the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program is open now. It was created to provide flexible grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses, and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations in the State of New York who have experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant awards will be calculated based on a business’ annual gross receipts for 2019:
•Annual gross receipts = $25,000-$49,999: $5,000/business;
•Annual gross receipts = $50,000-$99,999: $10,000/business; and
•Annual gross receipts = $100,000-$500,000: 10% of gross receipts (max grant is $50,000).

For eligibility requirements and more information regarding the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Program, please visit The program is administered by ESD and powered by Lendistry.
Non-medical private non-profits: apply for FEMA funds

Because the pandemic was declared a Major Disaster and is ongoing, public assistance is authorized for Category B Emergency Protective Measures related to the COVID-19 response. To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits, New York State is launching a targeted initiative to provide information and training to NON-MEDICAL Private Nonprofits (PNPs) and intermediary organizations applying for FEMA funding to reimburse costs incurred as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. PNPs and their umbrella organizations are invited to FEMA overview sessions, offering an overview of the FEMA public assistance process as well as a number of COVID-19 disaster-specific topics and policies that FEMA has implemented. For more details on the initiative and related resources, please access the Grants Gateway site. To register for the informational overview, see below for next steps or access the Grants Gateway for more information.
Arts funding to help COVID recovery

$105 million in arts and cultural funding is available through the New York State Council on the Arts, to reinvigorate near-term live performances. Apps are being accepted now. The grants will aid in the arts sector's multi-year recovery from COVID-19. For more info: 518-474-8390
Vaccine clinic info
In the area?
  • Tuesday, August 3, from 3:00pm - 5:00pm at the Reading Town Hall
  • The single-dose Janssen Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine will be provided at this clinic.
  • Adults 18 and older are currently eligible to get this vaccine.
  • The vaccine is provided at no cost to you.
  • Wednesday, August 4, from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Health Education Center, 132 Denison Parkway East in Corning. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered. Register at Walk-ins welcome.
  • Saturday, August 14, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at the Clute Park Pavilion during the Italian-American Festival
  • The single-dose Janssen Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine will be provided at this clinic.
  • Adults 18 and older are currently eligible to get this vaccine.
  • The vaccine is provided at no cost to you.
Stay informed:
Interested in tracking vaccine results? Bookmark this page:
For the latest updates on news and regulations, bookmark the New York Forward webpages.
Add your happenings to the Public Events Calendar on our website!
Add your event quickly, easily, and at no cost. Click here for the submission page.

We will gladly feature your upcoming events and news on our social media channels and in our newsletter.
Contact Michael at (585) 721-6032 or send him your news
at by noon on Thursdays.

Office Phone: (607) 535-4300
Katherine Jack, Visitor Center and Office Administrator email
Abby Lane, Events and Membership-Engagement Manager email
Stephanie Specchio, Director of Communications and Marketing email
Kate Fuller, Marketing Consultant (Part-Time contractor) email
Michael Hardy, Executive Director email and (585) 721-6032 (cell)