$5 Million Headed to Watkins Glen State Park

$5 Million Headed to Watkins Glen State Park

     WATKINS GLEN (WENY) --  Visitors will see some major changes at the Watkins Glen State Park in the near future.

     As we reported earlier this week, the state park is getting $5 million to improve traffic and pedestrian flow, parking, and spruce up the stonework and main entrance into the state park.  Governor Cuomo announced on Tuesday that $90 million is headed to 53 New York state parks and historic sites as part of the 2014-15 budget.

     Tourism leaders are optimistic the upgrades will make the park more attractive and improve summer traffic congestion.

     "The Watkins Glen State Park is definitely one of our top two draws to the community, with Watkins Glen International being the other," said Rebekah Lamoreaux, the President and CEO of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce.

     "So with their improvements I know we're going to have more traffic coming in, more tourists coming and staying and eating and drinking and spending their money so we're very thrilled about that."

     Randy and Lori Smith were visiting the park from Somers Point, New Jersey.  The out-of-town couple says it was impressed with the Finger Lakes region and the park.

     "I think if the money is used wisely," said Randy Smith. "From what I saw the park is very well maintained but if it was used wisely, it would be a real benefit to people."

     Park leaders say the goal is to have some changes already in place by next fall, and minimize the impact on the visitor experience, even through the construction period.