Since taking office 2011, Governor Cuomo has made unprecedented investments in the tourism industry throughout New York State, leading to historic levels of visitors and direct spending. In 2017, New York welcomed a record 243.8 million visitors who spent $67.6 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the fourth straight year. Additionally, tourism is the state’s third largest employer, supporting 938,800 jobs annually.
Senator Catharine Young said, “America’s newest and most exciting destination is the National Comedy Center, a one-of-a-kind, spectacular showcase for the art of comedy that will put Chautauqua County on the map and provide an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Inspired by Jamestown’s own comedic heroine, Lucille Ball, and developed by internationally renowned cultural and interactive design firms, this world-class venue is poised to transform the economy of our historic city with a projected $23 million impact while placing Jamestown on the “top destinations” lists of travel reviewers everywhere. The path to this moment was forged by many dedicated leaders working in partnership towards a remarkable goal. My thanks go out to Governor Cuomo for his commitment to this project and the future of Jamestown, to the National Comedy Center’s visionary and tireless leaders, and to state and local officials for supporting, facilitating and assisting at every turn. This amazing effort is a triumph of confidence and collaboration and has launched the start of a new era for our community.”
Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, “Jamestown is serious about comedy. This project was no laughing matter. It involves state-of-the-art electronics, unique and interesting memorabilia, and incredible attractions. It is truly a national destination for those who love comedy and want to experience the best possible presentation of nationally-renown comedy acts.”
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said, “I am so excited to see this unique, state-of-the-art attraction become a reality here in Chautauqua County and in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown. We are proud to be the home of this entertaining and interactive experience that is an amazing tribute to the art of comedy. I want to thank the governor and Empire State Development for their commitment to this truly transformative project.”
City of Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi said, “Support at the State Legislative level and throughout the administration (i.e., ESD, OPRHP, DOT, DOS, etc.) has been outstanding and in many ways, unprecedented. The major credit for the funding success of this project however, has to go directly to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who in my mind, took a personal interest in this project and drove it from the 45-yard line into the end zone. Over the past four decades, I have witnessed significant state financial assistance directed to numerous major local projects, but never to the extent of this, and with the personal interest and advocacy of the Governor himself.”