Senate approves legislation to reconfigure local attraction
State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, announced the New York State Senate has unanimously approved legislation (S.1095) he sponsored to expand and rename the Niagara Wine Trail and Niagara Escarpment Wine Trail. In effect, the wine trails would be enlarged to encompass all of Orleans County and Western Monroe County, bringing more wineries than ever into the popular wine trails' network.
"The wine industry in the greater Niagara Region is growing so fast that our laws designating the various wine trails must keep up with the pace of growth," Maziarz said. "Agritourism is an important part of the regional economy and the state must act now to support it. Signage, literature and other tourism promotion materials need to be updated to reflect the wineries in existence now and the wineries soon to come. The passage of this bill will make travel to these wineries easier and safer for visitors."
Under the bill, all of Route 104 between the Ferry Avenue/Route 62 intersection in Niagara Falls and Route 390 in Monroe County would be known as "Niagara Wine Trail Ridge." All of Route 18 between Route 104 in Lewiston and Route 390 in Monroe County would be known as "Niagara Wine Trail Lake."
Seventeen wineries are on the trails now and more are under development. The money to pay for additional signage on an expanded trail system has already been obtained by the wineries through a 2011 Regional Economic Development Council award. Thus the expansion would entail no new cost to taxpayers.
"Partnering with businesses that are already working hard to create jobs and bring visitors to our region is a no-brainer," Maziarz added. "Bringing more wineries into the orbit of the Niagara Wine Trails will help boost awareness of this industry and support its future growth."
The Senate unanimously approved this wine trail expansion last year, but the Assembly failed to vote on the proposal.
"I call upon the Assembly to approve this measure as soon as possible and stop ignoring one of the brightest areas of economic development in Western New York," Maziarz said. "There is simply no reason why the Assembly has not passed this, and hopefully they will move forward in a timely fashion. We have been waiting long enough."
For more information about regional wineries, visit www.niagarawinetrail.org.