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Show Your Pride In The Next Local "Best Of"

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Senator Tom O'Mara


Over the past several years, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions have been well-represented in any number of national online polls to decide the “Best Of” America’s attractions, small towns, events, parks, regions and other designations.

Inevitably, these polls generate a great deal of local buzz on social media and in talk around town. There may be some tempted to ask “What’s the Big Deal?” -- given all of the challenges and issues brought to our attention every single day of the week. 

But we’re wise to not overlook the benefits.

Recently, for example, Watkins Glen International (WGI) was recognized as America’s “Best NASCAR Track.” It’s the third time that fans and supporters have helped The Glen take a victory lap in this competition -- and that’s the bottom line.

These competitions provide opportunities for local citizens, local leaders and local communities to share some local pride. That’s important. It can help keep our region on the national map. In other words, the value of a “Best Of” designation as a marketing tool should not be underestimated. Every little bit helps in a day and age when it is tough -- very tough -- to gain any kind of worthwhile attention.

So I always welcome the chance to join Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and other local leaders to help promote local attractions, events, communities or regions vying for success in these online competitions. If you read or hear about one being underway, please join us in voting.

In the case of WGI, it is with great pride that we get behind one of the world’s iconic sporting venues. It is, after all, right in our back yard and we’re smart to take every opportunity to single out The Glen for unique contributions to American motorsports. WGI events annually generate over $200 million in economic activity across the region and account for more than 2,000 local jobs. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in August is one of New York’s largest sporting events and attracts fans from all 50 states, as well as 16 different countries.

Is The Glen America’s “Best NASCAR Track”? You better believe it, and voters in this year’s online competition once again delivered that message loud and clear. Thanks to everyone who took a turn behind the wheel and kept voting, day after day, to support our hometown track. It’s a well-deserved national honor for track officials and staff, drivers and, most of all, the fans who help make The Glen one of the renowned places in all of sports and an absolute anchor of the culture and economy of our Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. It was a great ride and a great show of support for one of our own!

Now I’ll share a reminder that the Finger Lakes is currently among 20 finalists in the competition to be named America’s “Best Wine Region.” Once again, it presents a chance for all of us to show our local pride. We know that the region’s approximately 140 wineries, four wine trails, more than 9,000 acres of vineyards, and roughly 55,000 tons of grapes form the heart and soul of New York State’s increasingly renowned wine-and-grape industry. 

Here’s a chance to let America know it too.

The “Best Wine Region” competition closes on Monday, August 20, at noon. You can vote once a day, every day, on any Internet-capable device on the following website:

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