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November 1, 2013 - 4:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Amy's Fluffy Friends.

The absolutely best thing Amy Worthington ever did for her business was move it to Downtown Batavia, she said.

In locating Amy's Fluffy Friends on Ellicott Street near the intersection of Liberty, she has given her business more visibility and the Business Improvement District has given her more avenues to promote her shop and get involved in the community.

"I participated in the Wine Walk, the Sidewalk Sale, the OktoberFest with the Rotary Club and I'll be part of Taste of the Holidays," Worthington said. "They've been reaching out to businesses to get more involved, and I'm all for that, to bring more feet to Batavia."

Worthington moved her dog grooming business from Corfu one year ago today because with her son starting school at Jackson, she wanted her business to be located closer to her family. Most of her clients were from Batavia and they told her, she said, that if she was in Batavia, they would make more appointments.

"And I wanted to be where I called home," she said. "This is where I grew up."

The move has been a stunning success.

A year ago, she hadn't even cracked 150 clients. Today, she has 375. That's an impressive 150-percent growth in business in just 12 months.

The success has allowed her to expand a bit. She's also started selling some retail items, such as collars and leashes.

Clients have requested more services, so now she does teeth cleaning, she said.

Worthington said she's blown away by how well the move worked out for her.

"I can't believe it," she said. "I love it."

October 31, 2013 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

Local residents and businesses may help those less fortunate in the community by bringing in items to the Edward Jones branch office for financial services during regular business hours until Monday, Dec. 9th. The branch address is 7 Jackson St., Batavia.

Quaker-Muller Dairy, which has a new production facility here, is also participating. It is located in the new Agri-Business Park on Ag PArk Drive in the Town of Batavia.

This food drive is for local families aided by The Salvation Army.

The items needed for the food drive include: canned fruits and vegetables, beans, instant potatoes, soups, canned meats, spaghetti sauce, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pasta and rice.

The branch address is 7 Jackson St., Batavia.

October 31, 2013 - 12:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, alexander.

Press release:

Albany -- Sheila Hess, owner of the Alexander-based environmental resource firm Conservation Connects, addressed more 1,800 minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) owners on the first day of the state's annual forum.

It was held earlier this month at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. Hess was one of four MWBE owners selected to participate in the discussion and to share her thoughts on the “secrets to successful business growth in public sector procurement.” She was also presented with a “Success Story” Certificate of Recognition.

This was another well-attended event for MWBE firms and contractors. Governor Cuomo touted that more than 20-percent utilization of MWBEs in state contracting was achieved for the first time in program history.  According to the Governor’s press release, more than $1.4 billion in contracts from 97 public agencies and authorities were awarded to MWBE firms in the FY 2012-2013.

“I attended last year’s MWBE forum to network with other successful business owners and to gain insight on new market opportunities,” Hess said. “I was pleased to be nominated and recognized as an MWBE success story and I hope that my experience will inspire other business owners to make the most of MWBE resources and map their own personal success stories.”

Hess, whose consulting practice is considered a leading MWBE company, spoke about growing her public-sector portfolio and firm in a challenging business climate. Two years after opening the doors of Conservation Connects, Hess was encouraged by the Development Authority of the North Country, a public authority, to pursue MWBE status. Her public sector business has been growing ever since.

In the last two years, her business has grown by more than 65 percent and she continues to embrace the growth. Hess plans to expand her business and offer consulting services to other New York State agencies and public authorities to promote environmental conservation, sustainability, and compliance in the development of infrastructure projects.

Conservation Connects is engaged in many projects here in Western New York and beyond including habitat assessment in the Niagara River Watershed; development of the Green Genesee Road Map (sustainability planning); environmental review and permitting at the Buffalo East Technology Park and the WNY STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park, both in Genesee County; streambank remediation in Livingston County; environmental review and natural resources planning in Jefferson County; and Great Lakes coastal marsh mitigation in Monroe County, Mich.

October 29, 2013 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Jackson Street.

Press release:

Batavia has one less vacant building and a new business coming soon! Local entrepreneur Tim Walton has plans to open a cold kitchen eatery and bar at 35 Jackson Street. Crazy Cal's, will add a fun atmosphere for everyone to hang out, eat or have a drink.

"We want to be able to give something that isn't really here in Batavia." Walton says. "If you're hungry, we are going have a fast service cold kitchen, which is Specialty sandwiches, soups, salads and a few other food items as well. If you're thirsty, we have a bar to get enjoy a beverage from the unique drink menu and if you just want to hang out, we will have music, TVs to watch the sports games, pool tables and other games to play as well."

Just where did the name come from? "Cal is short for California. I wanted to open a place that you would expect to see along a boardwalk at the beach. It's not beach-themed, but you go on vacation and see these fun places to hang out and have fun, and that's the atmosphere of what I wanted to bring here."

Walton is no stranger to the bar and restaurant business. The last two years he has been able to gain management experience at several bars and clubs in Buffalo including Bayou, LUX, and Privato Lounge.

"The experience allowed me to learn event management, promotions, liquor laws, staffing management and everything else that is needed to run and manage a bar," he said.

Most recently, Walton has also been able to gain restaurant and food management skills from The Lodge, a high end restaurant in Buffalo. He has also done local shows and events at City Slickers, T.F. Brown's and Center Street Smokehouse and the list of shows includes The Zac Brown Tribute Band, Buffalo Bills, MTV and more.

Crazy Cal's which is aiming to be open by the holidays, and will be open at least five days per week, has already attracted much interested from the public.

"It's getting a lot of excitement," Walton said. "I've already spoken to a few teams and church groups that are interested in doing fundraisers here once it opens, too, so it's definitely exciting. It's something that will be good for the city and can benefit everyone."

The business is expected to create a minimum of five to 10 new jobs as well.

For more information, and to track the progress of Crazy Cal's, you can follow them on Facebook,

October 24, 2013 - 9:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, medicine, insource, Ask the Local Doctor.

Next week, look for a new feature on The Batavian: "Ask the Local Doctor."

This will be a new weekly feature on The Batavian sponsored by Insource Urgent Care.

Readers of The Batavian are invited to e-mail medical questions to and the professional staff at Insource will review the questions and pick one each week to answer in the "Ask the Local Doctor" weekly column.

Insource is tied into a network of local providers as well as partnering with some of the leading clinics and specialists in Western New York such as the Dent Neurologic Institute, Excelsior Orthopedics, UB Neurosurgery and Dr. Ross Sherban, a spine surgeon with Simmons and Sherban Spine and Orthopedics.

The column will give readers access to this broad and deep wealth of local medical knowledge so that a range of medical issues can be addressed.

If a reader's question is selected, the reader will be eligible to receive a free flu shot from Insource.

Of course, questions will be published without the name of the reader who submitted the question.

The e-mail inbox is open. Submit your questions to

October 23, 2013 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Dunkin' Donuts.

It's not just an Internet rumor -- Dunkin' Donuts is indeed going to open a location in Le Roy.

Reached at home this evening, Le Roy's code enforcement officer Jeff Steinbrenner confirmed that a representative of the new location brought plans before the Town Planning Board Oct. 15.

He said the shop should be open by spring.

The location is between Pizzaland and Townsend Energy on West Main Street, in the Village.

The lot has been vacant for probably 30 years, said Mayor Greg Rogers. Longtime residents will remember it as the spot of the old Grove Motel.

No further information is available at this time.

October 23, 2013 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) expressed pleasure today at the news that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation creating a 2-percent agricultural assessment cap into law. Hawley, a cosponsor of this cap, sees this as crucial to ensuring our farming families can afford to maintain their operations for generations to come.

“Our local farms have felt the squeeze from constantly escalating taxes in recent years,” Hawley said. “The agricultural assessment will be crucial in giving our farming families some financial breathing room, allowing them to stay on their land for generations to come and continue doing what they do best: producing the locally grown, healthy products our state relies on.”

October 18, 2013 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, liberty pumps, bergen.

Message from Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty Pumps:

I am very pleased to announce that Dennis Burke has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Liberty Pumps effective October 1.

Dennis has been with the company for 21 years serving in a wide variety of roles. He is currently our Manager of Finance and Human Resources, which includes the management of our Accounting department. His new position and title more accurately encompass and acknowledge those responsibilities among several others. He is an essential member of the Liberty management team. A 1985 graduate of Byron-Bergen, Dennis has a bachelor’s degree in finance from St. John Fisher College and an MBA from the University of Buffalo. He also has his certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and is a member and past president of the GAPA Human Resources Association. Dennis is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Genesee and is very active and involved in the community.

October 17, 2013 - 8:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

This afternoon, Batavia Downs hosted a ribbon-cutting and grand reopening of its casino room expansion on the first floor of the historic facility.

The new gaming area has been open for a week and that first week of revenue exceeded by 20 percent the previous record week for Batavia Downs, said Ryan Hasenauer, marketing director for Batavia Downs.

The expanded casino area also includes a new sports bar called Rush 34, officially hosted by former Bills great Thurman Thomas.

Ribbon cutton: Assemblyman Steve Hawley, State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Maurice Gardner, representing the City of Buffalo.

Speaking is State Sen. Patrick Patrick Gallivan, who represents Erie and Wyoming counties, which are counties that also benefit from revenue generated by Batavia Downs.

Speaking, Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Among the amenities in the expansion is a water fountain that drops water in sculpted form, be it letters spelling out Batavia Downs, symbols from slot machines or geometic patterns. Here's a video of the fountain:

October 17, 2013 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming will be celebrating it Grand Reopening Celebration with a ribbon cutting and reception beginning at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Attending will be members of the Western New York legislative delegation including State Senators George Maziarz, Patrick Gallivan, Michael Ranzenhofer as well as other local dignitaries including Assemblyman Steven Hawley. Former Buffalo Bill Ruben Brown will also be in attendance.

Following the ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. in the lobby, attendees are invited for tours of the facility and of Thurman Thomas’ new Sports Bar; 34 Rush. Drawings for Free Play and other Grand Reopening giveaways will occur on the gaming floor.

As a public benefit corporation, all profits from Western OTB and Batavia Downs Gaming net expenses are contributed back to the 15 counties and two cities of Western New York.

October 16, 2013 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) announced that registration is  open for two free upcoming training sessions designed to help small business owners identify new opportunities for increasing profitability: “Selling to the Government – The Whole Story,” and “Foreign Trade Zone Basics: What is an FTZ and Does it Make Sense for My Company?”

Selling to the Government – The Whole Story” will offer unique insights and strategies for small business owners to sell their goods and services to the federal government. The seminar, which will be held on Friday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at GCEDC’s headquarters  (99 MedTech Drive, Batavia), will provide the steps necessary to explore the marketplace and existing opportunities, including:

  • What the government looks for in a prospective contractor How to research the market to find opportunities and required registrations;
  • How to capitalize on those opportunities to generate results.

Presenters will include Paulette Birch, program director of the Monroe County Finger Lakes Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC); and Jean Kase, a government contracting specialist also with the PTAC.

To learn more and to register for the event, please visit:

“The federal government is the largest purchaser in the world, spending nearly $540 billion per year on goods and services,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “There are tremendous opportunities for large and small businesses to find success in the market selling goods and services to the federal government.”

The second free seminar, “Foreign Trade Zone Basics: What is an FTZ and Does it Make Sense for my Company?”, will provide an detailed introduction to and description of Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs), offering insights into how business owners leverage Genesee County’s FTZ status to receive tax breaks and other benefits such as avoiding customs duties or government excise taxes.

This seminar will be held on Oct. 23 from 9:30-10:30am at Moon Java Café, located at 56 Harvester Ave. in Batavia. To register, contact Chris Suozzi, vice president at the GCEDC, at 585.343.4866 or ; or Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator at Batavia Development Corporation, at 585.345.6380 or

“Understanding what Genesee County’s FTZ status means as far as tax incentives and other benefits is absolutely critical for business owners whose goods are transported to and/or from this area,” Hyde said. “Because an FTZ is considered to be outside the customs territory of the United States, there are huge cost savings that potentially exist for those conducting business in this region, and we want to make sure business owners understand and take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

October 16, 2013 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, griffith energy.

Press release:

Griffith Energy, a Superior Plus Company, has announced the introduction of its first pink propane delivery truck to the greater Rochester market to generate funds in support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF). Since 2010, Superior Plus Energy Services—the parent company of Griffith Energy—has donated over $200,000 to fund research to prevent breast cancer and find a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime through clinical and translational research worldwide.

The new truck, known as a bobtail, is the first propane delivery vehicle in Company’s pink truck fleet, and the first pink truck program vehicle to serve the Genesee Valley region. Other pink Company trucks deliver heating oil to customers in New England, Pennsylvania and Central New York. For every gallon of fuel delivered, Griffith Energy and Superior Plus donate $0.05 to BCRF, with a minimum annual donation of $50,000.

“We all have acquaintances and loved ones who have had to live with the terrible implications of breast cancer,” said Ray Eighmey, Griffith Energy Customer Service Center manager for the Rochester region. “We are very proud of our pink truck program. While we’re helping our customers warm their homes or businesses, we’re fueling the research and education needed to create a world without breast cancer."

Customers who receive a Griffith Energy propane delivery off the pink truck will receive a special pink bag, reminding them that their delivery supported breast cancer research. 

About Griffith Energy and Superior Plus Energy Services

Superior Plus Energy Services is a leading supplier of quality energy products, including propane, heating oil, gasoline and diesel, as well as kerosene, electricity and natural gas in select markets. Since 1922, Superior Plus has served residential, commercial, industrial, government, transportation and agricultural customers in the northeast and mid Atlantic regions. The company, which operates as Griffith Energy and Burnwell Gas in Upstate New York, also installs and services heating and air conditioning equipment. Superior Plus Energy Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Superior Plus Corp (Trading Symbol: SPB on TSX). For more information visit

 About The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®

Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $450 million in the last 20 years to advance the world's most promising breast cancer research to achieve prevention and a cure in our lifetime. In 2013, BCRF will commit $45 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers at major medical institutions across six continents. By spending 91 cents of every dollar on research and awareness programs, BCRF remains one of the nation's most fiscally responsible charities. It has earned four stars from Charity Navigator since 2002 and is the only breast cancer organization awarded an "A+" from CharityWatch. For more information, visit

October 16, 2013 - 1:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business.

Press release:

Nearly 3,000 physicians throughout Western New York are utilizing HEALTHeLINK to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and reduce health care costs. Batavia-based practice Ladies First, Krysten Schmidt, MD, is the latest to participate in HEALTHeLINK, Western New York’s clinical information exchange.

HEALTHeLINK is a collaborative effort among the region’s hospitals, health insurance plans, physician offices, and other health care organizations to allow medical information that has been recorded electronically to be accessed by the physicians who need it, when they need it and where they need it. With HEALTHeLINK, physicians can have immediate and secure access to this information and can quickly and safely treat their patients by avoiding harmful drug interactions or other potential complications.

Authorization is needed to provide treating medical professionals access to the information needed to care for you more effectively. More than 500,000 Western New Yorkers have completed a HEALTHeLINK consent form to date. Ask your physician or download one at

October 15, 2013 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, tattoos, House of Kolor Tattoo & Piercing.

With the encouragement of friends, her father, as well as her fiancée, Lisa Vokes decided start her own business and recently opened House of Kolor at 218 W.Main St., Batavia.

Her own full-service tattoo and piercing job shop seemed like the logical next step in her career, she said.

"I had reached a plateau and I wanted to branch out on my own," she said while creating a cover-up tattoo on the back of Brad Strzelecki.

Vokes worked locally for six years before deciding to strike out on her own, but her father was encouraging her to apply her artistic talent in body art for years before she took up the craft.

"Ever since I was young, my dad wanted me to be a tattoo artist," Vokes said. "He used to tell me he would buy me my own kit and we could sit at the kitchen table and I could tattoo him all day if I wanted to."

Vokes never took Pops up on the offer, but after she finished school, she deciding becoming a tattoo artist would be a good career choice.

"My father couldn't be prouder of me now," Vokes said.

As a young artist she loved drawing dog portraits and that quickly became one of her specialties in body art as well.

Creating meaningful tattoos for people is gratifying, Vokes said.

"It's amazing the connections you make and the people you get to meet," Vokes said.
"It's unreal.

"I love doing tattoos for people when they have meaning," Vokes added. "I've had several people who I've done memorial pieces for and they've actually gotten up and been in tears and given me a hug and said thank you. It's a great thing. People really appreciate it when you do things for them that have meaning. It's awesome."

Vokes said she's grown a lot over the past few years as a tattoo artists and appreciates the chance to do good work for people, especially when given the chance to do something unique, one-of-a-kind.

"Honestly, I really like to freehand on people now," Vokes said. "I don't like using the stencils anymore, so it's more like my art and it's going on their body forever. It's a special thing."

Vokes thinks it's important that no matter where somebody goes for ink, they make sure they like the artist, both as a person and their style, and that the parlor is following proper and safe procedures.

"It's important to find artists you like and are comfortable with and that you look at their portfolio and like their style," Vokes said. "If you're not comfortable with somebody, it's not worth going to them.

"It's going on your body for life and you want to make sure they're doing the right job," she added.

Vokes with her fiancée and business partner, D.J. Snyder.

October 13, 2013 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Insource Urgent Care.

Press release:

University at Buffalo Neurosurgery (UBNS), a leading provider of brain and spine care, announces the opening of its new office in Batavia. The office is located at Insource Urgent Care at 35 Batavia City Centre. The goal of the new office is to accommodate the residents of Genesee County and beyond who have neurosurgical needs.

UBNS is an academic neurosurgical group committed to excellence in education, patient care and research. UBNS prides itself on having a team approach to patient care. Patients treated at our institution derive the unique benefit of having multiple highly regarded physicians and other medical professionals involved in their care. UBNS has various office locations throughout Western New York.


October 9, 2013 - 1:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Clor's Meat Market.

It was a long sales process, but Kate Gonzalez is now officially the owner of Clor's Meat Market.

She's happy to finally get the deal done, even though she's already been working 15-hour days during the transition.

It's been worth it, she said, because Clor's is already experiencing business growth.

"We've added pizza and wings," Gonzalez said "Sometimes at night, it seems like we've become just a pizza and wing shop. The pizza and wing business has grown astronomically. Sometimes we can hardly keep up with it."

All the good stuff about Clor's -- the fresh meat, the chicken BBQ recipe -- all stay the same, she said.

Chuck Gugel, who acquired Clor's from Bud Clor in 1999, has moved to the Southwest with his wife, who needed to go to a drier climate for health reasons. His sons, Ryan, Aaron and Kyle, have stayed on with the business, as has Janis Lear as store manager.

Gonzalez has also hired a full-time baker and some of the store's counter space is now filled with fresh baked goods. The catering menu has also been expanded.

"I think the business is just going to keep growing and growing," Gonzalez said.

More than a year ago, Gonzalez acquired The Enchanted Florist on East Main Street, and her son Curtis Heatherman now runs it (and helps with Clor's). Kate's daughter Rachael Heatherman is helping to run Clor's.

Part of her motiviation for buying and expanding these businesses, Gonzalez said, is to create a legacy for her son and daughter and grandsons so they can benefit from successful local businesses someday. 

Pictured: Rachael Heatherman, Janis Lear, Curtis Heatherman, Michael Hyde Jr., and Kate Gonzalez.

October 9, 2013 - 12:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Tim Horton's.

Each June, one of the most stunning sights in Batavia came as you made a corner on West Main Street and were confronted with the sight of a giant Catalpa tree in full flower near Colonial Boulevard.

A blue sky and a shock of white flowers made for a beautiful scene, even amid cars, trucks and business signs.

The tree came down this morning to make way for retail development next to a planned new Tim Horton's between West Main and Lewiston Road.

I can't think of any place else in Genesee County that has a Catalpa tree in easy view of the public. There's apparently no tree museum around, either.

Previously: Photos: Tree on West Main Street, Batavia

October 4, 2013 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, UMMC.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center honored the years of service of more than 100 employees at its annual recognition dinner on Oct. 2 at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia. Employees were recognized for their years of employment at five-year milestones.

Aida Nogueira and Laurentina Rosa, both Environmental Services technicians, achieved the 45-year milestone. Pamela Boshart-Lynch RN BSN, director of Education, Healthy Living and Cardiac Rehab Services was honored for 40 years of dedicated service along with Elizabeth Brian of the Emergency Department and Judy Yager, RN of the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. Celebrating 35 years were Ann Arent and Julie Kelsey from Medical Records, Mary Bibler and Marie Lawrence of the Laboratory Department, and Pamela Kader of Environmental Services.

Honored for 30 years of service included Linda Buckel RN and Nancy Johnson RN, Emergency Department; Mary Gerych RN, Intensive Care Unit; Kathleen Green RN and Lori Hebdon RN, Obstetrics; Cheryl LoVerdi, Finance manager; Ed Nogueira, Facilities Management; and Susan Reed, Radiology.

Achieving 25 years were Donna Clark, Central Supply; Alanna Dailey RN and Debra Langford, Nursery; Lori Donley, 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit; Vicki Downs and Deborah Johnson, Supply Chain Management; Donna Keough RN, Ambulatory Surgery Unit; Hope Knapp and Todd Wilkes RN, Surgery; Mary Lama RN BSN, 3rd Floor Medical/ Surgical Unit Clinical Care Coordinator; Rebecca Schrader, Intensive Care Unit; Joann Shaffer, Medical Records; Peggy Stevens, Environmental Services; Anna Sunderland, Food Services; and Donna Weibel, Risk Management.

Those celebrating 20 years of service include Bonnie Bezon RN, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department; Sandra Boryczka, Laboratory; Chad Caccamise, Information Services; Louis Schrauger, Environmental Services; Susan Wlazlak, Human Resources; and Cindy Zarcone RN; 2nd Floor Medical/Telemetry Unit.

There were 32 employees who received recognition for five, 10 and 15 years of service. Each employee received dinner for themselves and a guest, flowers and a gift certificate. Employees with 25 years or more of service were honored individually by their manager and senior leader with a presentation highlighting their contributions.

October 3, 2013 - 6:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business.

Press release:

The City of Batavia hosted its first-ever Real Estate Developers' Forum on Tuesday Oct. 1, showcasing redevelopment opportunities in the Batavia’s Opportunity Area (BOA). The Forum was well attended, with more than 60 guests from across Western New York interested in learning more about the City of Batavia and surrounding areas. Potential investors and developers were invited to look at infill and redevelopment sites that have proven to be lucrative development projects statewide.

“The response we received from this Forum has been very encouraging” said Jason Molino, city manager. “Not only was there excitement and interest from what the City has been working on in recent years, but there was an overwhelming reception to the positive activity within Genesee County overall. Investors throughout Western New York are realizing Batavia has a vibrant future ahead.”

Included in the Forum were stats and figures related to the continued growth projected for the area along with presentations demonstrating successful redevelopment projects in Batavia, Genesee County and Buffalo suburbs. The speakers highlighted numerous incentive programs and creative financing measures to demonstrate how underutilized properties can be transformed or restored into high-value real estate for the community. The half-day Forum concluded with a bus tour of the City of Batavia’s Downtown, BOA priority redevelopment sites and the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

“This event was intended to put Batavia on the radar for investment, we believe it worked,” said Julie Pacatte, Batavia Development Corporation. “Everyone left knowing we are getting ready for growth in the next 10 years.”

Pacatte made reference to Moody’s analytics projections that Genesee County will outpace the employment growth projected for the Finger Lakes Region in the next 10 years. Using Moody’s growth rates by industry and New York State’s 2012 employment by industry data, this translates into approximately 2,600 new jobs by 2022.

“We need to be sure the City is ready to capitalize on this anticipated growth,” she emphasized.

"The Developers' Forum related to inner-connectivity about redevelopment, re-utilization and infill projects in the City of Batavia. It was another example of the collaboration between the City, Genesee County, various economic development entities and the private sector needed to grow our economy," said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

We are excited to see the continuation of adaptive reuse and redevelopment projects in the City and we are confident that this will compel developers to explore additional opportunities for investment now and in the future."

Vincent Esposito, Empire State Development, regional director for the Finger Lakes Region and presenter at the program commented, “Today’s Developer Forum was a terrific chance to learn about the Batavia Opportunity Area. The strategic and coordinated efforts of the BOA will greatly enhance the continued redevelopment prospects of Batavia’s historical and economic assets.”

About the Batavia Opportunity Area (BOA) Program: In 2011, the City of Batavia was awarded $266,508 from the NYS Department of State to determine the best opportunities for redevelopment within a 350-acre area downtown. The objectives of the program include redevelopment of underutilized, vacant and Brownfield properties, clean-up of select contaminated sites, continue revitalization of downtown and advance neighborhood stabilization.

Over the past 12 months the steering committee has developed priority reinvestment opportunities with conceptual renderings, preliminary engineering, solid market data and outlined incentive packages for motivating owners and developers to begin new projects within the City. This information was shared with the public at a July 29th meeting.

The Developers' Forum was intended to connect with developers interested in future investment within the City. For more information see HYPERLINK ""

October 1, 2013 - 8:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Smokin' Eagle BBQ and Brew.

What scares you? Spiders? Clowns? Body parts? Drills and saws? Dark shadows reverberating with terrified screams? How about a crazy Archie Bunker?

Jason Beaumont and Jeff Koch have teamed up to create a massive haunted house filled with just about every terror you could imagine on the second and third floors of the old Eagle Hotel in Le Roy.

Staffed by 40 actors playing ghouls, ghosts and monsters, the haunted house makes its debut Friday.

"After we bought this building a year and a half ago, we found we had lots of space but no practical use for it," said Beaumont, who is co-owner of the Smokin' Eagle, the restaurant and bar on the first floor. "Me and my buddy Jeff had talked at one point years ago about opening a haunted house and one day it hit me, this would be a great place."

Koch is an experienced haunted house builder. He's been doing one staffed by 25 volunteers at his house for 10 years. He said it took more than a month to build each year and was open only one night, Halloween.

The Smokin' Eagle haunted house will be open every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 26 from 8 p.m. until midnight.

The cost of a night of fright is $12. Outside the hotel is a ticket booth. The restaurant will be open, of course, and the ticket booth will also sell popcorn and candied apples.

The hotel space was perfect because it's rundown and was already filled with worn and haggard beds, chairs and dressers, Beaumont said. From there, it was just a matter of the two friends combining their creative energies to come up with a plan.

"This will be a unique experience, especially for people who have never been upstairs in this place," Beaumont said. "We want people to get that genuine experience with a real scare behind it and kind of get a flavor of this old building."

The original hotel was built early in the 1800s.

There's little doubt based on today's tour, the haunted house will deliver several jolts of terror, and Beaumont said the experience should be considered PG-13.

"That's a rough estimate," Beaumont said. "If a kid likes this kind of thing and is 11 or 12, and if the parents are OK with it, we're OK with it."

The tour of about two dozen themed rooms is not, Beaumont said, "for the weak."

Koch said he really hopes people who come through the haunted house will find it thoroughly entertaining.

"I want people to have fun," Koch said. "A lot of people have fun when they get scared. It puts a big smile on their face. They scream for a minute and they laugh the next three. I really get a big kick out that."


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