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August 18, 2022 - 7:12pm
posted by Press Release in chamber of commerce, news.

Press release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the “2022” Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Batavia Downs Gaming, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service, and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write-up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year. Business Nominees must be chamber members (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia and can also be downloaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com.

If you would like more information, feel free to call or email Kelly J. Bermingham, Director of Member Relations & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 1026, [email protected]

May 13, 2022 - 9:35am
posted by Press Release in chamber of commerce, tourism, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, acting as the official Tourism Promotion Agency for Genesee County, is pleased to announce the completion of a new Genesee County tourism website.  VisitGeneseeNY.com is the “go-to” online resource for all things tourism, hospitality, recreation and special events in Genesee County.

 The well-established site provides a digital presence for nearly 400 tourism-related businesses in Genesee County.  Each business has a landing page including business contact information, hours of operation, a description of goods or services and image gallery.  The site curates the content, so if a business is included in a blog, has events on the calendar or offers packages, the information is also displayed on the landing page – tying together all of the information that is displayed in various sections of the website. A requested custom feature on all business pages is the “What’s Nearby” filtering capability.   Users can see by distance, tourism-related businesses and filter to display the results based on type of attractions, restaurants and/or lodging.

The Chamber maintains an extensive county-wide (tourism-related) events calendar, which features over 400 events year-round, ranging from theater and arts workshops, outdoor nature programs, history-related or agritourism events, live racing and more.  A submission button is provided for area event coordinators to add their events as they become finalized.   In the coming days, the Chamber will also be announcing information on the live music section of the website (which can be easily found at JamInGenesee.com)

The site also includes information for event planners, tour operators, an in-depth collection of county-wide sports venues and more.  It was designed by Chamber member Corporate Communications located in Rochester, and replaces the 2017 site which they also created.

We encourage you to use bookmark VisitGeneseeNY.com as a resource for area businesses, as well as for year-round things to do with family and friends.

April 28, 2022 - 3:00pm

East Bethany, NY - One visit is all it takes to discover that Genesee County Park, Forest & Interpretive Center is one of Western New York’s outdoor treasures.

Featured content brought to you by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. Discover all that awaits your visit in our latest blog.

April 28, 2022 - 1:57pm
posted by Press Release in chamber of commerce, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year of existence in 2022, and with it has come a number of special events meant to bring together the local business community of Genesee County. Last night a Founder’s Event was held at GOART! in Batavia.

This invitation-only reception was held to recognize the men and women who have led the organization in its first 50 years. Past and present board members shared an evening of fellowship and remembrance, sharing stories of their time with The Chamber and how this community has changed over time. The building that currently houses GOART! in Downtown Batavia, Seymour Place, was the perfect location to hold this event as it itself is steeped in the history of the business community of Genesee County.

Special guests included two of the original members of the merger that made The Chamber what it is today, John Dwyer and Jim Vincent. Both men gave their remembrance of the events that took place in 1971 and how they along with other business leaders, like Bill Brown and Tom Cashin, came together to consolidate and connect the communities of Genesee County. The principle of a county-wide Chamber was meant to bring together people from all aspects of industry and business and was something that was already being embraced in other upstate NY communities.

In Genesee County, before 1971, there were two primary Chambers: The Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the Le Roy Chamber of Commerce. Setting competitiveness and hometown pride aside, the Board of Directors of these two Chambers agreed that a county-wide Chamber was both warranted and necessary in Genesee County. However, they not only wanted Batavia and Le Roy businesses to be involved, they wanted a balance of representation from the remainder of the businesses in the county as well. This was in hopes that The Chamber would create a cross-section of the communities and businesses that it would serve.

On July 10th, 1972 the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce was founded on the idea of this countywide community in Genesee County, NY. Last night was a way for us to remember and appreciate the past and also embrace and look forward to the future of Genesee County. The modern-day Chamber is different than what it was in the ’70s, but the idea of a countywide community of businesspeople working together is still very much at the heart of our mission.

We would like to send a special thank you to the hundreds of people that have served on our board over the past fifty years, and to all those that attended last night to celebrate with us! Here’s to fifty more years of The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce!

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April 11, 2022 - 4:26pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, business, notify, downtown batavia, BID, chamber of commerce.

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If Yong Guang Ye gets his wish, the California businessman will more than double his investment at 40 Batavia City Centre.

Better known as the former JC Penney store in downtown Batavia, the property was purchased by Ye in February 2021. The price tag was $500,000. He has asked his realtor, Jonathan Maurer of Pyramid Brokerage Co. in Fairport, to list the site for sale at a cool $1.3 million.

Maurer has spoken with Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Eric Fix and Business Improvement District Executive Director Shannon Maute about prospects for the site.

“I’m trying to understand what the community would want,” Maurer said Monday to The Batavian. “A hotel would be amazing … we’re pursuing a hotel; we don’t have any strong leads yet, it’s too soon to tell. The priority is to find the best use for the space.”

The selling price is not out of range given the open floor space, “which I think is a value, given the size of the building,” he said, plus a roof repair in progress.

The buyer is a commercial real estate developer, and does not own any other property in New York State, Maurer said.

Based on his talks with the county and downtown representatives, the first goal would be to renovate it for an event space, with the second goal being a downtown hotel. It has been “difficult to find the right user” so far, he said, due to the site’s limited visibility and entrance/exit set-up.

BID Executive Director Shannon Maute said she could easily see a boutiquey micro-hotel situated within the 38,584 square-foot building. This area is lacking a venue for conferences and special events, she said, and the property is zoned for all of that, including building on two additional floors.

It has often been said that Batavia is a perfect location for being in between Buffalo and Rochester, and Maute would like to capitalize on that. "If you had family in Buffalo and Rochester, Batavia would be the perfect place to have a wedding or an event," she said.

“There definitely is a need for that,” she said Monday. “We’re still open to any ideas, but the goal is for (Maurer) to have an idea of what the need is. We try to work closely together, and Eric agreed on what should and should not go in there. The city would have to weigh in on an idea.”

She would not elaborate on what they felt should not go into the site.

Fix was not available for comment. 

Previously: Vacant Penney building purchased by West Coast businessman

Photo by Howard Owens

April 9, 2022 - 12:23am

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Jaydence Dayka, 3, seemed fascinated by the riding mowers so Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals, let him climb aboard one with the help of his mother, Kaylee Dayka, of Bergen during the annual Chamber of Commerce Home Show on Friday at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena in Batavia.

The show runs through Sunday, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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March 24, 2022 - 12:00pm


Bergen, NY - Read all about Genesee County's newest maple producer by clicking HERE (https://visitgeneseeny.com/blog/genesee-countys-newest-maple-producer). A small quantity will be made this year, and will be available for sale (while supplies last) at The Harford House Barn & Livery, as well as GO ART! in 8 and 12 ounce glass bottles with the label paying homage to the man that started it all.

March 11, 2022 - 10:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, agriculture, notify, chamber of commerce, Chamber Awards.

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From Chad, 33, to Harriett, 92, the Klotzbach clan knows the meaning of running a family business. 

They each do their part to push Alleghany Farm Services into higher levels of success, from Chad’s role as managing partner with his dad Drew to his grandmother’s promotional skills.

“We send out mailers, and she sent out 6,000 of them. She puts labels and stamps on them, it keeps her busy,” her grandson said during an interview with The Batavian. “She calls to ask if we heard from anyone about the mailer. It’s a total family business.”

It’s that close-knit personal touch that has earned Alleghany Farm Services a nod of approval with the 2021 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Business of the Year Award. The company was founded in 1983 by Drew Klotzbach, Chad’s father, and a company partner, and is comprised of multiple companies led by Alleghany Farm Services and Alleghany Construction as the two largest ones.

Although Chad has been literally out in the field since he was about 8 years old, he later wondered — “like every kid” — whether the local business world was for him.

“You leave and go off to college, and I wondered ‘do I want to stay with the family business? I always thought it as more of a challenge to stay than to leave,” he said. 

A native of Basom, he graduated from Oakfield-Alabama High School and went to Clarkson University for civil engineering, followed by obtaining a Master’s in Business Administration at Canisius College. He joined the family business in 2010 and has worked his way up to managing partner with an eye toward serving the community. He also has a seat on Genesee County Legislature.

His age has belied his experience at times, Chad said, and prompted some prospective customers to question his expertise.

“You know, I'm 33 years old. So a lot of times, I'll have customers see me pull up on-site, and they're like, oh, boy, who is this kid?” he said. “It's like, you know, I've been out here since you know, 8 or 10 years old doing this. So I may be young, but that's kind of what I grew up doing.”

Listening to him explain the complexity of field drainage and soil type, how much the industry has become data-driven, and how it’s a multi-year investment rather than a quick payoff, it seems clear he knows what he’s talking about. Still, it has made for “a tough elevator pitch,” he said.

Alleghany Farm Services has 30 employees and millions of dollars in specialized and computerized equipment. The company has installed 20 million feet of pipe over the past 10 years — up to four million feet a year now — and has more than doubled its size in the past five years.

Chad said it is the largest business of its kind in the Northeast and was the first to incorporate Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology in drainage design and installation in the same region. Primarily three machines are used for field drainage work — a tile plow, excavator, and a challenger tractor — and used together can install pipe in the ground using GPS to design it out ahead of time. It’s all about water management and configuring the pipe system to ensure maximum crop production, Chad said.

”You know, I think one of the things I said before is, it's way more complex than just putting pipe in the ground. You have to know the soil types, you have to know the correct pipe, the grades, the spacing, how the water flows through the soil,” he said. “I went to school for civil engineering. And even with that background, there's stuff that we see pretty much in every project that's unique. When you install subsurface drainage in a grid pattern, you’re controlling pretty much the water table, You’re dealing with surface saturation so you can get on the crops earlier in the spring and same thing in the fall.”

The process begins with the company’s sales team, he said, followed by data collection and extensive research “in order to create the proper design.” An average of 15,000 feet a day per machine can be installed, and “we stand by our work and remain in contact after projects are completed to make sure everything is performing correctly.”

Their business protocols have not only pushed the company into its sixth state but have garnered the attention of Jeanna Clark of M&T Bank and Farm Credit East. Clark’s nomination cited several reasons, including how the company has:

  • Increased their fleet of tile plows from two to four, including a prohibitively expensive mini tile plow that fits the space constraints of vineyards and orchards 
  • Expanded company size and employees by 25 percent over the last two years
  • Thanked customers with a yearly Field Day 
  • Focused on drainage education by working with local soil and water districts

Farm Credit East also cited the company’s impressive expansion statistics and lauded it for its remaining loyalty to Genesee County with headquarters in Basom.

With all of that pipe laid down, what lies ahead for Alleghany Farm Services? They have no plans to slow down now, Chad said.

“We’re right down the road from the STAMP project, and, you know, just seeing the community grow, we have new opportunities with that. We just want to continue with employing local people, keeping people interested in agriculture,” he said. "And we love supporting (initiatives such as) Cooperative Extension doing Ag in the Classroom stuff that’s coming up. It's all about that education. I do a lot of education, and I think that's the biggest thing that we want to try to bring to the community.”

Top photo: Chad Klotzbach, left, and father/partner Drew have no plans to slow down their ever-growing success with Alleghany Farm Services in Basom. The company earned a 2021 Agricultural Business of the Year Award, which is to be presented with other chamber awards this Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming. Photo by Howard Owens.

This is the fourth of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.

March 10, 2022 - 10:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, Valle Jewelers, chamber of commerce, notify.

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For siblings Stephen Valle and Carrie Lawrence, they may have their differences, but both agree on one central point: The history of Valle Jewelers is every bit as important as its future.

“We owe the success of our family business to our grandparents and our parents, for paving the way for us,” Lawrence said during an interview with The Batavian. “We are a conservative partnership, and we made really strict, responsible decisions,” she said, as her brother tacked on “to keep the business in a successful position.”

They have not only maintained that goal, but also reaped some well-earned recognition as the 2021 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award recipient. Theresa DeMars nominated Valle Jewelers for its customer service, engagement with and support of the community, steadfast participation in downtown events, and being a “fixture in our community for three generations,” DeMars said.

“Valle Jewelers is a community staple, a true family-run business, and one of our best kept secrets,” she said in her nomination. 

Valle and Lawrence discussed some of that history, how the siblings manage to work well together, how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their jewelry business and how to take it into the future. 

Where it all began …
Grandpa Dominic Valle first opened the doors of Valle Jewelers on May 3, 1951, in what was once the Carey Mansion, which has since been torn down and sat on East Main Street across from the current City Church. Dom and Mary Valle continued the business and saw it through the Urban Renewal era when the jewelry store was housed in Genesee Country Mall for 24 years. When Mary retired from her nursing career, she became “a huge part of our move to Jackson Street,” Lawrence said. 

And it’s there, at 21 Jackson St., where Valle’s found its home, complete with the iconic street clock at the curb. Grandpa Valle died in 2005 and Dom died five years ago. Mary decided to step away from the business as Stephen and Carrie stepped up to carry the tradition forward. That wasn’t her first intention when filling in a gap on the sales floor 13 years ago, Lawrence said. 

“I never had any plans of coming in here,” she said. “They had a need and I thought it was going to be temporary. I never left.”

Stephen’s entry into the business was more purposeful. After attending a couple of years of college, he attended the New Approach School for Jewelers in Virginia Beach. With humble beginnings of helping out for a few summers, his focus grew toward the repair end of things, and now he’s been fully immersed in operations as a 20-year jewelry veteran. The Chamber award has given him pause to reflect on being part of the family’s legacy.

“I’m super proud to be a a part of it; it made me realize how special this award is,” he said.

Has working side by side with his sister been a smooth journey? He and Lawrence agreed that, sure, they may not agree on every little thing,  but they do agree on the big stuff.

“There are some brother and sister dynamics that are dealt with day in and day out. At the end of the day, we always agree on the things that matter. Our customers and our staff are most important,” Lawrence said. “And we have always given as much as we can to our community that has been so good to us. It is just as important to us to support our community as it was for our grandparents and our parents.”

Social media's healing power ...
They have a grateful spirit, not only for the solid foundation left to them but also for shakier times when a pandemic hit the business world hard. For a luxury business, Valle and Lawrence were initially concerned about how it would fare, he said.

“We were nervous about the direction we were going to go,” Valle said. “It created much more of a focus on how to reach our customers.”

Armed with six years of college studying business marketing, Lawrence is the chief marketer for the business. She is adept at taking and promoting photos on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media venues, and has realized, she said, that “all of that technology has allowed us to reach our customers.” In fact, digital technology has been "a game-changer,” she said, as a way to safely promote and deliver products for people to see.

“In a digital age, we haven’t lost focus with our connection with our customers. Our focus is to bring customers through the door. That’s what we love about the business, the face to face interaction," she said. "We were busier than ever through COVID. Really, social media certainly assisted that for us to keep moving; it gave us that ability. Certainly, we were busier through COVID because people weren't traveling and weren't going out as much. And it's such a beautiful, feel-good product that made people happy. So we flourished through COVID, because it gave people a little ray of sunshine, you know?"

Even though they were able to maintain — and even increase — business during the whole COVID shutdown, both partners realized the importance of relationships that stemmed from as far back as their grandfather Dominic, Valle said. It was that combination — a personal connection and digital platforms — that stabilized their success, he said.

The store was only closed for 12 weeks during the two-year pandemic, Lawrence said.

“Other than that, we battled through for a year and a half," she said. "Yes, it was more difficult, we had to work a lot harder, but it was still successful. We're super blessed.”

They maintain a website that features select products, however, the main goal is to get customers through the door “so we can develop relationships with our community, like my grandpa did 70 years ago,” Lawrence said. “We've still been able to maintain that, and that’s actually what we love about this business, that it's so face to face, and so many things these days are not.”

Moving onward ...
From the 1950s through Urban renewal and now getting beyond a pandemic, what does the future hold for Valle Jewelers? Joining the Retail Jewelers Organization and attending yearly shows have provided the pair with keen insights into what’s trending and hot in the industry, Lawrence said.

Sterling silver and 14-carat gold, despite — or maybe because of — its increasing cost are popular choices, she said. And updated technology has boosted custom-designed engagement and wedding rings, and made them “easier than ever” to craft tailor-made items for customers, she and Valle said. As for trends, some popular fashion styles are returning, Lawrence said, including “layering chains and stacking jewelry."

This is the third of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.

Top photo: Siblings Stephen Valle, 40, and Carrie Lawrence, 38, are proud to be the recipients of the 2021 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award for their longtime family business, Valle Jewelers. Stephen Valle works on repairs at his niche inside the Jackson Street shop. Valle's is full of jewelry choices, and the signature street clock earmarks the store at 21 Jackson St., Batavia. Photos by Howard Owens.

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March 9, 2022 - 10:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, chamber of commerce, notify.

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 Jay Lazarony may not know every child he’s encountered by name, but he sure knows their struggles and accomplishments over his last two-plus decades in Genesee County.

Lazarony has worked with thousands of kids to introduce them to vocational opportunities and lessons about required job skills, from time management to good work ethics. He’s had a passion for offering those opportunities since beginning his career journey at Arc of Genesee County and then embracing his roles at Genesee County Job Development Bureau, Adolescent Vocational Exploration Program, Genesee County Youth Bureau, and more recently, at GLOW Workforce Development Board.

”Really, who I'm proud of are the youth that I've worked with and assisted over the years, and helping them to reach a certain level of success. Because they're an open book. They come in and you give them an opportunity. You can fill that book up with enthusiasm, with knowledge about careers and how to go after careers rather than, you know, this is what I'm always going to be,” the GLOW Work Force Development Board executive director said to The Batavian. “And you can give them all the career possibilities and all the opportunities. It’s nice to know you had some effect on them. There have been some great success stories.”

There was the shy 15-year-old who ended up becoming a nurse practitioner and the student who didn’t even think he was going to make it through the program and went on to obtain an education at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

Those 25 years plus his own hands-on job development working in the family business has not only equipped Lazarony with notable skills but now also with recognition as a 2021 Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Geneseean of the Year Award. 

Karyn Winters, director of Genesee County's Business Education Alliance, nominated him for being an "exemplary professional and volunteer," and embodying what's great about Genesee County," she said. He founded GLOW With Your Hands in 2019 and has been a "selfless, kind, motivating and fearless leader," she said.

"While his career alone warrants recognition, what truly makes Jay an admirable Geneseean is his infectious enthusiasm to mentor local youth," Winters said in her nomination.

Do a quick rewind to 1975, when Lazarony graduated from Batavia High School. A few years later his family bought a failing but well-known restaurant franchise — KFC — in 1978, and he worked there until 1990. Lazarony watched his father Horace put in long hours and weekends to make it a success.

“When we took over, it was really rundown, one of the worst in the nation. I watched my dad open and close every day, I watched his enthusiasm for what he did,” Lazarony said, noting one big lesson he learned from that. 

“Now, I didn't love the restaurant business, and many people know that. But what I learned from him is that … find the thing that you love the most and make it your career. And that's what I got from him. And you know, it's funny, because in 2005 or 2004, he was a 73-year-old man at that time, and he was working probably 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, only about five or six hours on Saturday or five or six hours on Sunday. And he did that for 28 years that way. And we watched that,” Lazarony said. “Whether you like that business or not, you know that in order to be successful, sometimes you put in the hard work. So I think I learned that from being in that family business.”

He also imparts other nuggets from those restaurant days: be kind to your employees and co-workers, understand that they’ve got busy schedules with other activities, so cut them some slack when needed, and believe that kids can learn good work ethics with a mix of patience and tough love. 

A huge music fan, Lazarony said only two things kept him from a singing career: he couldn’t carry a tune or play guitar. He has enjoyed going to concerts and music events, including one at which Neil Young played “beautiful music for hours and hours.” 

Jenn, one of Lazarony’s program participants who saw him as a father figure, asked him to walk her down the aisle for her wedding. He proudly accepted. The experience was “one of the thrills of my lifetime,” he said. She thanked him with a hand-drawn sketch of Young on an old magazine cover. It’s framed and hanging on Lazarony’s office wall.

“It will be here until I retire,” he said. 

As for retirement, he will face that “when I get tired,” he said, which certainly isn’t any time soon. He’s having “way too much fun” right now and focused on getting a skilled workforce in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. 

“And to inspire people to work. We have a gap, and that’s why we have GLOW Work With Your Hands, to provide a skilled worker, and a job for every job-seeker,” he said.  “COVID really hurt us. We’re recovering … we’re in pretty good shape.”

His professional bucket list is to continue that mission and to use grant funding judiciously to assist those people who want to work with related “wrap around” services, such as paying for night nurse or welding certification costs, durable boots for the newly hired manufacturing worker, a five-hour safety course fee for a truck driver or mileage money to get to and from a job. 

“There’s plenty of need,” he said. 

He remembers his lack of enthusiasm when his family moved from Liverpool to Batavia in his senior year of high school. He wanted nothing to do with it, he said. Funny how time changes things.

“I've fallen in love with Genesee County, especially the city of Batavia; I think it's a great place to raise a family,” the 63-year-old said. “I think it's a wonderful place to just live, shop, and work. And I don't ever want to leave now.”

He and wife Donna will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary this summer and he is an unapologetic doting grandpa to his seven grandchildren. 
The best part of a weekend is when a grandchild wants to come over for the day, he said. That, supporting the Buffalo Bills, reading, gardening and Netflix rounds out his leisure activities.

As for the award, “I was shocked,” he said.

“And then extremely excited,” he said, mentioning his GLOW staff of 45. “I’m not here without any of them.”

Top photo: Jay Lazarony shows one of his favorite pieces of art, a handmade sketch by Jenn, a former program participant. Photo by Howard Owens.

This is the second of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.

March 3, 2022 - 11:28am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county, chamber of commerce.

Understanding the importance of tourism to the local economy, the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee is endorsing the utilization of federal American Rescue Plan Act money to fund a Chamber of Commerce-driven “county branding initiative.”

The committee, after a brief pitch of the plan by County Manager Matt Landers and Chamber President Erik Fix on Wednesday, voted to forward a resolution to spend $240,000 over three years – including $139,000 this year – for chamber officials to develop and implement a strategy to increase tourism.

“The Chamber has indicated to us that it lost a lot of funding in bed tax during 2020 due to the pandemic,” Landers said. “Tourism is specifically laid out in the federal legislation as an acceptable use for the ARPA money.”

Fix said he worked with county Compliance Officer Pamela LaGrou to put forth a number of initiatives to attract more visitors to Genesee County, with rebranding and social media/website development at the top of the list.

He said part of the money will be used to hire an outside consultant to assess the state of tourism in the county, noting that a company previously working with Livingston County left a “105 page memo of a list of things that could be done.”

The plan includes focusing on downtown Batavia, including the hiring of a part-time “Main Street coordinator,” Fix said, and also to use technology to monitor tourists’ activity during their stays in Genesee County and to create a “central landing page” on the internet.

“Our goal is to build a collective spirit and energy throughout the community,” he said. “if we do it right, it will lead to business development and growth.”

Landers reported that about $8 million of the $11.1 million the county received in ARPA funding will go toward the Countywide Water Project, with another $2 million to expand broadband capability in the county.

About $150,000 is being allocated to cybersecurity and the remainder is being “held out for future opportunities,” he said.

The county has until 2024 to allocate the ARPA money and until 2026 to spend it.

February 28, 2022 - 3:51pm
posted by Press Release in tourism, chamber of commerce, news.

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Press Release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce today’s release of the 2022 Genesee County Visitors Guide. In total 80,000 guides will be distributed throughout New York State, Ontario Canada, and neighboring states, highlighting all Genesee County has to offer.

The tourism industry was hit hard by the pandemic, but the Chamber is confident that Genesee County’s 2nd leading industry will have a strong return in 2022.  “This year’s visitor guide is a reflection of what we’ve experienced these past 24 months as a destination marketing organization,” said Kelly Rapone, Tourism Director at the Chamber. “Because of pandemic limitations and temporary closures of major attractions and large events, our messaging naturally shifted to highlighting opportunities to explore our quaint communities, experience our outdoor dining, nature parks & recreation,” she said. You’ll see this reflected on this year’s cover, which beautifully captures the essence of one of our welcoming communities - Le Roy. The main image features Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn and depicts a relaxing experience that awaits in Genesee County.  Elyse VanZile is credited with capturing this beautiful picture. 

This cover is going to appeal to a broader travel market segment than what has historically been presented. To further compliment that, the Chamber will be shining a bright spotlight on our live music scene. Featured inside, you will see a page highlighting JamInGenesee.com, a new webpage that will launch in the coming weeks as part of an overall tourism website redesign.  From restaurants that feature acoustic artists, to bars and taverns with live music, local outdoor concert series and more, Genesee is in fact jamming!  The Chamber tourism staff has been working with local destinations, and area bands to promote nearly 100 live music events this year.   

Additional features this year include:

  • Six Flags Darien Lake is investing in the park again this year with the addition of a massive new water attraction, Wahoo Wave, an adrenaline-packed adventure sending riders into near vertical motions to experience extended hang times and zero g-forces. Also new the park’s lodging is offering flexible stay options, with park admission being sold separately. Go from “room to zoom” at their rustic Lodge on the Lake Hotel, cabins, guest houses, RV’s or campsites. 
  • A feature on Ely S. Parker’s commemoration by the United States Mint to be featured on the 2022 Native American Dollar Coin.
  • Six pages highlighting our top outdoor nature assets, from the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, The Bergen Swamp and more.

The digital version of the visitor guide can be viewed here.  Visitors may request a free copy of the brochure on our website. Area residents that would like a copy can stop by the Chamber’s Visitor Center at 8276 Park Road in Batavia beginning Tuesday, March 2nd.  This, and other local brochures can be found in our vestibule, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

February 24, 2022 - 3:00pm


Join The Chamber in Celebrating March as Arts Awareness Month in Genesee County!

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is pleased to share in celebrating Arts Awareness Month in Genesee County! Our tourism website calendar currently features nearly 100 musical events, artisan workshops, exhibits, and more for you to enjoy! Whether you want to dig in and create something yourself, or be inspired by those who do, our community offers something for everyone!  We invite you to join us in supporting our local arts community. Read our latest blog for more information!

Find a full list of locations and cultural events on our website!

January 27, 2022 - 12:00pm

The 2022 Batavia and Genesee County Dining Guide has arrived!
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the release of the 2022 area dining guide. The brochure is printed for distribution to lodging guests, sports teams, and visiting family and friends! The brochure includes complimentary listings for all restaurants in Genesee County. 

Thank you to this year’s sponsors:

Residents are welcome to stop by the Chamber’s Visitor Center to pick up a free copy. The lobby is open 24/7 for this and other local brochures.
Click HERE to view a full list of our area’s restaurants.

January 21, 2022 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, video.
Video Sponsor

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year of serving and promoting local business and on Thursday, the chamber hosted a golden ribbon cutting at hits offices on Park Road in Batavia.

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