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November 1, 2018 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, news, notify.

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It's been a banner year for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce -- more ribbon cuttings, more members, more tourism dollars, and even higher attendance at the chamber's annual meeting at Terry Hills.

This year, 156 people turned out for the luncheon and Chamber President Tom Turnbull's upbeat review of the past year of chamber activity.

Membership has increased from 425 businesses on the Chamber's rolls to 464, a 9-percent increase, the largest single-year climb in membership on record.

"I think we've done a better job of conveying the value of being a Chamber member," Turnbull said after the meeting. "From our improved staff, improved social media, improve the communication with our members, we've been able to let people know what the chamber does and that it's growing.

"It also is a reflection on the business community. Businesses are growing. We're doing ribbon cuttings because there are new businesses. I think we that reflects what's happening in the business community."

The new visitor center on Park Road has given a boost to local tourism, Turnbull said, but new hotels, more travel, a good economy, are also giving a boost to the bed tax, which funds tourism promotion in Genesee County. Bed tax revenue was up 11 percent in 2017.

Tourism is the county's second leading industry, after agriculture, Turnbull said, with nearly two million visitors passing through the county annually contributing $180 million to the local economy. Darien Lake alone draws 800,000 people during its short 100-day season.

During the summer, sports events have become a big draw for the county, leading to all rooms booked at every hotel in the county on many weekends.

This past summer, 53 events in Genesee County drew 123,000 people.

Asian tour companies have discovered Batavia is a convenient location for an overnight stay, Turnbull said, because it's still close to Niagara Falls but with competitive room rates. As many as 10 tour buses a day stop in Batavia.

Local tourism employes more than 2,000 people at 380 tourism-related business with a $58 million annual payroll, Turnbull said.

September 5, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, chamber of commerce, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Awards Committee announced today that the ceremony for 2018 honorees will be held on Saturday, March 2.

It will take place at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia (formerly The Clarion Hotel).

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; and Geneseeans of the Year.

Business nominees must be a chamber member (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

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 28 to be eligible for consideration.

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

July 23, 2018 - 2:39pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in Camping, chamber of commerce, news, outdoors, tourism.

The wind whistling through the trees, the sun peeking through the clouds, and just around the corner, a bird is singing. There’s no better way to start your morning than surrounded by nature, and no better way to get in touch with your outdoorsy side than by pitching a tent and setting up camp.

And truly, how great is camping? With the aroma of marshmallows in the air, the sound of the crackling fire, and the stars burning bright overhead, it’s one surefire way to relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

Luckily for those in the area or visitors wanting an easy outdoor getaway, Genesee County is home to some seriously awesome campsites.

Skyline Camping Resort

Skyline Camping Resort is your “one stop for family camping fun.” Located atop scenic rolling hills, they boast over 300 campsites with 275 of those sites offering water and electric hookups. Families can enjoy three wading and swimming pools, a pond for fishing, and recreational activities (shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe) for all ages. Send the kids out to enjoy a game of tennis or mini golf, or to play the old-fashioned way at the playground and burn off that pent up energy. Then hype them back up with a candy bar at Skyline’s mini on-site Grocery Store. With something for everyone to enjoy, one weekend just won’t be enough!

Southwoods RV Resort

Southwoods RV Resort is a family friendly campsite in a park-like setting. What does that mean? It means that kids can explore and play on the playground, in the game room, hop in the swimming pool or take to the special wagon rides, while others enjoy the bike track, hiking trails, sand volleyball court or mini-golf course. More than 200 spacious campsites with full hookups for RVs, a propane station, laundry facilities, and more mean that there is room for everyone to camp out and enjoy Southwoods all summer (and fall!) long. The Resort also hosts special events like coffee and donuts, casino night, and live music on holiday weekends.

Lei-Ti Campground

Lei-Ti shows guests how to enjoy LEIsure TIme the right way in Western New York. Started in 1971, the campground has been voted one of the top 100 campgrounds in North American by Woodalls readers. And it's easy to see why - with two huge playgrounds, golf cart sales, swimming in the pool or at Leisure Lake beach, fishing, a rec. lodge (complete with an arcade and fitness room) and live entertainment, activities and events! It's an extended camping trip that's going to feel just like home - busy, fun, relaxing, and with all the amenities you could ever need. 

Cherry Hill Campground

Cherry Hill Campground takes you straight back to the basics, while also offering a crazy convenient location - just across from Darien Lake Theme Park! Enjoy lush, shaded campsites or a lean-to cabin with double doors that close for privacy. Cherry Hill is pet friendly and each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring. 

The Ridge NY

Formerly known as Frost Ridge Recreation Area, The Ridge is a campground that takes its entertainment seriously. The site boasts a pool, camp and farm store, playground, and The Big Ridge Restaurant serving up homemade and homegrown meals. They also hold regular “Jam at the Ridge” concerts featuring local and statewide bands. Concerts are open to the public for single access into each event, but campers staying on property get special passes allowing in-and-out access to come and go as they please. The Ridge is truly where the fun is!

Darien Lakes State Park

Hills, woodlands, ravines, streams, a sandy beach and the 12-acre Harlow Lake make up Darien Lakes State Park. Campers can take their pick of where to park their stuff – choosing from a total of 154 campsites, 141 with electricity and 13 primitive sites without. When you aren’t exploring the trails, fishing for largemouth black bass, or playing a round of 18-holes on the Angry Apple Disc Golf Course, you can make your way over to “Picnic Island” and enjoy a snack while surrounded by the serene views of nature.

Darien Lake Amusement Park Campground

Whether you’re relaxing after a day of thrills at the amusement park, or just getting away from it all, Darien Lake Campgrounds are a great way to unwind. Pitch a tent, pull an RV in, book a cabin rental or settle in to a “ready-made” glamping site nearby picturesque Darien Lake. Lodging Packages offer the best value for those looking to do it all – enjoy the outdoors, hit the waterpark, ride the roller coasters, and enjoy a weekend with family or friends.

Sleepy Hollow Lake

Sleepy Hollow Lake is 104 acres of camping fun! It’s kid friendly, pet friendly, and home to beautiful walking trails and easy waterfront access. The camp has drive through RV sites, tent camp sites, and cabin rentals, with water, electric, on-site restrooms, picnic areas, and more. Each month they host special events ranging from pancake breakfasts and roast beef dinners, to flea markets, hayrides, petting zoos and horseshoe tournaments. There’s always something happening at Sleepy Hollow -- the place to make and preserve memories that last a lifetime.

It doesn’t matter which you choose or where you want to park it, family memories and outdoor fun await! For more information on these sites or other local offerings, check out the camping page on www.VisitGeneseeNY.com.

June 27, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in tourism, chamber of commerce, business.

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At Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises, you’ll be singing and celebrating over a century of American history as you cruise down the Erie Canal. Located just outside Genesee County (just 15 minutes from Niagara Falls along historic Route 104) and headquartered in a renovated 1840 warehouse, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises offers a relaxing adventure and exciting take on history -- with daily and charter cruises, lively narration, and private charters and event space.

Experience the Canal

History is, in fact, the main theme at Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises. Experience “Life in the Past Lane" when you take a two-hour scenic cruise down the Erie Canal and enjoy the sights and sounds of the waterway that changed the nation.

From May through October, book an experience that takes you through locks 34 and 35, the only double set of locks on the Canal, and ride 50 feet up as it fills with over three million gallons of water in mere minutes. Pass under Lockport’s "Upside Down Bridge," Lockport's "Big Bridge" (the widest bridge in the United States at 299 feet wide), through the "deep rock cut" and under lift bridges (everybody down!).

Cruise guides provide narration set to popular 1800s music – setting the scene and the mood as you navigate the canal.

Learn the History

Since 1987, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises has been a family owned business and community staple. From the boats to the building and event space, every detail has been carefully considered and immaculately preserved. The original stone walls are the remains of what was once Niagara Preserving Company, and the property was also at one time Western Block Company, a business that manufactured block and tackle for pulleys used on canal boats. Many of these artifacts can still be found throughout the spacious building.

Across the parking stands a four-story stone building built in the 1840s. The building was once a flour mill that used the water from the Erie Canal as its main power source, and channeled its excess water down a spillway, which still carries water to the canal today.

The building -- preserved in its original condition -- serves as the Lockport & Erie Canal Heritage Museum with hands-on canal related exhibits, a working model of a lock, and many interesting, and educational displays and artifacts.

Make a Memory that Lasts

But, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises is more than just a history lesson and a cruise along the canal. Each of its three vessels and spacious buildings can be rented out for private events, functions, and even weddings. Book time on a boat with food, drinks, music, and the opportunity to choose-your-own-adventure - we mean, route! Each has its own great atmosphere:

  • Lockview IV, a 48-passenger boat built to resemble the African Queen;
  • Lockview V, a 125 passenger, double-decker boat built for the Great Lakes;
  • Lockview VI, a 150 passenger, double-deck Mississippi-style stern paddle wheel.

Back on dry land, choose from one of three event spaces:

  • The Veranda Banquet Room has more than 100 windows overlooking the Canal for stunning views from every angle;
  • The Meeting Room boasts a giant skylight and windows that overlook cobblestone walkways and the Canal for an atmosphere that will whisk you back in time;
  • The Canalside Grove has an enclosed shelter but puts your event outside directly on the canal. (And let’s not forget the 15-foot fully stocked bar available!)

So good are they at what they do, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises was recently entered into the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame for earning a Certificate of Excellence every year for the past five years! With so many satisfied customers, you’re sure to be one, too.

For more information on nearby attractions, visit www.visitgeneseeny.com.

June 6, 2018 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce, CUSTOMER SERVICE, news.

Press release:

“Customer Service that Wins Sales” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Workshop on Wednesday, June 13.

“Customer Service is the driving force in all of our businesses that can mean the difference between winning a sale and losing one”, said Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber. “Customers today are pickier than ever and have more reach via social media, so it is imperative we keep them happy. Attend this workshop to learn more about how to win more and repeat sales.”

Among the subjects to be covered include tips to better serve your customer, how to win new customers with customer service, how to increase loyalty and repeat purchases and he importance of online customer service. Greg Lindberg of the Small Business Administration will conduct the workshop.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

The workshop will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The session will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. and includes a question-and-answer period.

Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members and Batavia Business Improvement District members may attend all small business workshops free of charge but should make reservations to insure space.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

May 20, 2018 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, O'Lacy's, chamber of commerce.

There will be a Business After Hours networking opportunity at O'Lacy's Irish Pub from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, sponsored by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

O'Lacy's is located at 5 School St. in Downtown Batavia.

Light snacks will be served. Cash bar.

April 20, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in batavia, downtown, business, tourism, chamber of commerce, restaurants, Vegan.

This Earth Day, the very first 100-percent vegan restaurant in Genesee County is opening up to share a different kind of delicious food with locals and visitors alike. Yep, you read that right! One-hundred-percent vegan food will be served up at Eden Café & Bakeshop!

Located inside Eli Fish Brewing Company, at 109 Main St., Batavia, there is a glimpse of the garden, with generous plant-based meals, fresh juices, and even treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Join Eden Café & Bakeshop for their grand opening THIS SUNDAY, April 22nd, starting at 12 p.m.

There will be lots going on including a Cutco knife giveaway, raffles, and branded tumblers will be available for purchase. Be one of the first to experience a new kind of cuisine after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. 

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What began as a thought of opening a zero-waste store, slowly turned into Eden Café & Bakeshop. Owner, Judy Hysek, is bringing some seriously tasty and animal-free food choices to all in and around Genesee County!

Hysek has been vegan for three years, which just so happens to be enough time to experiment with plant-based foods and create some delicious concoctions to share with you!

“I’m hoping to open the community up to a new way of eating," she said. "I want to make it easier for people who don’t know how to eat without meat and dairy… I would have gone vegan a lot sooner if there was more support, education, and availability... I’m just trying to add to the awareness and make it more accessible."

Now, let’s get down to business. Let’s talk about the food!

Carrot Dogs: You may have heard of these soon-to-be-famous “dogs” already, especially if you follow Eden Café & Bakeshop’s Facebook Page.

Imagine a carrot, in the shape of a traditional hot dog, which has been infused with deliciousness and then topped with more deliciousness of your choice. You’ll have to try it for yourself the next time you're in Eli Fish.

Word on the street is that even omnivores can't tell the difference between a carrot dog and a traditional hot dog. We dare you to give it a try and test your taste buds to see if you can tell the difference. Try your first carrot dog on a roll or wrapped in a pretzel and baked until golden brown! 

Cauliflower Wings: Where have these been all our lives? Since Western New York is the home of Buffalo Wings, it only makes sense to have “wings” on the menu at Eden.

You can have your wings tossed in Buffalo sauce or topped with the sweet mustard sauce. You can’t go wrong with either sauce -- so good! The breaded and baked florets are served with carrots and celery sticks with a house-made dip. The cauliflower wings can also be made gluten free and they're just as tasty!

Loaded Nachos: What goes better with a cold brew from Eli Fish than a pile of nachos? What about a pile of nachos smothered in a vegan beer cheese? There is nothing more satisfying!

Speaking of cheese…

Eden will have a variety of house made vegan, artisan cheeses including almond feta and cashew mozzarella, which will come on the poutine. (Poutine is a dish originating from the Canadian province of Quebec consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy.) Where else can you get poutine in Batavia, let alone a vegan poutine?!

Other menu items include desserts like cashew cheesecake, cookies, brownies and more. Desserts will rotate to give everyone the opportunity to try something new and yummy!

Last but definitely not least -- fresh juices, smoothies, lemonades and kombucha! This week I was lucky enough to try a fresh juice made of apples, strawberries and raspberries. (Please make this a rotating juice, it was so good!)

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Did you know?

Veganism is on a climb throughout the world. In the United States, a recent report by Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017, says “6 percent of U.S. consumers now claim to be vegan, up from just 1 percent in 2014.”

Eden is here to satisfy some taste buds and open some minds to the benefits of eating healthy, saving animals, and the planet. Everyone should rejoice and get involved in the efforts to sustain our planet and you can start right at home, or at Eden.

Oh, and by the way -- Eden is donating all gratuities to a nonprofit right here in Genesee County. Mockingbird Farm Sanctuary in Byron provides a home and lifetime care to animals regardless of their condition or past. Their goal is to improve the mental, physical and emotional well-being of the animals who live on the farm. Eden is already showing love to others trying to make a difference right here at home!

For more information on Eden Cafe and other hotspots in Genesee County, visit: https://visitgeneseeny.com/

April 6, 2018 - 10:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, Home Show, batavia, news.

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The annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show is underway at Falleti Ice Arena.

Hours for Saturday and Sunday, respectively, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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March 4, 2018 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business.

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The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner on Saturday night to honor five local winners for their contributions to the community.

Previous stories about this year's winners:

Photo by Mark Gutman / Courtesy the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce

February 8, 2018 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tourism, business, news, chamber of commerce.

Sports continues to become a bigger part of Genesee County's tourism economy, Kelly Rapone, tourism marketing director for the Chamber of Commerce, told members of the Ways and Means Committee during an annual update on Wednesday.

For years, since the Batavia Sports Park opened, Batavia has been home of the Empire Cup soccer showcase and this year the two-weekend event will be supplemented by a third weekend of soccer for another tournament.

That additional tournament will mean an addition 4,000 room nights for local hotels and about $500,000 of local economic impact.

June is also booked solid with sports. In this case, baseball.

Genesee County has long been a top destination for Canadian golfers, though last season the number of golfers crossing the border dropped off because of an unfavorable exchange rate. The exchange rate still isn't good, Rapone said, but golfers started booking packages in January, which may be a sign that the Canadians have mentally adjusted to the new prices and are ready to make the trip anyway.

Music has also grown into a source of tourism dollars, Rapone said. The venues have grown from beyond just Darien Lake to include The Ridge, in Le Roy, entering its eighth season, and Batavia Downs.

The first concert series at the Downs last year was a success, so officials there are apparently planning on booking more shows this year.

It's not so much that the concerts sell out, Rapone said -- the concerts help increase casino traffic and lead to more room nights booked at the new hotel.

The hotel hit its first anniversary in October, Rapone said, and in the fourth quarter, as a result of the hotel being open, there was a bump in local tourism revenue in 2017.

Rapone said she believes Batavia Downs is looking to book more expo-type of events, which brings more people to town, more people into the casino, and leads to more nights booked at the hotel.

November 5, 2017 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, tourism, business.

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Press release:

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) recognized individuals and organizations for their high level of excellence and accomplishments in New York State’s tourism industry at the 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner, held Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Glen Club of the Watkins Glen International.

Kelly Rapone, tourism director for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, was presented with the 2017 Excellence in Leadership award, which honors a tourism professional for leadership through outstanding initiative, impact of their work, and inspiring others around them.

In remarks read at the presentation by Nicole Mahoney, president of Break the Ice Media, noted that Kelly Rapone is a leader in the New York State tourism industry, exemplifying outstanding initiative.

“She is dedicated to bringing tourism into her county, as well as her region and the state.”

Rapone’s influence goes beyond her county borders. The impact of her enthusiastic work is felt statewide. With the launch of the Haunted History Trail in 2013, she created a product for a niche market that helps many historic sites and lesser-known attractions get recognized, and provides a direct economic impact of more than $1.5 million. This is just one of many initiatives in which she takes a leadership role.

Mahoney went on to remark that Rapone is an inspiration to many in the tourism industry.

“From mentoring young professionals to helping interns grow in their careers, to providing guidance and genuine interest to small business owners throughout her county and beyond, she has earned respect and admiration from her peers near and far, and is truly worthy of this honor.”

Rapone has long been a supportive leader with NYSTIA, serving on the board of directors and actively chairing the scholarship committee, which this year raised more than $11,500 dollars to benefit college students.

The winning individuals or organizations of NYSTIA’s 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards were nominated by their peers and reviewed by NYSTIA’s awards committee. The recipients were selected based on demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism.

Jill Delaney, NYSTIA president and CEO said, “As the fourth largest employer in the State of New York, the tourism industry continues to grow and evolve, leading to ever more impressive accomplishments. We are honored to have a night set aside to recognize the successes of our industry innovators with the goal of inspiring creativity and passion throughout New York State’s tourism industry.”

Submitted photo: Jill Delaney, NYSTIA president/CEO, Kelly Rapone, Valerie Knoblach, NYSTIA Board chair.

October 23, 2017 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, news, chamber of commerce, annual awards.

Press release:

The Chamber’s Annual Awards Committee has announced the Annual Award Ceremony for 2017 honorees will be held on Saturday, March 3, at The Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia (formerly The Clarion Hotel). 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 a Chamber Member (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 down loaded from the Chamber Website at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY Dec. 29 to be eligible for consideration.

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

October 3, 2017 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce.

Press release:

“Managing Four Generations in the Workplace” will be the subject of a small business workshop to be hosted the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 11.

This is the one of a series of business workshops held in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“This workshop will help attendees learn how to understand and appreciate the differences in the generations from Boomers to Millennials,” said Tom Turnbull, Chamber president. “Understanding these differences will help you better manage employees and create a more productive working environment.”

The workshops are held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Road, Batavia. The sessions will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and include a question-and-answer period. Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops. Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee. Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to ensure space for their employees.

To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected]

September 13, 2017 - 3:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, agriculture.

Press release:

“Genesee County’s International Agriculture Connections” will be the theme of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s 28th Annual Decision-Maker’s Agricultural tour on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The half-day tour will begin with a breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5056 East Main Street Road, Batavia. Presentations by the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Bonduelle will take place at the fairgrounds before boarding the bus for stops at Love Beets, Oxbo International, and Vegetal. The bus will return to the fairgrounds by noon. 

“Most people know that the number one industry in Genesee County is agriculture,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. “What many are unaware of is the number of international connections there are to local agribusinesses. All of the stops on this year’s tour have an international affiliation.”

The Decision Maker’s Ag Tour is open to the public and is free of charge. Participants should register in advance by calling the Chamber office at 585-343-7440 or by emailing to [email protected]

April 6, 2017 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Visitor Center, chamber of commerce, tourism, batavia, business, news.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s new Visitor Center will operate with extended hours beginning Friday, May 26th, in time for Memorial Day weekend o- the “unofficial” start of the travel season.

The Visitor Center volunteer opportunity is open to any Genesee County resident or civic organization that would like to welcome our visitors, provide directions, or suggestions on places to visit or great places to eat. Volunteer shifts are two-and-a-half hours long and can be done on a weekly, biweekly, or as needed basis.

For more information – please stop by the Visitor Center at 8276 Park Road, or give Lauren Humphrey a call at 585-344-4152.

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April 1, 2017 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Home Show, business, news, batavia, chamber of commerce.

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Lots of activity today at the Falleti Ice Arena for the Genesee County Home Show.

The show continues tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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To purchase prints, click here.

March 30, 2017 - 2:36pm

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s new Visitor Center will operate with extended hours beginning Friday, May 26th, in time for Memorial Day weekend - the “unofficial” start of the travel season. The Visitor Center volunteer opportunity is open to any Genesee County resident or civic organization that would like to welcome our visitors, provide directions or suggestions on places to visit or great places to eat. Volunteer shifts are 2 ½ hours long and can be done on a weekly, biweekly or as needed basis. For more information – please stop by the Visitor Center at 8276 Park Road, or give Lauren Humphrey a call at 585-344-4152. 

March 5, 2017 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, Chamber Awards, business.

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At the Quality Inn & Suites last night, the Chamber of Commerce presented its annual local business and leadership awards. Here are photos and links to our stories from the past week about the winners.

Above, Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty Pumps.

Chamber Awards: Business of the Year -- Liberty Pumps

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Bill and Joy Hume, owners of Foxprowl Collectables.

Chamber Awards: Foxprowl Collectables -- Entrepreneurial Business of the Year

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Owners of Stein Farms. Natasha Sutherland speaking, then on left, Jerrod Stein, Ray Stein, and Nathan Stein (Dale Stein was out of town and unable to attend).

Chamber Awards: Agricultural Business of the Year, Stein Farms

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Steve Foster and Tim Adams, owners of Red Osier Restaurant.

Chamber Awards: Special Service Recognition, Red Osier Restaurant

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Steve and Lisa Grice.

Chamber Awards: Geneseeans of the Year, Batavians Steve and Lisa Grice

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Tom Turnbull, present of the Chamber of Commerce, during his opening remarks.

February 28, 2017 - 1:44pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, red osier, chamber of commerce, Chamber Awards, Stafford, business.

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Give and it will be given unto you.

“When we took over operations in Thanksgiving of 2015, we had one goal – to give back to the local community,” said Steve Foster who, along with business partner Tim Adams, has successfully tied charitable giving with quality food and service to make the Red Osier® Restaurant in Stafford a premier dining destination of Western New York.

“Genesee County has been forgotten over the years here,” Adams said. “We believe that the more we support local organizations, the more success we will have.”

Foster, an Alexander native, and Adams, who grew up in East Bethany, officially took ownership of the restaurant – known throughout WNY for its prime rib – on April 20 of last year, and have displayed a large measure of generosity to the people of Genesee County through event sponsorships, donations and employee-supported fundraising.

As a result, the Red Osier® Restaurant has been selected as the Special Service Recognition of the Year award from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Foster and Adams, who also own Adams’ Welding & Fabrication in Stafford, will be honored at the 45th annual Awards Ceremony on March 4 at Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road.

In her nomination letter, Lynette Skelton of Starowitz Farms in Byron praised Foster and Adams for purchasing the restaurant – possibly saving it from closing for good and saving the jobs of around 60 employees.

“The two men decided to take the chance, and the opportunity to save the local landmark and the local jobs in their community,” Skelton wrote.

Foster, a Red Osier® employee since 1998, said he was hesitant about buying the business – “it needed a lot of help,” he said – but finally agreed. Since then, and he and Adams have moved full speed ahead.

The list of the duo’s Genesee County civic contributions over the past 18 months is impressive, to say the least:

-- The Genesee County 4H program. Tim is a former Geneseean of the Year for his service to 4H and Cornell Cooperative Extension, and he is continuing his support by purchasing two pigs (which have been processed for special dishes at the restaurant).

-- GO ART!’s Picnic in the Park. The restaurant was the major sponsor for the July 4th event last year, coming to the forefront at the last minute to prevent the event from being canceled.

-- Genesee Cancer Assistance. A joint venture between the restaurant and welding shop last Thanksgiving resulted in the presentation of $10,000 to GCA – money derived from proceeds of diners that day and a contribution from the welding shop.

-- Le Roy Food Pantry, Genesee County Animal Shelter, Crossroads House, Michael Napoleone Foundation. The two men contributed to fundraisers supporting these causes.

-- Oatka Festival, American Warrior Event at Frost Ridge, Le Roy Youth Football.  The restaurant signed on as major sponsors for these events, and also has sponsored individuals participating in horse shows, cheerleading contests, and other endeavors.

-- Spirits & Skivvies. An employee-led initiative, more than 600 pairs of socks and underwear were donated to the homeless.

“Our staff is right with us every step of the way,” Foster said. “They are on board with our donation program.”

On the business side, the owners said they have “broken every record” for sales – seeing repeat and new customer and raising the average per capita bill from about $25 to around $45.

“Everything here is made from scratch – the meals, desserts, salad, bread; it’s all fresh,” Foster said.

While prime rib is the main attraction, the menu includes a variety of dishes, and much of the food and some of the spirits and liquors are purchased from local vendors.

The owners also reported that, upon their return from a recent trip to Nashville, they have purchased a custom-built, 24-foot food trailer with a full kitchen “to take our chefs out on the road.”

They said they will be able to cater weddings, parties, graduations and other gatherings, and hope to get that started in May.

“It’s a replica of our kitchen,” Foster said.

The Red Osier® opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, check out its website – www.redosier.com.

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February 24, 2017 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in BID, chamber of commerce, batavia, business.

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The Business After Hours gathering for the Chamber of Commerce yesterday was also a celebration of the arrival of a news director for Business Improvement District.

Beth Kemp moved into the BID office more than a month ago and she and her husband, Brian, co-owners of T-Shirts Etc. and both artists, went right to work redecorating the space, so for many of the people attending the event were seeing the bright and attractive revamped space for the first time.

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