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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Organizations Team To Bring Boat Traffic To River Basin

Pedestrian traffic has increased in downtown Jamestown since the opening of the National Comedy Center, but what about boat traffic?
Boats traveling to the Chadakoin River basin behind the National Comedy Center and in proximity to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities may be in the city’s future thanks to a partnership between several organizations.
This spring and summer, the Gebbie Foundation and the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency partnered to fund a bathymetric survey done by Twan Leenders, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History president, of the water depth from McCrea Point Park to the Chadakoin River basin in downtown Jamestown.
Mark Geise, IDA CEO, said the bathymetric survey showed there were no major impediments below the water keeping boats from traveling from Chautauqua Lake to the Chadakoin River basin down by the pedestrian bridges along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.
Greg Edwards, Gebbie Foundation CEO, said Leenders did a monthly analysis of the Chadakoin River water this spring and summer, and came to the conclusion that the water is navigable by the majority of watercraft. He said there are a few height limitations, mainly an old bridge near the Jamestown BPU, but Edwards said 80% of vessels could make it to the basin.
“The channel is open to virtually all watercraft,” he said. “We knew boats, like the Chautauqua Bell, could make it from the lake to McCrea Point. There is 5 to 12 feet of water there, but we needed to find out about the urban area from McCrea Point Park to the basin.”
Geise and Edwards said there are a few other challenges like the flow of water and where some areas the river narrows that will need to be improved before boats can travel to downtown Jamestown.
“There is nothing to keep this from happening if we build the infrastructure to make this happen,” Geise said.
Following the bathymetric survey, the IDA and Gebbie Foundation officials decided to produce a request for proposals to hire a business to develop a strategic business plan to bring the idea of attracting boaters off of Chautauqua Lake to downtown Jamestown. Geise said the business plan would include where docks would be installed, where buoys need to be located and a water barrier to keep boats from being near the Warner Dam.
“The business plan will establish objectives like site conditions, marketing opportunities, physical structures that need to be done away with or added and environmental conditions,” Edwards said. “There will be a menu of projects and they will be prioritized. There will be a number of projects and it will take a number of years to invest strategically with grants.”
Edwards said local officials are hoping to have the strategic business plan completed this spring so they can submit a consolidated funding application to possibly receive state grants through the Regional Economic Development Council program in December 2020. Geise said the estimated cost for the strategic business plan will be between $40,000 to $60,000.
“The strategic business plan will identify projects that need to be done,” Geise said. “What they look like. How much they will cost. It will identify funding sources and then prioritize projects so we do them in the correct order.”
Geise said it will take three to five years to turn the idea into reality.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time, but we really didn’t know what the challenges were until we did the (bathymetric) survey,” Geise said. “There are no major impediments, so we are excited about it. It’s about bringing people from the lake to the downtown to spend money in our community. If we can pull people from Chautauqua Lake to take advantage of all the great things to do, not only in Jamestown, but along the river , it’s good for all of us.”
Edwards said increasing activity around the Chadakoin River downtown has been a goal since the creation of the first Urban Design Plan in 2006. He said, even with several projects along the riverfront being completed since 2006, Urban Design Plan 2.0 also called for the continued development of the riverfront downtown.
“The more you can do to increase activity with the river is a good thing,” Edwards said. “We want to build on the proven successes.”
Edwards said the future of the Chadakoin Riverfront continues to be bright, with more projects in the future to go along with already completed developments like the National Comedy Center.
“It was an area (Chadakoin Riverfront) where no wanted to be,” Edward said, referring to the debris and brush that was in the area before the Comedy Center Park and Greater Jamestown Riverwalk extensions were developed. “Now, (the Chadakoin Riverfront) is a focal point.”

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Don't Miss These BIG Chautauqua County Events

Midsummer to End-of-Summer: Don't Miss These BIG Chautauqua County Events
Spend a day steeped in environmental consciousness; learn about sustainability, conservation, and have fun celebrating Wild America. Browse the juried fine nature art and craft show vendor stalls, where beautiful, high-quality nature art is for sale. Taste food inspired by local ingredients and vote for your favorite cook-off competitor. Well-known authors, speakers, and conservationists will host classes, workshops, and live animal meet-and-greets at this all-ages event. The festival is co-hosted by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, whose gallery and trails are in Peterson’s nearby hometown of Jamestown. // LEARN MORE
Learn and laugh as Chautauqua Institution again partners with the National Comedy Center for a week exploring how comedy changes us and, in turn, society because comedy can do more than hold up a mirror to our world; it can, in fact, change it. Explore topics such as: What does your sense of humor reveal about you? How can we be challenged by things we don’t find funny? Examine the challenging intersection of free speech, political correctness, humor, and what we can learn from that uncomfortable space. The interfaith lecture theme for the week is, “What’s So Funny About Religion?” // LEARN MORE

The oldest consecutively running rodeo east of the Mississippi returns for its 75th year! This rain or shine tradition includes seven different PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) events, including bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bull riding, barrel riding, plus both team and tie-down roping. Arrive early for the bbq and midway fun. All proceeds benefit the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department. Fireworks will be on Wednesday and Saturday. // LEARN MORE
This three-day festival showcases the best of Lake Erie Wine Country and New York State wines, agricultural producers, breweries, and distilleries from across the state. Enjoy wine and cooking demonstrations, live music, regional artisan vendors, and a classic car show. Multi-day and designated driver tickets are available. // LEARN MORE
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown – Jamestown, NY, to be a destination for the celebration of the comedic carts and to showcase new comedic talent from around the country. The festival, which is presented by the National Comedy Center, attracts more than 15,000 US-wide attendees annually who are looking to share in the laughter. Now in its 28th year, the festival has featured comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, and more than one hundred other comedic artists.

2019 Festival Headliners include Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. Catch them at Jamestown’s Northwest Arena in addition to Brian Regan’s Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater performance, Comedy Late Night, Stand-Up Showcase, FREE Kids Comedy, The Lucy and Ethel Show, and more. Participate in Lewis Black’s Stand-Up Workshop, book a Lucille Ball Hometown or Cemetery Tour, Lucille’s Birthday Bash, or participate in grape stomping and chocolate wrapping. Tickets and the Comple Schedule are available via the National Comedy Center. // LEARN MORE

The Dunkirk Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix returns to Chautauqua County for a second time. The inaugural event in 2018 was a success, with free spectator viewing areas along the revitalized picturesque Lake Erie waterfront area that offered spectacular views over the racecourse. Last year, spectators enjoyed the unique vantage points at the Dunkirk Light House Park on Point Gratiot along with weekend festivities including live music from seven different bands, a variety of vendors and historical reenactments of the America Civil War. The 2018 Dunkirk Great Lakes Offshore Grand Prix featured multi-camera course coverage and drone footage produced by American Performance Media.
Food lovers will gather for a week-long festival featuring great food and craft beverages. Bestor Plaza will again come alive with a diverse array of food and drinks prepared by the best regional restaurants, farms, wineries, and breweries. Food Festival Only Tickets are available but guests are invited to explore the full breadth of Chautauqua programming this week, themed "Exploring Race and Culture in America with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center. // LEARN MORE
This enchanting late summer music festival held on the same grounds as the Great Blue Heron Music Festival is not to be missed. This year’s lineup features more than 30 bands representing an inclusive & varied showing of national, regional and local artists covering genres from electronic, jam, rock, funk, Americana, bluegrass and indie. Tent camping, car camping, and RV camping on the grounds is allowed but please note that a special permit is required for RVs/campers. Food and artisan vendors will be set up near the festival stages. // LEARN MORE

Where to Stay in the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Region: Comfort, Hospitality and Relaxation Await

Hotels, Vacation Homes, B&Bs, Cottages, Campgrounds and more...
Request a FREE 2019 Chautauqua County, NY Travel Guide
Plan your adventure in Western New York with lake area vacations, an abundance of outdoor recreation experiences, wineries, cultural centers like the Chautauqua Institution, museums like the National Comedy Center, and fun-filled events all year long. With four distinct seasons, there are plenty of reasons to visit the Chautauqua-Lake Erie area any time of year.

Request a FREE copy of the "I Love NY" Chautauqua County Travel Guide, a 96-page, four-color travel guide and foldout map using the form provided here. Or, view the digital Travel Guide using the link below.
Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau | P. O. Box 1441, Chautauqua, NY 14722
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