November 17, 2020

2020 Bicyclists Bring Business: A Canalway Corridor Approach


Discover how bicyclists can bring business to your community


ince 2009, Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) has hosted an annual Bicyclists Bring Business (B3) event in a select location along the Erie Canalway Trail. The event offered community partners, businesses, residents, and cyclists a unique set of resources to help them capitalize on the growing bicycle tourism market in their area.

Due to COVID19, this year the Bicyclists Bring Business event will be held virtually on Tuesday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take on a corridor-wide approach to attract cyclists and help grow local economies along the Canalway Trail. PTNY will offer strategies that the business community, elected leaders, bicycling advocates, and local organizations can pursue to help grow and promote cycling as an economic driver. Examples of initiatives currently underway will help illustrate and amplify these strategies.

PTNY, in partnership with the Canal Corporation, will present on the fundamentals of creating a bicycle friendly community. The event will also feature guest speakers who will share their experiences with different strategies successfully used to help communities realize the economic benefits of bicycling.

The audience will be able to ask questions and participate in designated break-out groups led by the presenters, PTNY, and Canal Corporation staff. The break-out groups will encourage participants to think more about how a community can attract bicyclists through different business models, marketing opportunities, promotional materials, and activities.

Participants will gain insight into the needs and trends that can influence a bicycle tourist’s decision to visit a community, and how communities can use this information to grow their local economy by appealing to bicyclists.

Imagine...dozens of weary but happy bicyclists arriving at the edge of your community on a summer afternoon, all of them hungry and thirsty, some intending to stay the night, and most eager to explore your canal community, to experience its history and uniqueness. Imagine, too, that these self-propelled tourists later go home and tell family members, friends, co-workers, and other bicyclists about their wonderful visit.

Do you see economic opportunity here? Of course! To some degree this opportunity already has become reality along New York's historic Canal System, especially along the Erie Canalway Trail. But the potential economic benefit to your community or business from touring bicyclists can be much greater if you actively welcome this relatively new kind of visitor.

Learn more about the cyclists that travel the Erie Canalway Corridor now as well as how your business and community can market to and profit from future cycling tourists. Attendees at the Bicyclists Bring Business roundtable receive a copy of Parks & Trails New York’s guidebook, “Bicyclists Bring Business: A Guide for Attracting Bicyclists to New York’s Canal Communities.”

For more information, email Be sure to check this space often for more information about the upcoming B3 event. Register as a Bicycle Friendly Business through the Bike Friendly New York Program, and sign up to receive PTNY's e-Newsletter for updates on upcoming event and the latest information on the parks, trails and all forms of outdoor recreation from around the state.

Suggestions for increasing local bicycle tourism from previous roundtables:

  • share and distribute information about benefits of bicycle tourism via meetings, signage, maps, brochures, and public education among business owners, tourism offices, and nearby attractions
  • focus on services that are particularly important to bicyclists, such as lodging and campsites, local maps, transport of luggage, bicycle repairs and bicycle security
  • link local trails into a larger network of potential users
  • promote local events and bicycle-friendliness on web and elsewhere
  • anticipate issues that may arise, such as trail appropriateness for bicycles and conflicts with walkers and motorized vehicles
  • modest investments can result in a substantial boost for tourism

Previous Bicyclists Bring Business Reports:

On September 10, 2019, the annual Bicycles Bring Business roundtable and community bike-a-round stopped in Glens Falls, returning to the city ten years after it was first hosted there. In a Bicyclists Bring Business first, the host for the evening round-table, the Queensbury Hotel was named as the newest official Bike Friendly New York certified business, showcasing the local business community's dedication to accommodating cyclists.

Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the New York State Canal Corporation released the 2019 Glens Falls "Bicyclists Bring Business" summary report that provides five major recommendations, each with a set of underlying strategies, to help communities like Glens Falls capitalize on the growing bicycle tourism market and the completion of the Empire State trail in 2020.