November 25, 2021

Bicyclists Bring Business 2020 - Creating A Bike-Friendly Community

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Discover how bicyclists can bring business to your community

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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, the Bicyclists Bring Business event was held virtually on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. The event took a corridor-wide approach to help community leaders attract cyclists and help grow local economies along the Canalway Trail. Program highlights included information about the popularity of cycling and the growth of the bicycle tourism market, strategies to create and sustain a bicycle friendly community, and guest speaker presentations on initiatives currently underway across the state and country.

Guest presenters shared strategies successfully used to help communities realize the economic benefits of bicycling.

  • Brian Stratton, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation, offered an overview of Empire State Trail projects and initiatives that the Canal Corporation is advancing across the state.
  • Dylan Carey, Project Director for Parks & Trails New York, provided data on the economic potential of attracting bicycle tourism, shared highlights from a trail network that is successfully capitalizing on bicycle tourism, and discussed strategies to help communities plan and design for cyclists.
  • Amy Camp, a trails and tourism consultant and founder of Cycle Forward, offered her perspective on creating a bike-friendly culture and building more awareness through
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  • Shane Mahar, Communication Strategy Manager for the NYS Canal Corporation, presented on the innovative Staycation initiative that promoted outdoor recreation and supported local economies during COVID restrictions and how that model might benefit the corridor in the future.
  • Paul Leone, Executive Director of the NYS Brewers Association, announced the release of the New York State Craft Brewery Passport, highlighting an incentive program hosted through an online application that is designed to help trail users find points of interest and encourage them to explore the communities and regions they reside in.
  • Natasha Wasuck, owner of Tinsel and The Lockstone in Albion, NY, offered her insights into leading a collaborative project within a community and how this important relationship-building exercise can help attract bicyclists and build community character.

Guest presenters participated in a panel discussion that touched on aspects of community engagement, planning and design, obstacles, low-cost improvements, partnerships, and the role of social media.

The goal of the event was to help participants 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.

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 b3roundtable@ptny.org. 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

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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.

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