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  • Nick Kunkle

Western New York Welcome Center now open

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the grand opening of the Western New York Welcome Center in Grand Island, N.Y. The 24-hour center is one of 11 in New York State and designed to promote tourism.

In his remarks, Governor Cuomo characterized the center as an investment that would benefit the region’s economy. Grand Island is located between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, making the new center accessible from the Niagara Thruway (I-190) exit 19 (Whitehaven Road) via Alvin Road. According to the State, approximately 23.7 million motorists travel past this location each year.

State and local officials released statements that echo the Governor’s, saying the new center constitutes a milestone in continuing efforts to bolster the region’s tourism economy. Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray described the center as “a true celebration of Western New York.”

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said that, with the new center and the implementation of cashless tolling at nearby bridges, “Governor Cuomo recognizes that by supporting the regional economy, we are attracting more attention to tourist attractions in communities across Western New York and beyond."

The welcome center, designed in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired style, features interactive video displays highlighting the region's history and tourism attractions. This includes a “Taste NY” Market offering an array of New York grown products, community room, historic artifacts display, vending machines and café style seating.

There will also be an “I Love New York” selfie wall for visitors to interact with. The outdoor grounds include a children's play area, electric vehicle charging stations, a motorcycle shelter, pet comfort area, and parking spaces for cars, buses, RVs and trucks.

More information on the center can be found here.

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