The US Department of Commerce invests $7.5 million in US bailout funds to expand the National Gaming Museum and boost tourism in Rochester, New York
Contact: EDA Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
May 17, 2022
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is providing a $7.5 million grant to the Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York, for the expansion and improvement of facilities. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This project will promote tourism and create jobs in the local hospitality industry through an expansion project, including the construction of a new outdoor common area and interior improvements. The EDA investment will be matched by $1.9 million in local funds and is expected to create 127 jobs and generate $167 million in private investment, according to recipient estimates.
“The Biden-Harris administration is dedicated to supporting the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector as it works to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” Commerce Secretary Gina said. Mr Raimondo. “This EDA investment will draw recreation and history buffs to Rochester, boosting the economy and creating jobs.”
“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies designed to boost tourism and build a America better,” the assistant secretary of commerce for economic development said. Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment will see the construction of a new outdoor plaza and common area, the creation of three interactive exhibits, as well as a series of building upgrades, including heating, painting and installing computer cables.
“Our tourism industry is what sets New York State apart and one of my highest priorities is to keep New York at the forefront,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “New York State previously committed $20 million to the expansion of the Strong National Museum of Play, which has long been Rochester’s top tourist attraction and a place where families and children of all ages can learn, play and explore. In April, my administration committed an additional $2 million to help leverage this new federal funding and ensure this transformational project is completed as planned. I thank President Biden and our federal delegation led by Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Morelle for providing crucial resources to bolster our efforts to spur New York’s comeback.
“The Strong National Museum of Play is an economic anchor and that’s why, as lead negotiator for the US bailout, I personally pushed to secure this $7.5 million investment which is the final piece of the puzzle to complete its expansion, create hundreds of new well-paying jobs, generate more than $160 million a year in new tourism revenue, and attract nearly a million visitors a year to bolster shops and businesses of downtown Rochester,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “This project is truly transformational and will drive the development of downtown Rochester to new heights.”
“The Strong Museum is a staple of Rochester and a world-renowned attraction that draws thousands of visitors to our community each year,” said Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25). “I’m proud to have provided funding through the American Rescue Plan for this exciting upgrade and expansion that will also create jobs for our community. Accelerating the recovery of our tourism and hospitality industry will strengthen our local economy at a time when we need it most.
This project is funded through the EDA’s competitive $240 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. The EDA has awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. Both programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that depend on the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors.
About the United States Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing regions across the country for growth and success in the global economy. An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration to create jobs for American workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.