BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Experts and leaders in the tourism business are reporting positive economic gains for the Greater Rochester Area at rates better than before the pandemic. But it’s not just because of the Roc Holiday Village.
The tourism industry for Rochester is not slowing down this winter, and sports are playing a significant role in that with hockey tournaments from all levels drawing foot traffic from all over the country. Giving businesses new life this time of year.
Every week Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex has completely booked all their ice rinks which Visit Rochester has tracked to generate big revenue for Hotels and Restaurants.
“This tournament this week alone, the direct spend will be about $800,000,” Visit Rochester CEO Don Jefferies said. “The Henrietta hotels are full, the Double Tree, you can’t get a room in Henrietta this weekend because of the hockey.”
This weekend, the iceplex held the American Cup Tournament featuring USHL teams and future NHL prospects. Since the facility opened, some tournaments have grown to be the biggest in the country. Management credits the complex layout and infrastructure for bringing teams back.
“Four ice rinks in one building, it’s allowed us to attract a lot of out-of-town largescale hockey tournaments,” Bill Gray’s Ice Plex Executive Director Chris Woodworth told us. “Our proximity in the northeast we’re a six-hour drive from every major hockey market in the northeast United States and Canada.”
“Our people are telling them to go to the Strong Museum, go to the Rochester Museum and Science Center,” Jefferies added. “Certainly, Roc Holiday Village this time of year, but we have so much to do here and they’re looking for things to do. So, it’s good for everybody.”
One team traveled all the way from New Hampshire, giving families their first experience in the flower city.
“The town was welcoming, found some good restaurants and food,” Shane Wakeland said. “Looking forward to going to Fairport tonight because I’ve got a good friend in town and he’s going to show me the way.”
Bill Gray’s Iceplex has so far held seven of its 21 scheduled tournaments this hockey season. Already racking up over $9 million in revenue.
Visit Rochester calculates over 100 bookings of sporting events coming through Monroe County which made a faster comeback than any other business since pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Editor’s Note (12/5/22): A previous version of this article referenced other winter tourism opportunities in the Rochester area in what could be read as a disparaging light. This was not our intention. We have since omitted the reference and apologize for the error.