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Fort Stanwix bolstering Rome-area economy

Fort Stanwix has been a central part of the Rome community for years – but the proof is now more evident than ever.
Rome (WSYR-TV) – Fort Stanwix has been a central part of the Rome community for years – but the proof is now more evident than ever.

A recently released national park service report says nearly 200,000 people visited Fort Stanwix in 2012 and they spent nearly $10 million.

In the early 1970s when the Fort was being reconstructed into its Revolutionary War era splendor, no one could really estimate it would have the economic impact that it’s having today.

"For every dollar spent, there's an increase of about $10 that goes out into the community as far as the leverage that has,” said Fort Stanwix National Monument Superintendent Debbie Conway.

And the economic impact goes beyond tourists’ spending at the Fort.

"A tourist doesn't come to Rome to buy a snow shovel or buy a lawn mower, however the employees at the stores where they stay and spend money, those people who work here will go to the stores to buy those lawn mowers, so it's really an important piece of the economy we have with the Fort,” said Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President Bill Guglielmo.

The proof of the power of the Fort is one reason the government shutdown last fall and this harsh winter, which has kept people away, has had some impact on the Fort and this area. But, they're ready to rebound when the Fort opens on April 1.

“When you have a family of four that stops for two or three hours – typically the length of a stay at the Fort – nine times out of 10 they're going to have to feed the kids before they get back in the car and head down to the next stop,” Conway said.

Conway says that while they consider themselves more of a pass-through stop for tourists – and not so much a destination – a substantial number of visitors do stay in area hotels.

Whatever the length of stay, visitors are always a boon for the Rome area’s economy.

The Park Service Report says the $10 million in spending by Fort visitors helps support 117 jobs in the Rome area.

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