Visiting Fulton County

Although tourism is always an important part of Fulton County’s economy, summer tourism has the biggest economic effect.

Whether it’s historic tourism at locations such as Johnson Hall in Johnstown or recreation at one of the county’s 44 lakes, summer offers many tourism opportunities locally.

“With all the lakes that Fulton County has, the summer activity is really popular because everyone is out on their boats, Jet Skis, fishing or what have you. Beaches are open and a lot of the restaurants are open because some properties are only seasonal like fast-food ice cream stands. There’s a lot of activity coming into the county, and we can see that from the numbers at the visitors center,” Fulton County Tourism Director Gina DaBiere-Gibbs said.

Traffic to the Fulton County Visitors Center in Broadalbin spikes during the summer, when the center is open seven days a week. Data from 2013 shows the visitors steadily rising: May, 781; June, 1,223; July, 1,617; and August, 1,713. September had 1,007 visitors and October had 558.

Total spending from tourists, year-round, for Fulton County was $49.5 million in 2012, the latest year the Empire State Development Corp. has compiled tourism spending data.

Fulton County benefits from money spent on second homes, which are primarily used in the summer. According to the Empire State Development Corp. tourism impact report, $28 million was spent locally on second homes in Fulton County in 2012. That’s more than any other Capital Region county except Saratoga County, which had $34.2 million. Albany County had $8.8 million spent on second homes and Schenectady County had the least, with $3.3 million spent.

DaBiere-Gibbs distributed 1,000 “goody bags” containing tourism brochures and locally produced products to places such as campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, hotels, real estate agents and the Fulton County Visitors Center in Broadalbin. She also recommends people use Fulton County’s tourism website, www.44lakes.com.