State Officials Agree to Change Name of Leatherstocking Region

(Utica) - Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R/IP/C - Rome) and Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito (D-Rome) announced that New York State, for tourism purposes, will be officially retiring the designation “Central Leatherstocking Region” and renaming the seven county area as “Central New York”.

The formerly known “Central Leatherstocking Region” encompasses the seven upstate counties of Broome, Chenango, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie. 

Dennis M. Mullen, the Chairman of Empire State Development Corporation, the official arm of New York State Economic Development, officially notified the region’s tourism partners that their request to change the name had been granted after careful consideration, and meetings with consultations with the region’s tourism partners and officials.

“The Finger Lakes, The Hudson Valley, and the Adirondacks are designations that clearly define regions of New York State,” said Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito.  “While James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales is an important part of our history, the Central Leatherstocking designation never really created an identity for our region’s tourism industry.  The new name, Central New York, will help us do this, and it will greatly improve our ability to market and promote tourism in our region.”

“I worked closely with The Genesis Group’s Tourism Committee to help develop this new designation for our region,” Destito added.

Senator Griffo and Assemblywoman Destito had asked the State to consider changing the region’s name after several county tourism and economic development officials inquired if it could be done without the benefit of legislation.

“While it may seem trivial today – changing the name of the area was a huge step for the region,” Senator Griffo. “It could help rebrand the area and carry a message that Central New York is the ‘heart’ of upstate.”  Griffo insisted that this wasn’t done to disavow New York heritage or history. “Each of the seven counties  retains their unique cultural and historic identities,” he continued. “The new name will simply better identify our geographic region.”