I read in the Daily Star the excitement that Cooperstown Mayor Katz has for the presidential visit. This is understandable, but for Mayor Katz to disparage two other upstate communities by saying “No one from New York City gets in their car to go to Unadilla or Binghamton” is uncalled for.
I have lived in Williamsburg, Va., and Cape Canaveral, Fla., two communities that are major tourist destinations. Both were visited by numerous presidents and foreign dignitaries and I never heard the mayors of Williamsburg or Cape Canaveral put down any other communities, especially ones nearby that support the roads leading to Cooperstown.
There is only one Baseball Hall of Fame, for sure, but for Mayor Katz to ignore that many tourists visit Unadilla and Binghamton from New York City is flat-out wrong. What about the New York Mets fans who travel upstate to see their Binghamton farm team? How about the families that drive for hours to come to the Unadilla Drive-In Theater? Unadilla is also home to The Chambers Sales Stables that is visited by many New York City residents looking to populate their upstate farms. Milfer Farms in Unadilla was home to Spectacular Bid and is where horse owners from all over send their thoroughbreds looking to produce a Triple Crown winner. And people come to see the Boy Scouts of America Troop 1, the oldest Boy Scout troop in America. There is a Boy Scout museum here that people often visit.
Just as the president is visiting to promote United States tourism, the mayor of Cooperstown should be doing everything possible to promote upstate New York tourism, especially his Otsego County neighbors.
Craig H. Van Cott
Van Cott is president of Unalam.