Nichols, N.Y. – January 8, 2016 – After a successful 2015, Tioga Downs is ringing in the new year by announcing plans for increased investment in its events and the facility. Winterfest, the free family-friendly celebration of the holiday season, drew more than 13,000 people to the entertainment complex last month. The festivities ran two fewer days in 2015, but total Winterfest attendance saw an increase of 3,000 visitors from the previous year. The number of visitors watching the holiday parade more than tripled compared to 2014.
"Word has spread that Winterfest is the community holiday gathering not to be missed," said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. "That coupled with December's unseasonably warm weather made Tioga Downs the place to be this year." Temperatures on three Winterfest dates reached into the 50s.
Special activity nights proved popular again this year with more people coming out to enjoy the light show and brand new family photo booth area as well as the ice bar, craft show and ice sculpting evenings. Hundreds of guests enjoyed visiting the live reindeer, and additional new attractions are already being planned for Winterfest 2016.
Tioga Downs' revenues were up for the year by more than a million dollars, and the addition of full gaming this year promises to yield further increases for 2016.
"Additional revenue means more opportunities for us to invest in our community," Gural said. "Tioga Downs remains thankful for the public support that made the gaming license possible and remains committed to giving back in every way we can."
Construction on an expanded gaming complex is underway. Tioga Downs officials have confirmed that construction is on budget as well as on schedule. The poker room, which represents the first phase of the casino expansion, is expected to open July 1.
Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic roulette. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs is beginning the process of transforming into a full casino gaming resort to serve the Southern Tier and beyond as well as expanding its facility and workforce to accommodate live casino gaming. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.