The Landmark Theatre is proof that public investment in entertainment infrastructure provides benefits to the community.
The extraordinary efforts of the Committee to Save Loew’s to rescue our beloved theatre in the 1970’s were supplemented by a lifeline from the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation. Over the decades since, the Landmark has benefited from capital improvement grants from New York State and operating support from Onondaga County, in addition to the generous support from foundations, corporations, individual donors, and members.
From a strictly financial standpoint, this investment leads to some remarkable benefits for our community. On average in recent years, 115,000 guests attend events at the Landmark. Among those guests, 55% come from outside Onondaga County including 40% of the total from outside of Central New York. We estimate the audience spending generated by these guests, combined with the Landmark’s annual direct expenditures and the outside investments from our presenting partners, the economic impact of the Landmark on our community is approximately $9 million. This supports approximately 297 full time equivalent jobs and generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and local taxes annually. More broadly, these investments have given our community a place to enjoy world class touring Broadway productions, concerts, family shows, and comedians.
The proposal by County Executive Ryan McMahon to invest in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor with the construction of an Aquarium has the potential to add another magnet for tourism and to generate significant, year-round economic benefits. It also creates opportunities for synergies with our existing tourism assets: for families traveling to the Landmark to extend their stay with an aquarium visit, or for families to plan science weekends by visiting the Zoo and the Museum of Science and Technology.
The Aquarium proposal is worthy of consideration and thought as part of a long-term strategy to improve Onondaga County’s position as a destination for entertainment and tourism. We encourage those who wish to learn more about the proposal to visit: https://onondagacountyparks.com/about/aquarium