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March 19, 2019 The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor of New York State NY State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224 Re: The Future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse New York Dear Governor Cuomo, For decades, Interstate 81 has played a crucial role in the economy of Central New York, and in particular for the hundreds of small businesses that have grown and thrived along this vital roadway. As representatives of hotels in the Town of Salina, we have experienced first-hand how our presence along the I-81 corridor has played a role in the economic growth of the Town of Salina and benefited the entire Central New York region, employing hundreds of people and generating millions of dollars annually in school, county and state sales taxes. This collection of hotels represents 18 percent of the approximately 7,000 total hotel rooms in the Syracuse area and contribute 23 percent of the hotel room occupancy tax collected, over $1.5 million of the $6.5 million in room occupancy taxes that pay for tourism marketing initiatives and support of the arts community in the city and county. Collectively, we pay more than $560,000 in town/county/highway taxes and $1.1 million in school taxes annually. We also employ more than 500 people with a combined annual payroll of over $7.5 million. Half of these employees live in the City of Syracuse and rely on |-81 to travel to and from work. Our hotels depend on guests exiting I-81 and stopping in the Town of Salina. Up to 30 percent of our customers do not make reservations ahead of time, choosing instead to stop at a convenient location depending on weather, destination and other factors. The balance of customers with reservations are more likely to book at our locations because of simple access to I-81, and our proximity to restaurants, gas and service stations and other businesses conveniently nearby. By far, the majority of our customers are coming off I-81, and not I-90, which requires a toll to exit. We believe the Community Grid option would be devastating to our individual businesses and to the local economy as a whole. The proposed |-481 detour would add several miles plus additional commute time for both our employees and our guests. Our customers choose our locations based on ease of access to our hotels, as well as many of the various attractions in our region. Any diversion or detour from this traffic pattern will undoubtably result in loss of revenue and ultimately jobs; in addition to the loss of assessment reductions, reduced property tax revenues and a reduction in sales and room occupancy tax collections. As we eagerly await the state's draft environmental impact statement, it's more important than ever to remember how essential a high-speed option is for all of the businesses of Onondaga County and throughout Central New York. We thank you for continued support of infrastructure projects across our state and looking forward to working together to find a solution that benefits all Central New Yorkers Sincerely, ge (nt oe inn & Suites ihe Inn- he ‘Duthie Seen aith Super 8 Motel, Liverpool Ss Maplewood Extended Stay wa Suites by Hilton Comi Inn uit st ab Inn 7 Suites Hampton Inn & Suites San Hiiton rly \ Knights cc Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senate John Katko, U.S. Congress Todd Westhuis, PE, Chief of Staff, NYS DOT Matthew Driscoll, NYS Thruway Authority Bob Antonacci, NYS Senate Rachel May, NYS Senate Patty Ritchie, NYS Senate Fred Akshar, NYS Senate James Seward, NYS Senate Pamela Helming, NYS Senate ‘Thomas O'Mara, NYS Senate Timothy Kennedy, NYS Senate Transportation Committee Joseph Robach, NYS Senate Transportation Ranking Member William Magnarelli, NYS Assembly Transportation Committee Pamela Hunter, NYS Assembly William Barclay, NYS Assembly Gary Finch, NYS Assembly Ryan McMahon, Onondaga County Executive David Knapp, Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ben Walsh, Mayor of Syracuse

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