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New Newspaper article on Sterling-looks like some neat/new changes coming

Started by Lady Amy of York, July 07, 2008, 05:50:13 PM

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Lady Amy of York

Here is a article that I came acroos on  Sterling. It sounds like some good/ new changes in the future .

The complete article:
Sterling Renaissance Festival has renaissance of its own
New owner of Cayuga festival site has big plans for more attractions.

You could call Doug Waterbury a collector.

A collector of real estate — mostly in the Oswego area, where he runs
Ontario Realty and has one of his homes. (The other is in Lake
Placid.) He's a collector of antique boats and memorabilia. And now,
with his purchase of the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Cayuga
County, he's a bona fide collector of amusement attractions.

Waterbury bought the festival, which had been on the market for
several years, in February. And before the gates open for the season
on Saturday, many improvements will be in place, from additional
stages to entirely new acts. He has more than doubled the number of
shows available each weekend, bringing them to 140.

And there's more to come. Waterbury plans to bring seasonal events to
the Sterling location, expanding into a year-round attraction. The
place won't be open every day or every weekend but should be open
parts of each season, with a haunted village in October, a sleigh
ride in winter and an environmental fair in April.

He spent about $2 million to buy the 30-year-old festival and is
investing $2 million to $3 million to shore it up and expand its
offerings. He plans to build a 5,000-seat amphitheater that would
host jousting during the Renaissance Festival but also could be used
for concerts at other times of the year. The current jousting area,
meanwhile, will eventually be turned into a pirate village.

"It's the renaissance of the Renaissance Festival," Waterbury said,
promising that most of the old favorites will return to the fictional
village of Warwick.

His track record over the past seven years as he purchased Santa's
Workshop in the Adirondacks and the Sylvan Beach Amusement Park and
Yesterday's Royal on Oneida Lake should prove that he loves to
preserve these old-fashioned attractions.

He talks fondly of how the alpine theme of Santa's Workshop inspired
Walt Disney, who sent a team there before creating Disneyland in
California, and how Sylvan Beach is one of the oldest operating
amusement parks in the United States.

It's a business

Nostalgia buff that the 48-year-old Waterbury is, though, he still
sees these acquisitions as places to make a good, old-fashioned buck.
Many of them simply haven't reached their potential, he said.
Sterling, for instance, generated a decent income for its previous
owners on just six or seven weekends each summer. "It's an
investment," he said. It may take five years, but "I expect a return
on that investment."

His larger plan is to make enough money to finance a philanthropic
organization to help children, a dream that emerged as he became a
father of four.

"These are economic engines that have the potential to bring in great
resources," Waterbury said.

Today, though, the infusion of his capital provides more stability
for the 1,700 entertainers, craftspeople and service workers who make
Sterling Renaissance Festival run each summer.

Creative director Gary Izzo said "morale and goodwill has been pretty
low" as workers returned year after year without knowing what the
future of the festival held and often facing smaller budgets.

Visitors to the festival this year may not notice any major changes
in the physical layout, besides the addition of two new stages. New
roofs and paint have been added, and picnic tables have returned for
the first time in years.

"One of our ongoing complaints was there was no place to eat," Izzo

The Bad Dog Tavern is reopening as an actual tavern, Waterbury said,
and he has introduced themes for each weekend, such as pirates and
romance. Eventually, he said, he'd like to see special vendors added
for various themes, as well as musicians and food offerings.

Waterbury is flying in a troupe of aerialists each weekend from
Orlando, Fla., and he promises more surprises in entertainment.

One surprise: no increase in admission prices this year, despite the
upgrade in amenities and grounds. While some past discounts, such as
an opening weekend deal, aren't being offered, he has introduced a
discounted admission for emergency workers and military personnel and
continued discounts for advance ticket purchases.

Another new wrinkle: Each show will be rated for its appropriateness
for children, an issue that sometimes arises when the performance
material mimics the bawdiness of Elizabethan entertainment.

Boon to area

New ownership of the festival should mean good things for the
surrounding area, said Meg Vanek, executive director of the Cayuga
County Office of Tourism.

If attendance, which has been around 80,000 for several years, goes
up, it will mean more tourism dollars spent in the county's hotels,
restaurants and stores, especially as people decide to stay overnight.

"It's a great program, but it would be wonderful if it was expanded,"
Vanek said. "What (Waterbury's) doing should make it that much bigger
and better."

She envisions tourists from around upstate deciding to spend an
entire weekend in the area in the fall to take in attractions in the
Auburn and Weedsport area and then driving north to Sterling's
Screamers Hollow event, a teenager-and-older haunted village.

"It would really add a whole other dimension," Vanek said.

Lady Amy of York/CaptainAmy of FeistyLady pirateship
Cheiftess Feisty of Clan O' Doinn


Thanks for posting this Lady Amy.  It looks like it will be a fun faire! I can't wait!!!   ;D
irish~ren ~
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Clan O'Doinn (Sterling) ~
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