For the second time, Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted a whitewater rafting trip over the weekend. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
In his re-election year, Governor Andrew Cuomo was downright jovial at this year's Adirondack Challenge, where he ribbed the reporters who cover him for not joining him in the rapids.
"I'm not talking to any reporters who don't raft. Not for the rest of the year," Cuomo said.
Cuomo was accompanied by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who appreciated the governor's jokes about why we didn't participate in the rafting.
"Those anxiety attacks—they happen to everybody. They really do," Cuomo said.
The governor's daughters and his girlfriend, celebrity chef Sandra Lee, also participated this year—as did the assembly speaker who was eager to help the governor promote upstate upstate tourism.
"Yeah, well I think even New Yorkers, you know, city folks should come up here and see the beauty. We have some great places for people to take vacations," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Since coming into office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has spent $40 million in ad campaign promoting New York State.
"We bet very big on tourism, especially for upstate New York. We said 'We believe in upstate New York, and we believe that if people see it, people will come,'" Cuomo said.
In many ways, neighboring Vermont has been more successful in drawing tourists to its various destinations and ski resorts during the wintertime.
"I just have to say, we are in this together. Governor Cuomo is growing jobs better than almost any governor in America. We are focused on that in Vermont, and when the Adirondacks do well, we all do well," Schumlin said.
According to Governor Cuomo, New York State is already seeing the benefits of its advertising campaign, with tourism revenue increasing by $4 billion.
While the whitewater rafting trip was billed as a serious event to boost the Adirondack region, members of the assembly from New York City were in it to win the rafting race.
"Our raft is number nine—engine, engine number nine. And we are going to win the Indian lake invitational," said Assemblyman Keith Wright.
According to the official results, Governor Cuomo's raft had an exact tie with Governor Shumlin's raft, although some questioned the authenticity of those results.