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Funds restored for state boys basketball tourney

QUEENSBURY - The State Boys Basketball Tournament received a substantial boost Feb. 18 when Warren County supervisors voted to restore most of the occupancy tax funding they had cut this year from the $50,000 sum they have traditionally pledged from occupancy tax receipts to promote the event.

The restoration of $12,000 or 24 percent of the tournament's former promotional budget - just weeks before the state tournament - means television commercials, newspaper ads, Internet advertising and media releases that had been scuttled for this year will now be resumed.

Doug Kenyon, chairman of the event for 21 years, talked later Friday of how pleased he was over the decision.

"I am very, very happy," he said. "It really increases the exposure we'll get for the tournament - which we really need at this point," he said.

The basketball tournament, for decades one of the region's signature events, is credited with bringing thousands of visitors annually to Glens Falls and introducing the region to them in a favorable light.

Hours after the Friday meeting, Kenyon had already contacted marketing representatives and placed orders to boost the tournament's advertising dramatically, he said.

"I am very grateful for the restored funding," Kenyon said with a broad smile on his face.

The action came days after the supervisors learned that more than $900,000 existed in occupancy tax reserves, most of which county officials weren't aware of.

The supervisors were expecting other event promoters to show up at the meeting to make pleas for increased funding, as this year's occupancy tax awards reflected deep cuts - and many events that qualified for grants were not funded.

This year the county supervisors hosted requests for a total of $830,000 or so for 54 events, but doled out only $294,000 in their annual January distribution - a sum they thought at that time was their maximum available.

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