CELORON – You can only give one first impression.
The Village of Celoron knows this, and the municipality has worked feverishly to upgrade the scenery as tourists pour into the area. More tourism, after all, means more money for the village.
Village Mayor Scott Schrecengost detailed the work that is being done during an interview Wednesday with WNYNewsNow.
“We’ve been working on this boardwalk, and we’ve been trying to get this project underway and completed for four or five years now,” Schrecengost said. “We have plans for a new basketball court. We also have new bathroom amenities coming to the park, some improvements to the parking lot and drainage.”
“All of this is going to happen within the next year, year-and-a-half and we’ll have this under control.”
Schrecengost explained how the process for installing the boardwalk wasn’t easy. Funding was a principal cause for changes on the design, according to the mayor.
“We had to get grant money from the state, and it took us a couple of years to get the funding together to make sure we’d get the project the way we wanted it,” Schrecengost said. “We went through a couple different changes on it because the price on the first project was just too much.”
“I think it’s beautiful. I hope people enjoy it, and respect it, and take care of it.”
Schrecengost said he hopes the addition of the Hart Hotel will allow people to end up staying in the village for a longer period of time. He also said that he’s under the impression that the hotel will be fully open and operational by the end of August.
The mayor also discussed how “Scary Lucy” has also helped drive in tourism. “Scary Lucy” was a statue of internationally beloved comedian and Celoron native Lucille Ball that was implemented into Lucille Ball Memorial Park a few years ago.
At the time, there were mixed feelings about the statue as there wasn’t a clear resemblance to Ball. Another statue of Ball, one with a more distinctive resemblance, was added later. Schrecengost said he’s actually happy that both statues remain in the park.
“People come down to see the new statue, and they’ll still want to see the old statue,” Schrecengost said. “It would’ve been foolish to get rid of that (old statue). We didn’t realize it would be such a huge attraction.”