Resolution J3934-2013

Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the founding of Watkins Glen International



  • Mar 13, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Mar 11, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the found-
ing of Watkins Glen International

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body that the  quality  and
character  of life in the State of New York has been greatly enhanced by
the presence of certain extraordinary recreational facilities; and
  WHEREAS, Attendant to such concerns, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly  proud  to  commem-
orate  the  65th  Anniversary  of  the founding of Watkins Glen Interna-
tional; and
  WHEREAS, On October 2, 1948,Watkins  Glen  International's  incredible
history  began  with  its  inaugural  race,  "The  Day  They Stopped the
Trains"; this fulfilled founder, Cameron Argetsinger's dream of bringing
European style competition to the village  where  he  spent  his  summer
vacations; and
  WHEREAS, This event was the first road race in the United States after
World  War  II, and laid the foundation for one of the country's premier
racing facilities; and
  WHEREAS, For five years, the top names in American sports  car  racing
visited  The  Glen  and  huge  crowds came out to watch them race; after
using a temporary track, a new 2.3-mile permanent circuit was  built  in
1956; the following year, The Glen hosted its first professional race, a
NASCAR event, won by Buck Baker over Fireball Roberts; and
  WHEREAS,  True  international  competition  began  in  1958,  with the
running of a Formula Libre race; in 1961, the stars of  Formula  1  were
all  present for the Inaugural Watkins Glen U.S. Grand Prix, which would
become a fall tradition at the circuit through 1980; Innes  Ireland  won
the  inaugural running, with great drivers such as Clark, Hill, Stewart,
Lauda, Fittipaldi and Hunt among the winners of later Grand Prix; and
  WHEREAS, In 1986, NASCAR returned to Watkins Glen  International  with
the  NASCAR  Winston  Cup  series,  featuring  Tim Richmond's triumphant
return; and
  WHEREAS, This event, now called the  NASCAR  Sprint  Cup  series,  has
returned  to The Glen on the same weekend for the past 22 years, and has
featured some of the biggest names in auto racing; this annual  competi-
tion  has grown to become the largest weekend sporting event in New York
State; and
  WHEREAS, In 1997, International Speedway Corporation became sole owner
of the historic road course, purchasing the remaining interests of Major
benefactor, Corning Incorporated; this sale completed Corning's  mission
of  refurbishing  the  facility  while  revitalizing the Southern Finger
Lakes Region; and
  WHEREAS, Watkins Glen International has undergone  many  changes  over
the  years;  the  addition of the Inner Loop has increased the length of
the long course to 3.4 miles and the short  course  to  2.45  miles;  in
2005,  The  Glen  underwent  many  major capital improvements; these new
turns have enhanced competition while adding quality  spectator  viewing
for racing fans; and
  WHEREAS,  The Glen cemented its distinction as North America's fastest
road course when Davy Jones won the pole for the  Camel  Continental  IX
with  a  fast  lap  of  150.334  mph on the reconfigured 2.45 mile short
course; and
  WHEREAS, Today, this remarkable institution  continues  to  hold  many
popular events including The Sahlen's Six Hour IMSA sports car race, the
SCCA  National  Competition, the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR race in
August, Glenora Wine Cellars US Vintage  Grand  Prix,  and  the  Ferrari
Challenge; and

  WHEREAS,  More than 150 days of BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Mazda and
various other club event days from all over  the  eastern  seaboard  are
presented each year; and
  WHEREAS, As a world-renowned premier racing venue, Watkins Glen Inter-
national  brings  over  $200  million in annual economic activity to the
Southern Finger Lakes region, including the  creation  of  thousands  of
jobs  from  track operation and maintenance on site, to lodging, dining,
shopping and entertainment spending by its fans; and
  WHEREAS, The Glen's contributions to its community go  beyond  motors-
ports;  it  proudly hosts the Finger Lakes Beer Festival, as well as the
Finger Lakes Wine Festival, now in  its  18th  year,  which  provides  a
unique  opportunity  for  people  to enjoy products by New York wineries
from every corner of the State; and
  WHEREAS, Throughout its 65 year history,  Watkins  Glen  International
has embodied more than giant crowds and great speed; the racing communi-
ty  continues  to return year after year to witness its historic moments
and unique charms that have made this place one of the  premier  motors-
ports facilities in the world; and
  WHEREAS,  It  is  the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize and
take note of certain celebrated recreational institutions and  to  bring
such  institutions  to the attention of the people of this State that it
strives to serve; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
commemorate  the 65th Anniversary of the founding of Watkins Glen Inter-
national; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Watkins Glen International.


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