American Bus Association Names Finger Lakes Wine Festival One of North America's 100 Best Events

Event is a Ticket to Fun and to Critical Group Tourism Dollars

FLWF Top 100

The 2012 Finger Lakes Wine Festival is set to take place July 13-15 at Watkins Glen International.


WATKINS GLEN, NY – The American Bus Association (ABA) announced that the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, to be held on July 13-15, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2012 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that the Finger Lakes Wine Festival offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association’s 2012 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 30 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operations to incorporate a new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.  

“We are absolutely ecstatic to have the Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan Cheese recognized by the ABA for a second-consecutive year,” said Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup.  “The festival continues to be recognized as one of the premier wine festivals in the United States as we provide an experience unlike any other by bringing over 80 of New York’s finest wineries to our historic road course.  The beauty of the Finger Lakes Region in mid July is unmatched which further enhances the time tasters spend with us.  Peggy Coleman and her team at the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau put forth an incredible amount of effort working on our nomination and I cannot thank them enough.”      

“The attractiveness of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Watkins Glen International,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA’s president and CEO. “The real news is that the Finger Lakes Wine Festival has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and economy. The honor gives the Finger Lakes Wine Festival an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.”

According to studies completed by researches at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from $5,000 to more than $11,000 in local destination’s economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

“Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said. “That’s why the Finger Lakes Wine Festival is truly a local economic asset. There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay.”

ABA’s 2012 Top Events Selection Committee selected the Finger Lakes Wine Festival from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups of people, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at http://www.buses.orgNews-Publications/Top-100.

Once a year, Watkins Glen International transforms from The Soul of American Road Racing into the Finger Lake’s largest tasting room, where over 600 New York wines will be sampled. The celebration kicks-off Friday evening, July 13th, with wine and togas at “Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes.”  Saturday and Sunday the Festival will feature a variety of wine, food, and arts and crafts from across the state, culinary classes, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, pace car rides, live music and much more. For information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office, toll free, at 866-461-7223, or visit the official website at, and do not hesitate to add the Finger Lakes Wine Festival as a friend on Facebook!

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