by: Brianna Strunk
Posted: / Updated:
STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Dozens of elected officials gathered Friday in the Poconos to discuss tourism, trains, and plenty of other projects that are chugging along.
Breakfast was served and so was an update on progress in Monroe County.
“I’ve been here for 20 years and like, this is the biggest boom I’ve seen,” Vacation Rental Experience owner Amy Young said.
More than 150 people attended the Report to Business Breakfast, held at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn.
The Pocono Chamber of Commerce organizes this event every year.
“The purpose is essentially bringing around all of the Monroe County movers, shakers and leaders in our community so we can get them all under one roof and everyone can keep abreast of what’s going on,” Pocono Chamber of Commerce Vice President Michael Moreno said.
County commissioners gave an update on the courthouse expansion project underway in Stroudsburg. The decade-old dream is set to become reality next summer.
“It’s not often that you spend $70 million on a project. It is a big number, but it’s needed. It’s desperately needed,” county commissioner John Christy said.
Speaking of construction, 60 projects are currently in the works throughout Monroe County. That number includes a mix of new businesses, three large tourism projects, and some already existing companies that plan to expand.
“I think that people’s perception of Monroe as a great place to invest in is much higher than we as residents perceive,” Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Chuck Leonard said.
A major talking point was the possible return of a passenger rail service which would connect New York City to Scranton, with several stops in the Poconos.
“It’s going to impact my business because it’s definitely going to increase the amount of people staying in rentals. Right now the industry itself is really, really booming, and this train is going to set it off the rails, so to say,” Young said.
Despite the pandemic, tourism is thriving, thanks in part to the Pocono Promise, a program encouraging businesses to go above and beyond in protecting the health and safety of guests.
“75 percent of individuals who visit, of the 30 million who do, 22.5 million visit Monroe County. They leave behind, totally, $4.2 billion in economic benefit for the region,” Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau President/CEO Chris Barrett said.
And there’s a serving of some important updates in Monroe County.