The Business of Faith in Syracuse, New York

By Rejuvenate Staff, October 21, 2015

Visit Syracuse’s Greg Snell makes the case for religious events. In his own words, he shares why they’re good for the community and commerce.


Syracuse has had a strong tie to state and regional faith-based groups for the past 20 years. Maybe it’s our central location in New York, but I like to think it’s because we encourage people to pursue their passion while they’re here. Whatever the reason, I’m thrilled these groups continue to choose us. I like the fact people of different backgrounds come to Syracuse to unite for a cause or belief.

For the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to personally assist these religious conventions, which can generate up to $4 million per year for the Syracuse economy. I’ve developed personal relationships with planners and their groups, which makes me want to give them the best service possible and see their event succeed.

One of those flourishing relationships is with Women of Purpose. In 2011, I connected with Linda Morrison, who planned the WOP event being held in a neighboring city. I showed her around Syracuse, and a little more than a year later, Linda signed a four-year agreement with our area hotels and venues.

This was one of the first multiyear contracts I secured at Visit Syracuse. Thanks to my relationship with WOP, we were also able to get more faith-based business for the area, including its youth event.

For more than 20 years, the Assemblies of God Youth Convention (and its 3,000 attendees) has managed to keep area hotels filled and booked for the entirety of Easter weekend. From a business perspective, this is a plus because they fill these rooms during what could be a slower time for us. More than that though, they go out in the community and distribute meals during the holiday, spreading goodwill through town.

This year, we launched a new slogan: “Syracuse. Do Your Thing.” We want to inspire all people to pursue their passion and do what makes them happy. In this case, we’re pleased the faith-based community feels comfortable enough to do their “thing” here, with us.

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