Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno visited Liberty State Park and Princeton Battlefield State Park ahead of the Independence Day holiday. These parks are among six State Parks offering Independence Day Events – many free to the public – throughout the weekend. The Lt. Governor was accompanied by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.
The visits marked the beginning of a larger “Tourism Tuesday” campaign to promote the diversity of New Jersey’s tourism industry at the start of the critical summer season. The tour will showcase the unparalleled appeal the state offers in-state and out-of-state vacationers of all ages and interests, all while offering a glimpse of the variety that makes it the premier tourism destination in the Northeast.
“New Jersey’s state parks provide endless recreational opportunities for residents and tourists alike that not only highlight the state’s rich history and natural areas, but also provide a boost to its tourism industry and broader economy statewide,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “As we head into the Independence Day holiday, this is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the rich history of the Garden State and its role in the birth of our great nation. As this campaign progresses, I look forward to travelling across New Jersey to highlight other critical sectors of our tourism industry that contribute so much to the state’s superior quality of life.”
As the most popular tourist attraction in New Jersey, Liberty State Park offers a wide array of facilities including an interpretive center, ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the refurbished Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) Terminal as well as activities such as boating and canoeing on Hudson and New York Bay, trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, food concession, fishing and crabbing, bicycling and marina. Notably, today also marks the one-year anniversary of the restoration of ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Located in Mercer County, Princeton Battlefield State Park is the site of what is considered to be one the fiercest battles of its size during the American Revolution. During this desperate battle, American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” in January 1777, which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field.
“New Jersey has an incredible array of state parks, natural areas and historic sites that enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors to our state,’’ said Commissioner Martin. “We encourage people here in New Jersey and from elsewhere to come to Liberty State Park and visit Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey’s 9/11 Memorial, the Liberty Science Center, or just take in the incredible views of New York’s skyline and enjoy our park.’’
“I also urge you to visit Princeton Battlefield State Park, a remarkable venue here in New Jersey that brings our state’s and nation’s history into vivid display, detailing the determination of General George Washington and his troops, whose great efforts and sacrifices resulted in our nation’s independence and freedoms which we will celebrate on July Fourth.’’
In November 2011, Governor Chris Christie announced the State’s Sustainable Parks Plan designed to keep all 39 of New Jersey’s state parks open, to provide affordable recreation to state residents. Components of the plan, which the Governor announced at Liberty State Park, include enhancing and expanding park programs, facilities and amenities to generate more visitors and revenues that can make the parks more financially self-sustaining.
In March, the Christie Administration announced that New Jersey’s tourism industry set a new record in 2013, generating more than $40 billion in overall tourism-related demand. Visitor spending, capital investment and general government support of tourism tallied a record of $40.4 billion, a 1.3 percent increase over 2012. Visitation in New Jersey also rose to 87.2 million in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase compared to 2012.
“Last year’s numbers not only reflected the incredible resiliency of New Jersey’s shore region, but underscored the underlying strength and scope of the state’s appeal to visitors,” added Lt. Governor Guadagno. “In fact, Morris, Sussex and Hudson counties were among those who enjoyed the largest increase in tourism direct sales in 2013. This is a testament to the diversity that makes New Jersey an ideal place to live and vacation. There’s a great story to tell, and I look forward to doing just that in the coming weeks.”