Located atop one of the largest of the Finger Lakes, Geneva has been as well suited in the past for industrial and commercial growth as it is today for recreation and enjoyment of this beautiful region. The history of Geneva is usually told with reference to its Seneca nation roots, but the modern small city we see today owes much of its character to the development of the canal system in the 1800's. Seneca Lake was incorporated into the canal system, including the Erie Canal, and shipping could reach anywhere in the world from Geneva. That influenced the development of the community and is still true today, although the canals are now primarily used for recreation.
Geneva today is a city of about 13,300 people of great diversity. Another 3000 live in the adjacent Town of Geneva. The city has a City Manager form of government, with a Mayor and City Council. The Town of Geneva is governed by a Supervisor, who sits on the County Board of Supervisors, and a Town Council. There has been a significant rejuvenation of the downtown in recent years, with new buildings and façade improvements. The city and chamber and the Business Improvement District are working together to attract new businesses and further improve the center city. There is an air of optimism in Geneva that is tangible. We are a little city with a big heart and great opportunities for the future.
The phenomenal growth of the regional wine industry has greatly influenced the character of Geneva and has presented opportunities to expand tourism, which is one of the greatest drivers of the economy of the area. The other great economic driver for the region is agriculture. A short ride out of town in almost any direction reveals farms as far as the eye can see. A variety of crops are grown here, and much of the economy revolves around farming and related industry. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, a partnership with Cornell University, has contributed much to the industry, including new varieties of produce and improved growing methods. The presence of their campus in Geneva adds much to the community's character.
Also influencing the flavor of Geneva is the location of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. These highly regarded liberal arts colleges, operating together on the Geneva campus, involve their students and faculty in the community to great benefit and add to the cultural environment of our city. No community profile would be complete without mention of the outstanding health care we enjoy. The Finger Lakes Health Care system includes the outstanding Geneva General Hospital. State of the art medical care that exceeds expectations for a community this size is routinely provided by this fine institution, a factor that contributes immeasurably to quality of life.
By any measure-fine public and private schools, efficient government, growing economy and terrific environment-Geneva offers a blend of qualities that make it a wonderful place to live and work. And the future looks bright, as entrepreneurs invest in downtown and the city continues to evolve as a real gem in the Finger Lakes. Come and see for yourself!