Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 16, 2006

Cathy Jimenez: 518.486.1868; Ann Marie Geiss: 315.492.1756

State Parks Opens New Vacation Cottages Near Cooperstown

Full-Service Accommodations Constructed at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park

(ALBANY, NY, June 16, 2006...) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro today announced the formal opening of the first two full-service vacation cottages at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park in Otsego County. State and local officials joined with the Davises and their family at the ribbon cutting ceremony held to mark the occasion.

Regional Director for State Parks' Central Region Edward Heinrich said, "With the addition of these two beautiful new cottages, our park patrons will be able to spend more time in this tranquil setting, enjoying this scenic property and its recreational opportunities. Building on the incredible generosity of Betty and Wilbur Davis, these improvements will enhance the visitor experience for years to come. On behalf of Governor George Pataki and State Parks Commissioner Castro, we are grateful to the Davis family for being tremendous partners and visionary stewards of this parkland."

Senator James L. Seward said, "This is a terrific moment for Otsego County as we celebrate the opening of the new cottages in the Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park. Our beautiful wooded areas and scenic vistas are natural locations for parks, ensuring the appeal of this area as a tourist destination. I applaud the Davises for their generous gift to the people of the state; a gift which will benefit future generations of New Yorkers who love and enjoy the outdoors."

The new full-service cottages accommodate eight guests and each offer 1,000 sq foot, authentic log cabins with a full pine interior and a selection of handcrafted furniture. The kitchens feature a dishwasher, microwave, dishes and utensils, and other amenities include bedding and towels. In addition to the two new structures, plans for the park include the construction of four more to be completed later this fall.

Opened in 2001, the namesake Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park was a gift from the couple who wanted to insure its preservation and open it up to the public. Located in Westford, near Cooperstown, the 190-acre park is on hilltop property with expansive scenic views, rolling meadows and small ponds. In addition to the land donation, the Davises have also provided an endowment of approximately $1.6 million for the property.

"Betty and Wilbur Davis have given a remarkable gift to the people of New York State," said Martha H. Frey, Executive Director, Otsego 2000 Inc. "They have not only helped preserve a place of outstanding beauty, but with the addition of the vacation cottages, they have provided much-needed lodging for families and visitors to our region. How fortunate we are to have this park available for recreational uses and now for longer visits."

"The opening of the vacation cabins are an asset to an already rich tourism venue in Otsego County" said Deborah Taylor, Tourism Director for Otsego County.

Town of Westford Supervisor Phillip E. Strong said, "The Davises continued support of this park and our community is great for residents and visitors."

State Parks offers 35 other full service accommodations across the state along with 8,540 campsites and 791 cabins. While the most popular time to camp is Memorial Day through Labor Day, the new cottages at Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park will be available in the spring, fall and winter as well. Reservations are accepted from 2 days - 9 months in advance of the date of the planned arrival by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or online, The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 175 state parks and 35 state historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas please call (518) 474-0456 or visit the web site at