August 9, 2023

Picente Announces Launch of Survey to Assess Experience and Needs of Nexus Center Visitors

News Photo

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced the launch of a survey that will assess the experience of visitors to the Utica University Nexus Center and evaluate what types of services and amenities are needed in the area surrounding the facility.

“Since opening last November, the Utica University Nexus Center has been visited more than 410,000 times by people from all over the country, quickly becoming a focal point and popular destination in downtown Utica and all of Oneida County,” Picente said. “The Nexus Center’s success has created opportunity for even more growth. By hearing directly from people who frequent the state-of-the-art facility – some from hundreds of miles away – we will be able to understand not only what brought them there, but what will lead to an even better experience and ultimately bring them back.”

“The overall experience encompasses more than a game or practice. Providing more to do while connecting people to our many existing sites and attractions, is a win-win for all,” Picente added.

The online survey can be accessed through QR codes posted throughout the Nexus Center and will be pushed to mobile phones of visitors through geofencing technology. Those participating in sports tournaments and other events will also be emailed the survey after their visit.

It is scheduled to launch on August 8, 2023, and only takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. Results are expected to be evaluated and presented in early 2024.

“This survey is a great opportunity for us to hear from the players, spectators and families that fill the Utica University Nexus Center every week,” Mohawk Valley Garden President Rob Esche, who manages the Nexus Center, said. “Our staff is constantly working to improve our facility and make it the best experience possible. The results of this survey will help the County, Upper Mohawk Valley Auditorium Authority and Mohawk Valley Garden better serve the community, and we look forward to seeing the results.”

Picente first announced the survey during his State of the County Address earlier this year as a means to improve upon the experience of those visiting the Nexus Center and assist the county, developers and entrepreneurs as they look to capitalize on this crucial asset and invest in the surrounding area to deliver more retail, restaurants and entertainment options.

In addition to capturing visitor demographic information, the survey gauges such things as:

  • What event or activity brought them to the Nexus Center
  • What form of transportation they used to get there
  • Accessibility of the facility and the traffic and safety of the area
  • Dining, retail and lodging options
  • Other activities and attractions utilized during visit

“In short order, the Utica University Nexus Center has made enormous contributions to the transformation of downtown Utica, the ongoing revitalization of the Oneida County economy and the improved quality of life for the region,” Utica University President Dr. Todd Pfannestiel said. “Utica University is fortunate to partner with Oneida County, the Auditorium Authority and Mohawk Valley Garden to ensure that the collective vision for this facility is achieved and exceeded, and this visitor survey is an important step to that end.”

“We are thrilled to witness the impact of the Utica University Nexus Center on the tourism industry and local economy,” Oneida County Tourism President Sarah Foster Calero said. “The cutting-edge facility has elevated Utica’s status as a premier destination for tournaments and other events. When visitors attend events here, they visit local hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses, which benefits all of us. The Nexus Center is a testament to the power of strategic investments in tourism, enhancing our region’s visibility on the global stage. The Nexus survey is a critical next step and will allow us to further assess the needs of our community as well as grow the facility to the best it can be.”

Questions about the survey can be directed to Oneida County Commissioner of Planning James Genovese at (315) 798-5710 or

Link to survey -

Oneida County Partners