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Hunterdon County Commissioner John Lanza attends legislative signing establishing Central Jersey as a region

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – Hunterdon County Commissioner John Lanza, along with members of the New Jersey Legislature, and fellow Commissioners from Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties on Aug. 24 attended a bill signing by Governor Phil Murphy establishing Central Jersey as a tourist region.

The signing took place in the historic district of Somerville, at the Wallace House, an old Dutch Parsonage.

The signing of this bill establishes the Garden State will restructure its tourism map to include and promote Central Jersey and all it has to offer, including its scenic towns, natural parks, and wineries.

Central Jersey will now be made up of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties. The new law requires the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism to promote Central Jersey businesses.

“I am proud to say that Central Jersey is officially on the map! The State has finally recognized a place we always knew existed. It is a place with a distinct landscape and culture: the place where we all live. The signing of this bill recognizes the region’s history and its heretofore untapped resources: recreation and tourism. I encourage residents and visitors alike to explore this area and take advantage of the beautiful landscapes, fabulous restaurants, and various activities scheduled in Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties throughout the year,” Lanza said.

The law also redirects some federal aid supporting tourism marketing to regions in need of economic relief and dictates that at least 10 % of the Division of Travel and Tourism’s annual appropriation be dedicated to highlighting agritourism, including visits to farms, craft beverage makers, farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets, and agriculturally themed festivals.

The new law compliments Hunterdon County’s ongoing ‘Explore Hunterdon’ initiative which among other things, highlights the County’s bustling agritourism industry and historic downtowns.

The Wallace House, where the bill was signed is of significance, since it is the home of signers of New Jersey’s first Constitution, and the location of George Washington’s winter headquarters during the First Middlebrook encampment during the Revolutionary War—an important piece of history unique to this area of New Jersey.

“The hope is that the signing of this bill will boost economic vitality and tourism to pre-pandemic levels and bolster financial growth for local and small businesses in our region,” Lanza said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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