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Schuyler IDA chooses new brewery for Seneca Lake site spurring debate about transparency

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Horseheads Brewing’s tenure at a prime Seneca Lake location has come to an end as the Schuyler County Industrial Development Agency (SCIDA) opted to select a different brewery to take over the waterfront spot.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The decision, announced after the IDA’s October 25 meeting, has prompted calls from the outgoing tenant for more transparency in the selection process.

Operations Manager Tim Pagano expressed concern over the financial aspects of the chosen proposal, which offered less rent compared to Horseheads Brewing’s bid.

Over the last two years, Horseheads Brewing Seneca Lake operated under a lease agreement with the IDA at the Seneca Harbor Marina Restaurant.

The lease expired on October 31, and despite Horseheads Brewing submitting a proposal to continue their occupancy, the IDA chose Lucky Hare Brewing following a review of five competing business proposals.


IDA members utilized a scoring rubric for the proposals but did not disclose the completed scores publicly. Lucky Hare’s year-round service plan was cited as a pivotal factor in their selection by IDA Board Member Laury Ward.

The switch has left Horseheads Brewing evaluating their significant investment of over $150,000 in the property, with Pagano highlighting the lack of clarity surrounding the IDA’s decision-making process.

Their next meeting is slated for tonight.