By Fred Stabbert III
Town of Delaware Supervisor Ed Sykes sat back in his seat last Wednesday night, looking his...
The Sullivan County Visitors Association has been busy collecting information and editing the 2016 Travel Guide. It is at the press and will be ready for the first shows starting January, NY Times Show and Outdoor Sports Show. Several other outdoor and sports shows in February and March along with golf shows. The cover was unveiled at the Annual Meeting and Holiday Celebration held at The Sullivan on December 2, 2015. The guide is the most requested travel information for the Sullivan Catskills and contains attractions, restaurants, lodging, shopping, events and more. A highlight for this year’s guide is the 100th year celebration of the National Park Service, Upper Delaware Scenic River.
SCVA also honored several individuals and businesses at its Annual Meeting. Duke Devlin received the STAR Award Individual Achievement, ECCE Bed and Breakfast, Alan Rosenblatt and Kurt Kreider, STAR Award for Business Achievement, and the TOAST Award for Exceptional Service went to a trio from the Roscoe Beer Company, Josh Hughes, Shannon Feeney and Tina Schlott. They each received a plaque from SCVA and Certificates of Recognition from the Sullivan County Legislature, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Congressman Gibson and a special recognition from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also recognized Roberta Byron-Lockwood for her recent NYSTIA Excellence in Leadership Award.
SCVA received the 2014 NYS Economic Impact of Tourism Report. The Sullivan Catskills gained 2.5% increase in visitor spending over 2013 at over $372 million. This equates to over $24 million in local sales tax generation. If it were not for tourism in Sullivan County, every household would have to pay an additional $1,527 to maintain the same level of government revenue. The early indicators for 2015 report a robust gain for the tourism industry with sales tax and bed tax showing major increases to date.
SCVA recently attended the 2015 Governor Tourism Summit in Albany. A message from the Governor stressed the importance of tourism in Upstate NY. The Governor’s commitment to tourism continues with increased funding to promote tourism and open up additional international markets. He recently announced the awarding of $5 million to promote the Catskills Region and is planning a Catskill Challenge event for 2016. A report by Oxford Economics at the Summit reported that tourism in NYS is a major contributor to economic development and quality of life for Upstate New York.
National Geographic is producing a website and promotional opportunity for the Sullivan Catskills, spurred by the Delaware River corridor. This site will highlight the unique businesses, attractions and events in the Sullivan Catskills.
If you have not done so, go to http://delawareriver.natgeotourism.com/ and enter your information.
As SCVA looks to 2016, the association is working to strategize for the increased assets on the horizon, Montreign/Adelaar and Zliving. As these major developments and others move forward, SCVA is positioning itself to become a premier destination with the arts, culture, history, outdoor recreation, culinary foodie and beverage movement and the unique lodging options already being utilized by increased visitation to the Sullivan Catskills.
The strength of the tourism industry provides a healthy economic stimulus for Sullivan County, increasing investment and sustaining a quality of life for its community.