SCVA Announces #SullivanSelfie Photo Contest

May 11th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association’s multi-tiered #SullivanSelfie Photo Contest will officially kick off on Friday, May 15.

This new promotion encourages travelers to “Find Yourselfie In The Catskills” as they enjoy their own Sullivan County adventure, and will include eight weekly photo contests. The winner each week will be determined by the number of votes an image has earned via Facebook. Every weekly winner will then be entered into a Best of the Best round. Voting for the Finals will begin July 13; an overall winner – Sullivan County’s 2015 Selfie Champion – will be announced on Wednesday, July 29 in the SCVA’s weekly eblast, and on Facebook on Thursday, July 30.

“The more creative these selfies are, the better,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We want to see the joy, the silliness, and the serenity that Sullivan County can bring to people’s lives. It’s the people here – both residents and our visitors – who bring this amazing place to life.”

The SCVA will begin accepting submissions on May 15 through the SCVA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SullivanCountyCatskills), website (www.scva.net/Sullivan-Selfie-Photo-Contest), Twitter (@CatskillConnect), and Instagram (@SullivanCatskills). Users simply post their photo with the hashtag #SullivanSelfie, and include the details regarding where the image was taken. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day; each image is only applicable to the week in which it is submitted.

All submissions will be posted to the SCVA’s Facebook page, where people can vote by “liking” their favorite photos.

Participants are encouraged to visit www.SCVA.net/Sullivan-Selfie-Photo-Contest to connect with the Visitors Association on social media, and to get complete contest details and rules. An updated gallery of weekly winners, as well as all submissions, will be accessible via the contest homepage.

SCVA Announces Annual Literature Exchange & Disney Institute Workshop

April 22nd, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association will host its annual Tailgate Literature Exchange and Barbecue on Thursday, May 7, on the campus of SUNY Sullivan. The event will be preceded on Wednesday, May 6, with a workshop by the Disney Institute geared toward quality service across all business and industry platforms. Registration for both events is open now and space is limited.

On Thursday, May 7, the SCVA will be holding its Annual Literature Exchange and Barbecue at SUNY Sullivan. Prior to the literature exchange, the SCVA will hold a free Hospitality Training Seminar at the college, open to anyone, at 3 p.m. The fun, interactive customer service training is designed to help organizations improve their customer service standards through effective communication, the development of transformational values and a common organizational purpose.

Bill Dustin, Events Administrator at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., will share his experiences at the “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service” seminar, break down Disney’s “4-Keys” (their core standards/values) and explain how he uses them in everyday interactions at Mohawk Valley Community College. SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood and SC Chamber President/CEO Cathy Paty, are both recent graduates of Disney’s training program.

The Annual Tailgate Literature Exchange & BBQ will commence at 5 p.m. Businesses will bring their current promotional material to share with one another, and enjoy a barbeque in SUNY Sullivan’s parking lot. Proud to Be Sullivan and YEL! are teaming up with the SCVA for the event, and to celebrate National Tourism Week. SCVA members will be allowed two free admissions to the Thursday events. Each additional SCVA member will cost $10 and non-members will cost $15. For registration, please contact the Sullivan County Visitors Association at 845-747-4449, or by email to pla@scva.net. The deadline to register is May 1.

The day before, on May 6th, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and SUNY Sullivan will welcome trainers from the Disney Institute of Orlando, FL. to the college’s campus to present a workshop entitled “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service.” Disney’s well known and transformational professional development program presents best practices, sound methodologies and real life lessons derived from the company’s business success. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at SUNY Sullivan and continues until 4 pm. Registration is extremely limited with a cost of $75 per person. To register for this event, visit www.disneyinstituteevite.com/LochSheldrakeNY05062015/LastChance.

“Who better to prepare the tourist pros of the Catskills, than the pros who wrote, and continuously rewrite, the book on customer experience – Disney,” said Byron-Lockwood. “Tourist season is already heating up and even bigger things for Sullivan County tourism are just around the corner.”

2015 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide Available Now

April 6th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is pleased to announce the publication of its 2015 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide. With the spring return of this invaluable resource, readers are once again equipped with all the information they need to plan, book, and enjoy their trip Sullivan County Catskills adventure. This year, the guide also encourages visitors to connect with the SCVA on social media to share their experiences in real time, online.

The new edition of the travel guide features an updated, pull-out map and a comprehensive listing of county attractions, accommodations, and restaurants. It has a chart showing which body of water to fish by what type of fish you want to catch. It organizes amenities and activities for outdoorsmen, ecotourists, agritourists, hunters and fishermen, foodies, music lovers, and more. No matter you or your family’s interests, the 2015 travel guide showcases something for everyone.

This year’s guide also invites visitors to be part of the Find Your Selfie In The Catskills campaign. Whether

you’re catching music at Bethel Woods, or fish on the Delaware; whether you’re hiking or biking, zip-lining or dining, you can share any of your moments enjoying Sullivan County’s bounty, online. Connect with the SCVA on social media by using the tags @SullivanCountyCatskills on facebook, @SullivanCatskills on Instangram, and @CatskillConnect on Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #SullivanSelfies when you post your entries.

“The Find Your Selfie campaign was inspired by the success of our recent photo contest s, and will build on our audience interaction,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We’ll be able to see and share the many ways people love their time here; it’s going to help us open the conversation on Sullivan County to a whole new audience.”

To explore the complete 2015 travel guide online, or to receive a print copy mailed, visit www.scva.net.

Pick up a copy along your travels at info centers throughout the state, including Thruway travel centers, or from regional businesses and tourist destinations. Of course, you are invited to call the SCVA at 800-882-2287 to request a copy, or pay us a visit at 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2, in Ferndale, New York.

SCVA Announces Opening of Fishing Season In Sullivan County

March 25th, 2015

Towns all around Sullivan County are gearing up for the start of fishing season, which launches statewide on Wednesday, April 1st. Once more, the angling spotlight will be on our renowned rivers, lakes, and ponds. Businesses and organizations from Wurtsboro to Roscoe also consider this the start of the annual tourist season, which, like fishing season, stretches into October.

The mighty Delaware River challenges anglers with its East and West Branches, as well as the Main Stem. Calmer waters await at the Pepacton and Cannonsville Reservoirs, Big Pond, Little Pond, Lake Waneta, Crystal Lake, Alder Lake, and Mongaup Lake. Just outside of Roscoe, the world-renowned Beaverkill River and Willowemoc Creek meet at the legendary Junction Pool.

Roscoe, known nationwide as Trout Town USA, is the capital of all things angling. The town will host its First Cast on Saturday, April 11th. This Trout Season Opening Ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Junction Pool, with the season’s “first cast” at 7:45 a.m. Roscoe welcomes guest celebrity first caster Charles Degliomini, Executive Vice President of Empire Resorts, Inc., to Roscoe for the occasion. A meet and greet opportunity will follow.

Done fishing? There is still plenty to do across the county. Food and drink take center stage in the county’s many restaurants, cafés, breweries, and distilleries. The New York wine trail runs through Sullivan County as well. Keep your focus outdoors with hiking, rafting, kayaking, and tubing, or head inside to browse one of the myriad shops offering everything from locally produced artisan goods to antiques.

SCVA Announces Eagle Express Shuttle Service From NYC To Upper Delaware

March 24th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is pleased to announce the launch of the Eagle Express, a new shuttle service provided by Big V Enterprises, which will deliver passengers from New York City to the Upper Delaware River in the Sullivan County Catskills. The weekend round trips will begin on June 26th from Penn Station, and make four separate stops along the Delaware River.

The Eagle Express’s 21-passenger shuttle will receive passengers at New York City’s Penn Station on Friday afternoons for outbound trips, and return them to Penn Station on Sunday evenings. The first weekend of service will be June 26th and 28th, with additional service scheduled for July 3rd and 5th, July 10th and 12th, and July 17th and 19th.

Travelers will be able to relax throughout the duration of their ride, which connects with the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway for the majority of the route. The Friday evening leg includes stops in Lumberland, Barryville, and Narrowsburg in Sullivan County, with a final stop in Callicoon. On return trips, the shuttle departs Callicoon Sunday evening, and picks up riders in the same three towns before ultimately arriving back at Penn Station.

Although still in development, an online reservation system will be available at SCVA.net/eagleexpress for travelers’ convenience.

A one-way fare is $40, and riders are encouraged to book both legs of their travel at the same time to ensure seating on their return trip. Reservations must be made no later than the Tuesday prior to travel by 5 p.m. Luggage space is limited, and Eagle Express is unable to accommodate pets or recreational equipment (e.g., kayaks, bikes, etc.) at this time.

For a detailed Eagle Express schedule, including drop-off times along the route, visit the Sullivan County Visitors Association website, www.scva.net/eagleexpress. Direct questions regarding Eagle Express shuttle service to Big V Enterprises by phone at (845) 292-1639, or via email to eagleservice@bigventertainment.com.

The Sullivan County Catskills are for Soulmates

February 10th, 2015

Virginia may be for lovers, but the Sullivan County Catskills are for soulmates! There is no need to travel far. Just 90 minutes from NYC, you can find everything you need for the perfect romantic getaway in gorgeous Sullivan County.

They say that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you are looking for a quaint bed and breakfast to canoodle in front of a roaring fire, a picturesque downtown to explore hand in hand with your sweetheart, or a live performance to set the mood, you can plan an extra-special Valentine’s Day getaway in Sullivan County that is sure to be one to remember!

Get your day started on the right foot with a hearty breakfast from the Rolling River Café. This café is the perfect spot to share a quiet conversation over a hot cup of coffee in a unique atmosphere featuring great art. Why not eve home a piece of art with you to remember your special day?

After breakfast, head over to the Catskill Arts Society for a sophisticated rendezvous and check out the exhibit Flux. The exhibit combines the photography and installation artwork of three emerging talents in a striking and often unexpected blend.

After a stroll through the art gallery get outdoors! It may be chilly, but you’ve got your love to keep you warm! Head out for a romantic walk through the beautiful Livingston Manor Covered Bridge Park. This historic covered bridge, originally built in 1860 crossing the Willowemoc Creek, is a picturesque spot to get a breath of fresh air.

A relaxing massage at Honor’s Haven Resort and Spa is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day. Get yourself relaxed and limber before heading out for the night’s activities!

As the goes down its time to turn up the romance. What better to get you in the mood for romance than a selection of love songs? Rather than dusting off that old Barry White CD, check out the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop’s Valentine’s Day Cabaret!

Of course we didn’t forget about dinner! Sullivan County offers an array of unique dining options. No matter what atmosphere you are looking for, you have plenty of options to enjoy a special meal. Here are some of our recommendations:

To end the night you’ll want to make sure you have found the perfect spot to spend some time alone together. If passionate romance is your thing, the Inn at Lake Joseph provides romantic getaway packages complete with roses, a cozy fireplace, whirlpool baths, and Swedish massages. If you prefer to get outside, The Sullivan has great stay & ski packages to keep you busy up and down the slopes. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, The Villa Roma has plenty of options, including dining, spa and salon services, saunas, and even ice skating!

Regardless of how you like to spend the day with your significant other, Sullivan County is the perfect place to plan your tryst. Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO

SCVA Draws Attention with Winter Wonderland Initiative

January 12th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association’s all new Winter Wonderland in the Sullivan County Catskills package – including an informational page and photo contest – on SCVA.net have already gained significant popularity among visitors.

In December, 12 percent of SCVA.net’s total website traffic was the result of visitors to the Winter Wonderland pages. The month marked a 16-percent increase over November, unusual at a time when seasonality typically results in a notable decline in website traffic.

“Our recent digital focus on our region’s seasonality has fostered a new way to communicate with both our residents and visitors,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “The feedback has been outstanding, and the contest images that are coming in provide such a unique view of some of our greatest assets.”

SCVA’s Winter Wonderland page offers a plethora of useful information to people planning a winter getaway. Easily accessible details include weather reports, dining, lodging, outdoor recreation options, and upcoming events.

The Winter Wonderland Photo Contest is hosted completely online, and allows for submissions through SCVA’s website and its Facebook page. The SCVA also welcomes submissions through both Twitter and Instagram. Users simply post their photo with the hashtag #SCWinterWonderland and include the details regarding where the image was taken.

“With every snowfall, we get flooded with a wave of new submissions,” Byron-Lockwood said.

The contest runs through Jan. 26; winners will be announced on Jan. 28. The photo with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes contributed from SCVA’s membership. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day.

Contest sponsors include Watermark Communications radio stations WSUL and WVOS, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, The Natural Contents Kitchen, Sullivan County Farmers’ Markets, Morgan Outdoors, and The Country Bum’kin Antiques.

Those SCVA members still interested in contributing prizes for the Winter Wonderland Contest are asked to contact Phyllis Andrews at pla@scva.net as soon as possible.

SCVA Expands Seasonal Focus with Winter Wonderland Initiative, Photo Contest

December 17th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is hosting its second online photo contest, this time centered on the region’s beauty during the winter season.

The organization’s first contest, focused on Fall Foliage, resulted in more than 1,000 votes cast for 174 photos submitted by 91 photographers.

“We want to carry that creative spark forward into the winter by encouraging people to take pictures at the ski slope or snap a shot of friends by a roaring fire,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We want photographers to get out there and mix it up with this contest.”

To make submitting even easier, the SCVA has expanded its social positioning by including both Twitter and Instagram. Users simply post their photo with the hashtag #SCWinterWonderland and include the details regarding where the image was taken. Submissions are also being accepted through the SCVA’s Facebook page and on the contest page.

The Winter Wonderland Photo Contest runs through Jan. 26, 2015; winners will be announced on Jan. 28, 2015. The photo with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes contributed from SCVA’s membership. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day.

“This is a perfect opportunity for our residents and visitors to look at our area with fresh eyes and truly appreciate its wintry beauty,” Byron-Lockwood said. “There’s just no place better.”

Contest sponsors include Watermark Communications radio stations WSUL and WVOS, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, The Natural Contents Kitchen, and Sullivan County Farmers’ Markets.

The SCVA has also created a digital Winter Wonderland Guide, which provides info about lodging, dining, events, winter recreation, and other activities.

Those SCVA members still interested in contributing prizes for the Winter Wonderland Contest are asked to contact Phyllis Andrews at pla@scva.net as soon as possible.

SCVA to honor TOAST Award winner at Holiday Celebration Dec. 4

November 18th, 2014

The Sullivan County Visitors Association will host its Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at Mr. Willy’s Restaurant in Monticello.

During the festivities, the SCVA will announce the winner of the 12th Annual TOAST (Tribute to Outstanding Associate Serving Tourism) Award. TOAST Awards highlight the best employees and staff members in tourism – the people who make up the backbone of the industry in the Sullivan County Catskills today.

Presentations for the evening, sponsored by Mohegan Sun and Monticello Casino & Raceway, will also feature a detailed look at both the SCVA’s most recent accomplishments and its plans for the upcoming year.

“It’s been a very strong year for our organization and we’re looking forward to sharing all the great news with the Sullivan County tourism community,” SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood said. “Plans are already underway for next year, and we’re confident that it will be our best yet.”

TOAST Award nominations are still being accepted, and the award is open to all SCVA member businesses. Nominations must be made by the business owner or manager.

SCVA members who nominate employees for a TOAST Award are asked to submit via mail or email materials supporting each award entry, such as photos, letters of commendation, positive customer feedback, and news clippings.

The winner of this year’s TOAST Award will receive the recognition of the county’s tourism industry.

“Please make sure your nominated employees are present at our Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration,” Byron-Lockwood said. “Even if they aren’t the official winner, they’ll be glad to know you thought enough of their dedication and contribution to nominate them.”

Nominations should be addressed to Phyllis Andrews at pla@scva.net or by mail to “Sullivan County Visitors Association, 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2, P.O. Box 248, Ferndale, NY 12734”. For more information about nominations, call Phyllis at 845.747.4449.

Event Details:

Who: Open to all!
What: Annual Meeting & Holiday Reception
When: Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014
Where: Mr. Willy’s Restaurant, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m., 3695 New York 42, Monticello, NY 12701
Cost: Members, NO COST; non-members, $40
RSVP: Email pla@scva.net or call 845.747.4449

Find things to do in Sullivan County this Fall

October 8th, 2014

So you’re planning a day trip and you want to stay close to home. It is absolutely worth checking out what’s going on in nearby Sullivan County, N.Y.

Of course, there’s always the perennially fantastic Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, with its multiple stages and diverse selection of live performances, and the Museum at Bethel Woods, which explores the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival.

But you mustn’t overlook the incredible entertainment and educational (aka edu-tainment) opportunities in Sullivan County.

There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy on a fall day in the Sullivan County Catskills. To help guide your way, the Sullivan County Visitors Association has developed a comprehensive Arts & Culture Trail map, a user’s guide for exploring Sullivan County’s entertainment opportunities and fine arts.

“Our goal is always to provide our visitors with the most convenient and user-friendly tools available so that they can easily enjoy the very best Sullivan County has to offer,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, president of the SCVA. “If you’re coming from Pennsylvania, for instance, right along the border there are some outstanding opportunities for people who love independent cinema, opera, classical music, and fabulous galleries. No matter where you’re coming from, we’ll have something to pique your interest.”

Narrowsburg, right along the Delaware River, features both the Delaware Valley Opera and the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra. Fans of the visual arts can also visit the Alliance Gallery & Loft Gallery and the River Gallery The Art of the Living, both in Narrowsburg, and the nearby Georgia Chambers Studio & Art Gallery in Callicoon.

For those in search of a more tranquil experience, consider a visit to the Kadampa Meditation Center in Glen Spey, where you can enjoy a peaceful environment or join one of the many programs offered throughout the year.

For those “Eat Fresh” folks, Callicoon’s Sunday farmers market continues to offer the very best local products throughout the rest of the year. Vendors will be outdoors through November 16 and then move indoors beginning November 23.

There’s also the 380-seat Callicoon Theater, which shows popular first-run movies and independent, alternative, and foreign films, and the Tusten Theatre, which hosts live jazz, classical, traditional, and new music performances.

“There’s so much more to Sullivan County that most would assume, and it’s closer than you think,” Lockwood said.

Pick up your own Arts & Culture Trail map the SCVA office in Ferndale, or at various businesses throughout Sullivan County. Learn more about the Sullivan County Catskills by exploring the rest of www.scva.net or calling 845.747.4449.