Archive for the ‘ Local Press Releases ’ Category

SCVA to honor Star & TOAST award recipients at Holiday Celebration Dec. 2

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association will honor local individuals and businesses at its Annual Meeting & Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 at The Sullivan in Rock Hill.

This year’s award recipients include:

  •  Duke Devlin, Official Site Interpreter for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (retired as of 2015)

STAR Award for Individual Achievement

  • Alan Rosenblatt & Kurt Kreider, ECCE Bed & Breakfast

STAR Award for Business Achievement

  • Roscoe Beer Company’s Josh Hughes, Shannon Feeney, and Tina Schlott

TOAST Award for Exceptional Hospitality

“As we prepare for the opening of the Montreign Resort Casino and Adelaar, the businesses who have dedicated themselves to the promotion of tourism in our region – and have done so for many years – deserve appreciation for their efforts,” SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood said. “We are entering a new chapter of tourism in Sullivan County, and we want to recognize those who helped get us here.”

This event, open to all, is free to members and one guest. Additional tickets and tickets for non-members can be purchased for $40.

Event Details:

Who: Open to all!
What: Annual Meeting & Holiday Reception
When: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015
Where: The Sullivan, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., 283 Rock Hill Dr., Rock Hill, NY 12775
Cost: Members, NO COST; non-members, $40
RSVP: Email or call 845.747.4449

SCVA Leader Recognized by NYS Tourism Industry Association

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

NYSTIA Awards Dinner October 23 2015-9416Sullivan County Visitors Association President/CEO Roberta Byron Lockwood was recently chosen by her peers to receive a New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) Excellence in Leadership Award.

The award recognizes leaders in New York State’s tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment. The winning individuals or organizations are selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism. The 2015 Winners were honored at the NYSTIA Annual Meeting Awards Dinner on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

“We have always appreciated Roberta’s exceptional qualities and leadership abilities,” stated Elaine Fettig, Co-Chair of SCVA. “It is gratifying to see the New York State tourism industry recognize her talents and dedication as well.”

“I basically live and breathe tourism,” said Byron-Lockwood. “I love the industry. To receive this acknowledgment from my peers is very rewarding.”

The New York State Tourism Industry Association ( is a statewide membership-based organization for travel and tourism related businesses. NYSTIA is a 501c6, New York State not-for-profit Corporation engaged in the business of advocacy, leadership, marketing, and professional development. The historic merging of the New York State Tourism Promotion Council (NYSTPA) with the New York State Travel & Vacation Association (NYSTVA) in early 2014 has created the opportunity to grow NYSTIA into a larger, more engaging state-wide membership organization.

SCVA Launches Second Annual Fall Foliage Photo Contest

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is pleased to announce the launch of its second annual Fall into Fun Fall Foliage Photo Contest, where visitors and residents are invited to submit their most autumn-centric photos from around the Sullivan County Catskills. Submissions are being accepted through the SCVA’s website at

“Because of last year’s success, this contest has already attracted some outstanding prize contributions from Sullivan County’s business community, including ticket packages to area venues, gift certificates, locally distilled spirits, and river adventures,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “We’re pleased with the enthusiasm, and expect this year’s photo contributions to really capture our artistic landscapes, those special family moments on the lake, and those flashes of autumn beauty that make Sullivan County so unique. We’re excited to see the creative ways folks capture the season this year.”

Contest participants are encouraged to submit selfies, photos that highlight Sullivan County businesses, or local landmarks in a creative way. The Fall Foliage Photo Contest will run through Oct. 25, with the winners being announced on Oct. 28.

Photos must be taken in Sullivan County during autumn 2015, and include the location, date, and photographer’s name. Entries are limited to one photo per day.

Visit to learn more about the contest, the progression of foliage color in the region, and all of the autumn adventures happening throughout the Sullivan County Catskills. New this year, the SCVA has also added VIPeeper Galleries, which are updated weekly by our region’s Leaf Peepers so that visitors can get real-time views of how the foliage is changing throughout various corners of Sullivan County.

Contributors to date include Morgan Outdoors, Catskill Distillery, Forestburgh Playhouse, NACL Theatre, Lander’s River Trips, Roscoe Beer, and Trout Town Adventures.

2016 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide Advertising Opportunities Available to Members

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Members of the Sullivan County Visitors Association are encouraged to reserve their ad space in the 2016 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide as soon as possible. Complete details and relevant forms are available by visiting

The Travel Guide is placed in information centers inside and outside the county and state, and is also accessible in a digital format, ads included, via the association’s website at The website hosts more than 50,000 visitors each year from across the U.S. The SCVA Travel Guides are also distributed overseas to attract interest from travelers from abroad.

“Our guide continues to prompt interest in our region year after year,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “Its use as a promotional tool has proven beneficial to both our member businesses and the Sullivan County Catskills each year.”

Member businesses interested in taking advantage of advertising opportunities within the Travel Guide are entitled to an additional 10 percent off their ad cost if paid in full before the Sept. 30th deadline. Member advertisers will also receive the added bonus of an enhanced listing banner ad ($100 value) on

The SCVA also asks that member and tourism-related non-member businesses provide updated business details for inclusion in both the travel guide and within’s online business directory. A form is available by visiting There is no cost to be included.

For more information about advertising and other promotional opportunities, visit or contact Phyllis Andrews by calling 845.747.4449 or emailing

The 2015 Travel Guide, designed by FisherMears Associates of Liberty, N.Y., is still available. To explore the current guidebook online, visit To receive a copy, visit, call the SCVA at 800-882-2287, or visit the SCVA office at 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2 in Ferndale, N.Y.

Tourism growth in Sullivan Catskills benefits businesses and residents

Friday, August 7th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce that spending by visitors to the Sullivan County Catskills grew another 2.5 percent, up from $363.1 million in 2013 to $372.1 million last year. The 2014 numbers were released in a report by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company providing analyses of the tourism sector around the world.

Tourism spending was up across all measured sectors: second homes, lodging, food and beverage, transportation, retail and service stations, and recreation. Second homes and lodging made up the majority of total moneys spent. In Sullivan County alone, spending on second homes totaled $125.8 million, while spending on lodging totaled $143.4 million, up $4 million from 2013. Second Home expenditures are based on stock of seasonal inventory. The annual average expenditures for housing are pro-rated to the season length to account for various levels not accounted in visitor surveys.

“Our goal as a Board is to create top-of-mind awareness among travelers by using a variety of strategies that include everything from social media enhancements to print and digital marketing,” said Elaine Fettig, Co-Chair of the SCVA Board. “Those efforts are making a difference; we’re very happy that these numbers show such measured growth.”

“The numbers stand to grow exponentially with the development of the Montreign Casino Resort at Adelaar, Z-Living/Veria Nature Cure & Wellness, and numerous other opportunities on the horizon,” Fettig added.

Tourism in Sullivan County generated the second highest percentage of state and local taxes in 2014 in the Catskill region, at $44.9 million – 32 percent of the total region share. Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Sullivan County would have to pay an additional $1,520 to maintain the same level of government revenue.

“Tourism continues to do great things for our county and our neighbors,” said Scott Samuelson, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature. “It not only puts people to work and brings in visitors; it lessens the tax burdens on those of us who call this wonderful travel destination home.”

“This $9 million increase in overall travel expenditures demonstrates the fact that Sullivan County is ready for the new developments coming to the County, and this growth will spread across the entire Catskills and Mid-Hudson Region,” Samuelson added.

The tourism sector supported 18.3 percent of all Sullivan County employment, both directly and indirectly, in 2014. More than 4,500 local jobs were sustained by traveler activity across every sector of the economy, either directly at tourism businesses or indirectly through ancillary supplier businesses.

#SullivanSummer Photo Contest Champion Crowned

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association is proud to crown Hali Tara Friehling the SCVA’s first Sullivan Summer Snapshot Champion.

Hali and her family submitted a collection of diverse images that typify summertime in the Catskills, from boating and wakeboarding, to quiet moments along the shores of White Lake. Hali not only submitted great shots to the #SullivanSummer contest, but her Instagram (@figtree13) is also packed with galleries depicting the best our region has to offer, with images from all over Sullivan County.

Hali is the photography director of the new biannual magazine Delaware Valley Eight (DV8). The publication explores modern rural life and making the most of our bountiful local resources, from farms and food markets to our restaurants, retail businesses, and services. DV8 covers “the upstate scene” in Callicoon, Narrowsburg, Barryville, Livingston Manor, Bethel, Roscoe, Honesdale, Pa., and Milford, Pa. Visit them online at

Thank you to Hali and her family for sharing their summertime adventures with us. We look forward to more seasonal snapshots from all of our social media friends as the summer continues and we head toward another crisp and colorful autumn in the Catskills.

2nd Annual Mid-Summer Sullivan United Networking Mixer

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Bridgeville, N.Y. – June 30, 2015 – The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development is once again joining forces with the Sullivan County Visitors Association, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, and the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency to host its annual Mid-Summer Sullivan United Networking Mixer designed to unite Sullivan County’s business community, and celebrate the region’s bright future.

The Mid-Summer Sullivan United Networking Mixer will be held on Wednesday, July 15, under a tent overlooking the Monster Golf Course, located in the heart of the future Adelaar development site from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

“This time last year we were awaiting word from New York State about where a casino project may go in our region; five months later, it was officially announced that Empire Resorts had won its bid to proceed and EPR Properties has hit the ground running beginning construction on its Adelaar resort destination project,” said Sullivan County Partnership President/CEO Marc Baez. “The project is an extraordinary development that is already driving new interest for future development in Sullivan County. We have more to celebrate this year than ever before.”

Admission is $35 for members of participating organizations, and $45 for non-members. Admission includes a variety of gourmet hors d’oeuvres and light fare, catered by Mr. Willy’s in Monticello.

There are several sponsorship opportunities available. To RSVP or to become a sponsor for the Mid-Summer Sullivan United Networking Mixer, contact the Sullivan County Partnership at 845.794.1110 or via email to

Take Eagle Express Shuttle Service From NYC To Sullivan County for the 4th of July

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Ferndale, N.Y. – June 30, 2015 – There’s no better place to celebrate the 4th of July than in the Sullivan County Catskills. Enjoy the all-new Eagle Express shuttle service from New York City to the Upper Delaware River and Sullivan County, and enjoy festivals, fireworks, and parades across the region.

The Eagle Express shuttle will board at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd at the Local Café, near Penn Station, at 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The route travels along the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, with drop-off points in the hamlets of Pond Eddy, Barryville, Narrowsburg, and Callicoon.

While in Sullivan County this holiday weekend, consider one of these family-friendly, FREE events on Independence Day:

  • 21st Annual Liberty Festival, Liberty, N.Y.; 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Annual Independence Day Parade, Roscoe, N.Y.; 11 a.m.
  • Fireworks Display, Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center, Callicoon, N.Y.; 9:15 p.m.

During your visit, snap pictures of the fun and share them in the #SullivanSummer Photo Contest! Whether you take a picture of a sunset, a landscape, an action shot, or a selfie, share your photo on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #SullivanSummer. The pic with the most likes will be crowned the Sullivan Summer Snapshot Champion on July 29th. Get all of the contest details and submit photos online by visiting

Head back to New York on Sunday, July 5th at 5 p.m. on the Eagle Express’s return shuttle, where pickups will be made in the hamlets of Pond Eddy, Barryville, Narrowsburg, and Callicoon.

For a complete schedule of dates, including itinerary, maps, and specific arrival and departure times, visit One-way trips are $40; round trip travel costs $80. Eagle Express is not able to accommodate pets or recreational equipment (bikes, kayaks, etc.) at this time. Space on the July 3rd shuttle is going fast, but seats are still available.

SCVA #SullivanSummer Photo Contest Is Under Way

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Ferndale, N.Y. – June 11, 2015 – The Sullivan County Visitors Association’s #SullivanSummer Photo Contest has officially kicked off and will continue through Sunday, July 26.

This promotion ties into the 2015 Travel Guide theme, “Find Yourselfie In The Catskills”, and encourages people to share their summer photos from around Sullivan County. Whether you take a picture of a sunset, a landscape, and action shot, or a selfie, you can share your photo on social media using the hashtag #SullivanSummer. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis, and people can vote for their favorites. An overall winner – the 2015 Sullivan Summer Snapshot Champion – will be announced on Wednesday, July 29 in the SCVA’s weekly eblast, and on Facebook on Thursday, July 30.

“We want images that capture the essence of summer in Sullivan,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “It’s not just selfies we’re looking for, but all kinds of pictures that put the beauty, adventure, tradition, and the serenity of Sullivan County in summertime on full display.”

The SCVA is accepting submissions now through the SCVA’s Facebook page (, website (, Twitter (@CatskillConnect), and Instagram (@SullivanCatskills). Users simply post their photos with the hashtag #SullivanSummer, and include the details regarding where the image was taken. Photographers may submit up to one photo per day. 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 to connect with the Visitors Association on social media, and to get complete contest details and rules. An updated gallery of all submissions will be accessible via the contest homepage.

SCVA Announces Annual Literature Exchange & Disney Institute Workshop

Wednesday, 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 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

“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.”