Archive for the ‘ Local Press Releases ’ Category

Enjoy Classic Sullivan County Catskills Romance This Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The Sullivan County Catskills is the perfect place to find whimsical romance this Valentine’s weekend, and the Sullivan County Visitors Association wants to make sure everyone knows it.

The organization has put together a digital resource, available on its website at, to help couples avoid the commonality of boxed chocolates and supermarket flowers this year, and plan a truly memorable Valentine’s Day instead. Visitors can use the information available to plan out an entire day – or weekend – from start to finish.

Any memorable day needs to be filled with memorable activities. If you’re the adventurous type, Sullivan County is host to a variety of outdoor activities to get your heart pumping, from snowmobiling to hiking. If you’re more of an indoor couple, take in a little culture by visiting one of many art galleries, breweries, or distilleries. Just looking to relax? Spend the day getting pampered at a spa.

And, of course, no Valentine’s Day would be complete without a romantic dinner for two. Fortunately, the Sullivan County Catskills is home to some of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley, many of which are hosting Valentine’s Day specials for couples to enjoy a full-course meal, or even some dancing and karaoke.

Finally – and perhaps most importantly – pick out a place to spend the evening and get in that ever-so-important alone time. Sullivan County can accommodate any desire, whether the privacy of a quaint bed and breakfast with a roaring fire and a glass of wine, or the luxury of a full-service suite at a resort.

In addition to helping visitors plan their weekend, SCVA wants everyone to share the love with “Classic Catskills Valentines”, a series of fun, silly, Catskills-inspired valentines with a vintage theme. Check them out by visiting, where you can share them on Facebook, and let someone special know “You are always my first resort!” or “No trout about it – we are meant to be”, amongst other pun-tastic phrases.

“This year, we want to remind everyone what the Sullivan County Catskills is all about – escaping the stress and distraction of everyday life, and taking the time to concentrate on the people you love,” said Roberta Byron-Lockwood, SCVA president. “We thought valentines themed as a throwback to the Classic Catskills – a time when simpler technology forced us to connect on a more personal basis than today – was a great way to accomplish that.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension Releases Annual List of Tree Farms

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County has once again released its annual list of local tree farms in Sullivan County that will provide live trees for Christmas.

Each year Cornell Cooperative Extension provides Sullivan County residents a list of locations where they and their families can purchase a locally-grown tree. All offer the option to cut your own tree, with some offering the option to pick your own or purchase pre-cut trees.

“Cutting down your own Christmas tree only adds to the magic of the holiday season,” said Sullivan County Visitors Association President Robert Byron-Lockwood. “Additionally, it helps support our local agricultural businesses by purchasing a tree grown with love right here in Sullivan County.”

The list includes the following tree farms:

  • Diehl Farm & Market – Calicoon, NY
  • Friendly Acres – Cochecton, NY
  • Maplehorst Farm Nursery – Monticello, NY
  • Pine Farm – Youngsville, NY

The list is available on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County website, along with tips for caring for a live tree, at


SCVA Celebrates Successful 2015 at Annual Meeting

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

The Sullivan County Visitors Association celebrated a fruitful 2015 at its Annual Meeting and Holiday Celebration at The Sullivan in Rock Hill on Thursday, December 4th.

The agency hosted representatives from over 180 member businesses, to whom the SCVA presented information on its successes from the past year. Those successes included an estimated revenue of $372.1 million spent by visitors in Sullivan County in 2015 to date, which generated $24.6 million in local taxes for the year.

“The success we celebrate today is the result of cooperation between the SCVA, our member businesses, and our marketing partners,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood.

“I think everybody in this room kept the lights on,” said Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson.

The SCVA also honored local individuals and businesses for their contributions to the local tourism industry with its TOAST & STAR Awards. Honorees included:

  • 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 a surprise for the evening, the SCVA also revealed the cover of its upcoming 2016 Travel Guide, an annual publication outlining activities and attractions throughout Sullivan County. The guide, whose cover dons a feline face with its eyes reflecting the Delaware River, is scheduled to be distributed soon.

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