Press Room

Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

November 3rd, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Passes One Million Website Visitor Milestone

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) announced that more than one million visitors have come to its website so far in 2017 for all manner of tourism information on the area. This is the first time the organization has reached this significant milestone, hitting 1,148,197 as of the end of October. Web traffic jumped 62% over 2016 year to date, which also saw an 87% increase from 2015 to 2016. The website, http://www.DutchessTourism.com, features 1,262 listings in categories ranging from lodging to restaurants, to history, the outdoors, the arts, shopping, family fun, farms, and more.
 
The website also offers a number of helpful features including spotlight articles, top 10 lists, suggested itineraries, a HV Trip Planner, and themed videos including DTI’s newly released virtual reality video, and their “Dutchess Craft Beverage” video, which won a 2016 Service Industry Advertising Association gold award.
 
One of the most popular features is the calendar of events, which highlights the many things to see and do in Dutchess. The calendar is constantly updated with the latest happenings and is a terrific resource for residents and visitors alike. Year to date, there have been 6,505 events listed which have been viewed 5,386,802 times.
 
DTI President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba attributed the jump to increased marketing and advertising efforts domestically and internationally. “We’ve been working very hard over the past number of years to consistently keep the ‘Distinctly Dutchess’ and Hudson Valley brands out there in front of people traveling from outside the area and it’s paying off,” Vrba said. “People are finding our user-friendly website packed with information and using it to get everything they need to plan a great vacation!”
 
To that end, 2016 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million. This is the seventh consecutive year of growth and the one with the largest annual jump. This spending also generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State. An estimated 4.75 million people visit the county annually sustaining 10,484 tourism related jobs within Dutchess.
 
 
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Our investment in Dutchess Tourism continues to pay dividends - creating jobs, improving our economy and increasing revenues. This milestone is evidence of what a valuable resource Dutchess Tourism is to the traveling public as well as to local residents looking for things to see and do in their own backyards.” 
 
ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.
The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 19 Tourist Information Centers located around Dutchess County. They can be reached at 845-463-4000 or at www.DutchessTourism.com. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, and became the independent 501c6 corporation Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014. DTI is the officially designated tourism promotion agency for Dutchess County and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess. In 2017, the organization earned accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International, 2025 M Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C., 20036, USA, Ph. 202-296-7888.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

October 24th, 2017

Dutchess is 1st Tourism Agency in Hudson Valley to Release Virtual Reality Video

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– If you’ve ever wanted to view the Hudson River and surrounding mountains from the open air cockpit of a bi-plane without leaving the comfort of your couch, look no further than Dutchess Tourism’s first virtual reality (VR) video.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) announced that residents and visitors alike can now experience some of the “Distinctly Dutchess” activities and attractions the county has to offer through the magic of virtual reality by going to http://dutchesstourism.com/360.  The 360° version can be viewed on desktop computers and the virtual reality version on mobile devices or smart phones with a special VR viewer and the Vimeo app.

“VR video is an important cutting-edge tool that allows Dutchess Tourism to engage audiences in a new, high-tech way that particularly appeals to millennial travelers,” said DTI President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba.

According to Cisco’s 2016 Visual Networking Index, “82% of consumer interest traffic will be video by the end of the decade.” Additionally, the 2016 YouGov Travel Booking Trends Study found that “71% of prospective travelers will download travel-specific VR content to their devices, and 33% confirmed they would book their next vacation following a positive VR experience.”

According to DTI Director of Tour & Travel Dawn Hopper, “Our virtual reality videos are an incredibly valuable tool for use at domestic and international travel trade shows in a way that printed materials are not.”

First-hand knowledge, gained through attendance at I Love NY coordinated sales missions to Europe, showed that many international tour operators are installing VR decks so prospective travelers can get a hint of what they’ll experience when they visit a destination. Production of VR videos allows Dutchess Tourism and the Hudson Valley to sell a new experience to visitors traveling from around the world -- especially through new connections created by Norwegian Airlines’ flights into Stewart International Airport that bring visitors from Ireland, Scotland, England and beyond to the Hudson Valley.

Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for Dutchess County. More than 4.75 million people visit the county annually, and in addition to spending over half a billion dollars on lodging, dining, shopping, area attractions and transportation, generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State. According to the report, were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Dutchess County would have to pay an additional $678 to maintain the same level of government revenue.

2016 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million. This is the seventh consecutive year spending has increased and the one with the largest annual jump. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs 10,484 people within Dutchess County.

 

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ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 19 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Follow Dutchess Tourism on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess. 

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

September 29th, 2017

New Report Shows Tourist Spending Up Again in Dutchess

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, recently released their report “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York” which showed 2016 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million. This is the seventh consecutive year spending has increased and the one with the largest annual jump.

Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for Dutchess County. More than 4.75 million people visit the county annually, and, in addition to spending more than  half a billion dollars on lodging, dining, shopping, area attractions and transportation, generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State. Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average household in Dutchess County would have to pay an additional $678 to maintain the same level of government services.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI), an independent 501c6 non-profit organization, is the officially designated destination marketing organization for Dutchess County. DTI President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba said, "Visitors from around the state, nation and world are discovering our Distinctly Dutchess attractions and are drawn to our one-of-a-kind experiences.” Vrba, who was recently named an Outstanding Woman in Destination Management/Marketing by Women in Travel and Tourism International, added, “Our promotional efforts not only support the world-renowned attractions and historic landmarks, but also many small businesses. We know our marketing efforts are vital to making the cash registers ring at B&BS, restaurants, shops, farms and recreation sites. We are committed to helping support these businesses, the backbone of our local communities.”

Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs 10,484 people within Dutchess County. “As an industry, employer and economic engine, tourism continues to grow,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro. “Our partnership with Dutchess Tourism, Inc. continues to create jobs, improve our economy and increase revenues. I applaud Dutchess Tourism, Mary Kay Vrba and all those helping to tell our story and promote all that makes us a great place to visit and enjoy.”

Tourism is a significant driver to the local, state and US economy, returning $8 for every $1 invested. To attract visitors to the county, DTI utilizes a multi-pronged marketing sapproach to help spread the

word about Dutchess’ tourism assets. This includes digital, print and television advertising, primarily in the New York City-metro area as well as ads in national magazines and international publications. DTI is also active on social media attracting thousands of followers across all the major platforms and produces videos to highlight events as well as experiences. Most recently, their Dutchess Craft Beverage video won a 2016 SIAA gold award. In the first half of 2017, there were 567,675 visitors, including 183,577 international, to their web site: DutchessTourism.com. DTI also prints and distributes 90,000 copies of their free Dutchess County Travel Guide annually, along with a number of other publications, which are available by request online..

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 19 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Follow Dutchess Tourism on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

 

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

September 19th, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Executives Join "I Love NY" Travel Sales Missions

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba joined DTI Director of Tour & Travel Dawn Hopper to attend the I Love New York (ILNY) Sales Mission, organized by the ILNY UK & Ireland office and Norwegian Air. The pair were on hand September 10th -15th to promote Dutchess County as a top ravel destination. Eight representatives from ILNY met one-on-one with tour operators and travel agents, as well as networked with key journalists and media contacts at events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast.

The primary objective was to promote New York State as a “must see” destination for visitors from the United Kingdom to the United States. The message also highlighted that “New York” is more than New York City – that we are a varied state with a comprehensive offering of exciting activities.  In addition, they were able to promote the new direct services on Norwegian Airlines from Scotland and Ireland to Newburgh’s Stewart International Airport at very competitive prices.

“We’re interested in attracting visitors at all stages of the family cycle, from youth and couples to families and those 55+,” said Vrba. “Members of the trade were very excited to hear about all that there is to see and do in Dutchess. Some were pleasantly surprised by the new and different experiences they could find here. For others it reinforced specific features of all of New York State’s popular tourism attractions,” she added.  

Hopper noted, “This mission allowed us to share our love and enthusiasm for Dutchess County and highlight the tremendous tourism assets we have to offer travelers coming from Europe.” She added, “We have equipped these international travel agents with the tools they need to promote the easy access to the Hudson Valley through Norwegian Airlines and to help us significantly increase tourism to our area.

At the same time, DTI Director of Communications Nancy Lutz organized two familiarization tours of Dutchess County, hosting eight journalists from Scotland, Ireland and England. They represented a variety of major media outlets including The Courier, The Sunday Post, The Herald, Scottish Daily Mail, Evening Times, The Press and Journal, and Travel Extra. Joining them was Jonathan Gough, the Public Relations Manager representing Brand USA in the UK & Ireland. Brand USA is an organization dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination. They visited the Walkway Over the Hudson, Dia:Beacon, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home, Presidential Library & Museum, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Bannerman’s Castle, Shadows on the Hudson, the Mill House Brewing Company, and stayed at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites Poughkeepsie, and The Roundhouse in Beacon. 

Norwegian Airlines prides itself on being an award-winning, low-cost airline offering flights to more than 150 destinations worldwide. They fly new fuel-efficient narrow-body Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, some with images of Benjamin Franklin on their tailfins. Norwegian offers the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flights by an international carrier at Stewart Airport. The airline has promised to establish a base at Stewart this fall. Norwegian’s economic impact studies show the project will create 230 jobs and $12 million in annual wages. 

 Tourism Economics’ report, “The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York”, revealed 2016 tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million. It’s the seventh consecutive year tourism spending has increased. More than 4.75 million people visit the county annually, and, in addition to spending more than half a billion dollars on lodging, dining, shopping, area attractions and transportation, generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State. Were it not for tourism-generated state and local taxes, the average Dutchess household would have to pay an additional $678 to maintain the same level of government services.

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.
The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 19 Tourism Information Centers situated around Dutchess County. Find them online at www.DutchessTourism.com, by phone at 845-463-4000 and on their social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

September 6th, 2017

Paramount Pictures Announces The Start Of Principal Photography On John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place"

THE FILM WILL OPEN IN THEATERS ON APRIL 6TH, 2018.

HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 5, 2017) – Paramount Pictures announced today that principal photography is underway on director John Krasinski’s “A QUIET PLACE”.

Krasinski (“THE HOLLARS”) also co-stars in the film alongside Emily Blunt (“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”), with Noah Jupe (“SUBURBICON”, “WONDER”) and Millicent Simmonds (“WONDERSTRUCK”) rounding out the cast.
The film is produced by Michael Bay (“TRANSFORMERS”), and his Platinum Dunes’ partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller ( “OUIJA”, “THE PURGE”, “THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE”), from a spec script by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck which was rewritten by John Krasinski.

Paramount Pictures will release “A QUIET PLACE” on April 6, 2018.

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About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences, and other entertainment content for audiences in more than 180 countries.

 

 

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

August 1st, 2017

County Collaborates with Dutchess Land Conservancy, Scenic Hudson and State to Save North East Farm

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced Dutchess County has finalized the conservation easement to protect the 158.2-acre Duncandale Farm in the Town of North East owned by Donald and Sharon Duncan, in partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC), Scenic Hudson and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). The County contributed $133,200 toward the purchase of the development rights, ensuring the land remains open and available for farming for current and future generations. The Dutchess County Legislature approved funding from the Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG) Program in March 2016, based on recommendation from the Dutchess County Planning Board.

Total purchase price of the conservation easement was $1,152,823, with the NYSDAM contributing $862,750 and Scenic Hudson providing the balance of the purchase price. DLC was the grant applicant on behalf of the landowners, served as project manager, provided a portion of the closing costs and important in-kind services, and will hold and manage the conservation easement on the farm.

County Executive Molinaro said, “The PMG allows us to work with the state and local partners to preserve a critical active farmland providing a vital, diverse and growing economic engine throughout the County. Farms operating in Dutchess improve quality of life in many ways – from our economy and environment, to health and community character – and we are committed to promoting a vibrant future for agriculture. Duncandale Farm is a prime example of what makes Dutchess County such a special place for all who live and visit here, and this easement will preserve its majesty for generations to come.”

The property has been owned by the Duncan family since the 1700s and currently produces hay for beef and dairy cattle replacement. On average, about 7,000 square bales of hay are produced each year and sold to a range of horse, goat and sheep farms in the area. Duncandale Farm is located in the Coleman Station Historic District, registered in large part for its agricultural heritage. The farm is a distinctive and prominent feature of the viewshed traveling north on New York State Route 22, and almost the entire property is highly visible from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The farmhouse on the property has a carved foundation stone, indicating it was first constructed in 1771. The farm lies in the western area of a chain of mostly connected, active farms totaling almost 2,000 acres, extending south of Millerton through the Harlem Valley within the Town of North East.

County Executive Molinaro reprioritized farmland protection when he included PMG funding as part of the 2015 budget, for the first fund allocation since 2008. In March 2016, the County Executive announced awards of $935,855 to permanently protect six farms, one of which is the Duncandale Farm, bringing the total amount of open space and farmland properties preserved through the PMG program to approximately 3,530 acres. In 2017, County Executive Molinaro announced $651,781 in PMG funding to protect two additional farms – one in Dover, the other in Amenia.

County Legislator Gregg Pulver, who represents the towns of North East, Stanford, Pine Plains and Milan, and is chair of the Dutchess County Legislature's Public Works and Capital Projects Committee, and a member of the Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee said, “County Executive Molinaro and the Dutchess County Legislature have made protecting farmland a priority, and the preservation of the Duncandale Farm is the latest example of that pledge. I thank County Executive Molinaro, my fellow legislators and our partners in the community for their devotion to preserving our farms, which will continue to be key players in our county’s centuries-old agricultural tradition.”

Selling development rights encourages property owners to permanently preserve their land for agriculture, providing important funds to reinvest in farm operations or to transition a farm to the next generation.

Donald and Sharon Duncan said, “Our family has owned and loved this farm for over 200 years. Living on a farm is a wonderful way to raise a family. Our three sons all helped with the farm work, learning where food comes from and developed a connection to the land and the animals it supports. This project has come to fruition because of the hard work and commitment of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, Scenic Hudson, Dutchess County and New York State to preserve agricultural land from increasing pressure to develop. We encourage anyone who enjoys open land to explore how they can protect their property from development.”

The protection of the Duncans’ property also has advantages for local residents beyond access to fresh and healthy foods. Even after development rights are sold, agricultural lands stay on the tax rolls, ensuring towns can continue to provide critical services. Studies indicate that agricultural lands cost communities significantly less to provide services to than residential lands.

Becky Thornton, President of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, said, “We are so lucky to have people in our area who truly love and care about the future of their land. Our heartfelt thanks go to the Duncans who have ensured that their family farm will remain open and viable for farming today and in the future. We are also tremendously grateful that our wonderful partners, Dutchess County, the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM), recognize the importance of protecting our local farms, not only as a primary industry in Dutchess County, but as a major component of our scenic and rural landscape.”

Created in 1999, the County’s Partnership for Manageable Growth grant program has helped to protect more than 3,500 acres of farmland and open space in Dutchess County. Awards are made after thorough review and ranking by the County's Planning Board. The PMG is designed to assist the County and its municipalities in implementing the recommendations of adopted planning documents, including Directions: The Plan for Dutchess County, the Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, Greenway Connections, and the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Plan. The Duncandale farm is contained within the County’s “Agricultural Priority Areas” as delineated in the 2015 County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.

Steve Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, said, “Scenic Hudson thanks the Duncan family for ensuring the fields they’ve farmed for nearly 250 years will remain available for agriculture for generations to come. These productive acres were a high priority of our Foodshed Conservation Plan, a blueprint for ramping up collaborative farmland-protection efforts to create a secure source of fresh, local food for the Hudson Valley and New York City. In addition, their conservation helps to preserve Dutchess County’s agricultural heritage and scenic beauty, critical for sustaining its vibrant tourism economy. We’re grateful to Dutchess County, Dutchess Land Conservancy and New York State for partnering with us to guarantee the land will continue providing these benefits."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Keeping viable farmland in agricultural use is critical to the future of the industry and the next generation of farmers in New York. It also ensures the sustainability of our food supply and strength of our economy. I thank the Duncan family and all of our partners – Dutchess County, Dutchess Land Conservancy, and Scenic Hudson – for taking this important step to permanently protect one of our State’s most vital assets.”

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

August 1st, 2017

Dutchess County Named One of Nation's Best for Technology Use & Innovation

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Government has once again been ranked among the nation’s best in the Digital Counties Survey, for its use of technology to improve services and boost efficiencies to better serve residents. The annual survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), ranked Dutchess County 2nd in the nation, in the 250,000-499,999 population category, for its use of information and communications technology. Dutchess County has consistently ranked in the nation’s top ten for each of the past 14 years.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “The continued recognition of the dedicated work of our County’s Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS), led by Commissioner Glenn Marchi, further demonstrates our efforts to create a more open and engaging platform for our residents to readily access information and communicate with county government. We will continue to build upon our existing infrastructure and innovative technology to make retrieving information and resources easier and more efficient.”

“Congratulations to Dutchess County Government for receiving this noteworthy and deserving recognition. The services and information Dutchess County OCIS provides to residents is paramount in a day and age where technology is rapidly evolving and we must find new and innovative ways to adapt to change. This award further demonstrates Dutchess County’s commitment to providing transparent, accessible and open communication tools and information to its residents and visitors,” said Dutchess County Legislator Alan Surman.

Below are some of the County’s initiatives highlighted in the various Digital Counties Survey categories:

Transparency, Open Data, Data Governance

  • Dutchess County continues to enhance its presentation of budget information to the public, with content readily available offering a big picture of the County’s financial condition with budget video presentations, Budget-in-Brief documents, and detailed graphs and departmental line-item budgets.
  • Dutchess Dashboard is a “one-stop information source” for the public to monitor the key economic and service indicators impacting Dutchess County Government’s programs and services, as well as its fiscal position.
  • Streamlined and enhanced information to the public through the Enterprise Content Management system including direct access to County documents and data such as Legislative Resolutions, County Clerk Document, Ancient Documents, and Class Specifications/Job Descriptions Search features.
  • Meetings of the Dutchess County Legislature are webcast live and the webcasts are then archived along with meeting agendas and resolutions, making it easy for residents to stay up to date and informed about legislative actions.

Mobility/Mobile Applications

  • The County has redesigned many of its web applications including the County employee intranet, Environmental Division Information Tracking System Project Review and Permit Status and municipal websites using a “responsive” design making these applications easier to use and to access on mobile devices.
  • County employees, including Adult and Child Protective Service workers, public health nurses, and case managers, who engage with the public in the community, utilize iPads and tablets to streamline operations by performing assessments in the field. These mobile tools enable them to have key information readily available and complete necessary reporting with clients quickly and easily.
  • Mobile messaging and field reporting allows public safety employees to remotely have a text conversation with the E-911 Communications Center or perform field reporting remotely from a law enforcement patrol vehicle.
  • The County’s Aerial Access web application enables the public to view multiple years of aerial photography while also giving the user the ability to identify their location and start aerial views.
  • The HELPLINE mobile app and TEXT to 911 are critical mobile applications available to provide residents in crisis and/or emergencies direct access to County service providers.

Social Media/Portal/Citizen Engagement

  • Dutchess County Government is active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to inform and engage residents.
  • The County’s Dutchess Delivery service allows residents to subscribe to more than 60 broad-ranging topic areas. Updates are automatically distributed to subscribers via email or in some instances, text message. Some municipalities have incorporated a shared services offering of Dutchess Delivery including Beacon Delivery and East Fishkill Delivery.

Shared Services/Collaborative Initiatives

  • Dutchess County Government has continuously worked to create shared services, consolidation and cost saving opportunities. OCIS has taken the lead on this effort, providing responsive website redesign and development, technical services such as personal computer PC/server support, network services, software development, consulting services, and IT assessments.
  • OCIS plans and coordinates the annual Shared Services Summit bringing together close to 100 state, county and local officials to discuss and brainstorm shared services opportunities.
  • OCIS has partnered with numerous local municipalities and government entities, including the City of Beacon, Town of East Fishkill, and the Arlington Fire District to redesign and host websites, as well as streamline information technology services, providing cost savings and greater efficiency in service delivery.

Cybersecurity Measures

  • Dutchess County Government is persistent in its efforts to confront cybersecurity threats and ensure continuity of operations in the event of an emergency. OCIS promotes security awareness training with alerts, best practices and tips on the County intranet and OCIS staff attend annual security awareness training.
  • Security systems are utilized to log, block and detect botnets, malware, phishing, spyware and viruses.

OCIS Commissioner Glenn Marchi said, “We are fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated team at Dutchess County OCIS who work each and every day to develop and provide innovative technology and information services to our residents and County departments. As we look to overhaul the County’s website, we will strive to continue in our efforts to present information and County resources in a way that is user-friendly and easily accessible to the public. Additionally, we will advance our partnerships with our local municipalities to create new shared services and cost saving opportunities.”

“As technology continues to grow in all facets of our lives, county governments are adapting and innovating,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase. “The Digital Counties Survey spotlights how counties deploy technology to enhance services and benefit residents while being responsible stewards of taxpayer resources.”

To learn more about the Digital Counties Survey, visit: http://www.govtech.com/cdg/

www.dutchessNY.gov

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

August 1st, 2017

Dutchess County Collaborates with Local Land Trusts to Preserve Iconic Shenandoah Farm in East Fishkill

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced Dutchess County has completed acquisition of a 39-acre farmland conservation easement that expands the iconic Shenandoah Farm in East Fishkill, in partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy, Scenic Hudson Land Trust and Hudson Highlands Land Trust, through the Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG). Funding was approved by the Dutchess County Legislature in March 2016, based on recommendation from the Dutchess County Planning Board.

The County, through the Partnership for Manageable Growth, contributed $80,000 toward the purchase of the development rights of the Manne property, which abuts the Shenandoah Farm, ensuring the land remains open and available for farming for current and future generations. The Dutchess Land Conservancy contributed $56,317, and Hudson Highlands Land Trust and Scenic Hudson Land Trust contributing $26,677 each. At the closing for the conservation easement, the Manne property, which has been leased by the Shenandoah Farm for many years, was purchased by and made part of the Shenandoah Farm, further ensuring its continued use for agriculture.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Through the Partnership for Manageable Growth, Dutchess County is able to preserve farmlands that are key to keeping our agricultural heritage alive for generations to come. Agriculture, as a whole, benefits Dutchess County in various ways – from our economy and aesthetic beauty, to our communities’ charm and the health of our residents – and farming remains one of our strongest industries. Dutchess County continues to be positively affected by the farmlands we preserve through the Partnership for Manageable Growth.”

The Shenandoah Farm is owned by the multi-generation Jackson family, who have a long history of dairy farming in East Fishkill. The establishment of a conservation easement on the Manne property enabled the Jacksons to purchase these properties for continued farm use. Shenandoah Farm is a Century Farm and a Dairy of Distinction, producing approximately 2,300 pounds of milk each day (just under one million pounds per year), which is sold to Hudson Valley Fresh, a dairy cooperative. Corn, alfalfa and hay are also grown on the farm. As part of the “Gateway to Dutchess County” located at the southwest junction of Interstate 84 and the Taconic State Parkway, the farm vista signals arrival in pastoral Dutchess County and as a symbol of the County’s agricultural and natural heritage. More than 500,000 cars pass by this farm each week on the Taconic State parkway and I-84.

Dutchess County Legislator John Metzger said, “The Shenandoah Farm is a true treasure in East Fishkill. Agriculture is a challenging industry, and I am proud of Dutchess County’s commitment to local farms. These investments pay huge dividends – strengthening our local economy and enhancing our quality of life with healthy food options and environmental protection.”

Selling development rights encourages property owners to permanently preserve their land for agriculture, providing important funds to reinvest in a farm operation or transition a farm to the next generation. In this case, the purchase of the easement allowed the Jacksons to permanently reacquire land important to the Shenandoah Farm’s continued success.

Owner Verne Jackson said, “This land was originally owned by my great grandfather. We’ve been working the land for many, many years. It is a natural part of our farm. This transaction has now brought the land home.”

Dutchess Land Conservancy President Becky Thornton said, “We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Jackson family to purchase land that they have actively farmed for over 53 years. It is a wonderful addition to their neighboring Shenandoah Farm and could not have come at a more perfect time – the farm celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. The land was protected simultaneously with the sale to the Jackson family contributing to both the local farming economy and helping to protect part of the I-84 and the Taconic State Parkway viewshed. We are tremendously grateful to our partners, Dutchess County, Scenic Hudson, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, the EPA, and Joseph Manne for helping to make a long term goal of the Jacksons come to fruition.”

The protection of the Manne property also has advantages for County residents beyond access to fresh and healthy foods. Even after development rights are sold, agricultural lands stay on the tax rolls, ensuring towns can continue to provide critical services. Studies indicate agricultural lands cost communities significantly less to provide services to than residential lands. In addition, the Manne property is uniquely valuable to agricultural tourism development.

The significance of the scenic view of the landscape offered by Shenandoah Farm, which now includes the additional 39 acres with a conservation easement, is but one of the reasons this project was able to draw support from not only Dutchess County, but from the three local land trust partners.

Scenic Hudson Land Trust Executive Director Steve Rosenberg, “Great news for an important farm. We must nurture our farmland for our economy and jobs but also for a Hudson Valley foodshed supplying fresh, healthy food to people in the valley and New York City. Seeing this farm while driving past on the Taconic Parkway and Interstate 84 reminds people of what is special about the Hudson Valley. Scenic Hudson is proud we contributed to strengthening this farm, and we are thankful to County Executive Mark Molinaro and his staff, as well as the County Legislature, for their partnership and financial investment. Cheers to partners Dutchess Land Conservancy and Hudson Highlands Land Trust. We also thank staff at the EPA whose help and commitment to conserving this dairy farm was tremendous.”

Dutchess County Legislator Marge Horton said, “Protecting the Shenandoah Farm fulfills the mission of the Partnership for Manageable Growth – preserving Dutchess County’s great legacy of farming. My legislative colleagues and I appreciate the proud tradition agriculture has played in our county’s development, and the current role it plays in keeping Dutchess County robust, and we are proud to support projects like this to ensure farming remains vibrant for years to come.”

Hudson Highlands Land Trust Executive Director Michelle Smith said, “The Hudson Highlands Land Trust is delighted to partner with Shenandoah Farms, Dutchess County, Dutchess Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson to protect this farmland in East Fishkill. Situated between Shenandoah and Hosner Mountains, both of which are traversed by the Appalachian Trail, and with close proximity to two major highways, this farmland was at high risk of development. We commend our partners on taking the lead to ensure its permanent protection.”

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

August 1st, 2017

Opportunities to "ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Abound

Dutchess County's "ThinkDIFFERENTLY" initiative, which encourages residents, organizations and businesses to create a welcoming and supportive environment for those with special needs, has been embraced throughout our community and New York State, and there are three upcoming events in which residents can take part to show they "ThinkDIFFERENTLY."

"ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Day at the Beach, Saturday, July 29th
This Saturday, July 29th, from noon to 6 p.m., the Town of East Fishkill will host "ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Day at the Beach at Red Wing Lake. This free rain-or-shine event offers beach mats for easy access to and from the water, a floating sand wheelchair, aquatic assistant swimming devices, and new playground equipment; much of the new equipment was donated by local businesses.

Dutchess County's Special Needs Picnic, Tuesday, Aug. 15th
Dutchess County will host its fifth annual Special Needs Picnic on Tuesday, Aug. 15th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Freedom Park in LaGrange. This year's picnic will include a carnival theme and new attractions, as well as live music and a lunch menu that includes gluten-free chicken strips, among other options. Space is limited, so please register your family at www.dutchessny.gov/rsvp. More information is available below.

"ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Thursday at the Dutchess County Fair, Thursday, Aug. 24th
For the second year, the Dutchess County Fair will offer "ThinkDIFFERENTLY" Thursday on Aug. 24th, giving families entry into the Fair at 9 a.m., an hour before the official 10 a.m. start time, and access to the midway from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. without flashing lights or loud sounds. Families will have the opportunity to enjoy the fairgrounds, including the animal barns on Livestock Hill and the 4H Exhibit Hall, ahead of the crowds. While not all of the attractions and exhibits will be open at 9 a.m., the soft opening provides families a chance to ease into their day at the Fair as the fairground "wake up for the day."

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

August 1st, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Receives Accreditation

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Destinations International has awarded Dutchess Tourism, Inc. a Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal in recognition of their commitment to industry excellence, and meeting industry standards of performance and accountability among destination marketing associations (DMOs) around the world. Dutchess Tourism President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba and Vice President Melaine Rottkamp attended a special recognition ceremony for DMAP recipients at the Destinations International Annual Convention in Montreal, Canada on July 12th, 2017.

The accreditation program requires a destination to successfully comply with a multitude of mandatory and voluntary standards that span a variety of performance areas to gain this designation. The standards cover nearly all aspects related to the management and marketing of destination organizations including governance, finance, human resources, sales, communications, destination development and research.   There are less than 200 DMOs world-wide who have earned this important achievement.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. is an independent 501c6 non-profit organization and is the officially designated destination marketing organization for Dutchess County. Vrba noted, “This was a long and arduous process but as an organization, we are always striving for excellence and this DMAP certification further validates the work we passionately do to support the important economic growth and quality of life commitment we make to Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley Region.”

DTI’s success, to that end, is highlighted in a recently released report from Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, which shows tourism spending in Dutchess County increased 7.6% over 2015 to more than $568 million in 2016. This is the seventh consecutive year spending has increased and the one with the largest annual jump. Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for Dutchess County. More than 4.75 million people visited the county last year which generated $40.9 million in local taxes and $31.7 million for New York State.

DTI Board Chair Denise Doring VanBuren said, “Dutchess County is fortunate to have Mary Kay and her team of professionals who work tirelessly to promote the tourism assets of the county.” She added, “The accreditation process helped us formalize many of the things we were already doing and was an important exercise to ensure our growth and continued success as a professional and respected destination marketing organization.”

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro further touted Dutchess Tourism’s effectiveness: “I have witnessed first-hand the behind the scenes work they do on behalf of this county and the many small businesses that rely on tourists coming to the area. The economic development value Dutchess Tourism brings to the area cannot be understated.” In 2016, tourism related employment in Dutchess County jumped 9.5% over 2015 to 10,484.

 

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 19 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Follow Dutchess Tourism on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

 

ABOUT DESTINATIONS INTERNATIONAL

Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association International) is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing association professionals first and foremost. Together with more than 4,700 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connection innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit www.destinationsinternational.org.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

July 20th, 2017

Mary Kay Vrba Honored as an Outstanding Woman in Destination Management/Marketing

Women in Travel and Tourism International (witti) recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Women in Travel and Tourism International Awards. The awards are the first of their kind in which women are honoring their peers for outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba, was named an Outstanding Woman in Destination Management/Marketing by Women in Travel and Tourism, International (WITTI), for her efforts to promote tourism in Dutchess County. Also honored in this category were:  Stephanie Klett, Wisconsin Department of Tourism; Gretchen Hall, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Donna Allen, Visit Norfolk. Read about all of the 2017 winners on the Witti Award Winners Bio Page.

“Witti is about connecting, supporting and promoting women's contributions in travel and tourism. It’s difficult to find organizations focused on advocating for women in travel, so it’s important to recognize and encourage their efforts,” said Mary Kay. She continued, “It’s such an honor to be recognized by this fine organization as they highlight women’s contributions to our industry.”

The awards were presented at the annual brunch of Women in Travel and Tourism International during the IPW conference of the U.S. Travel Association in June in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Women in Travel and Tourism International 2017 Awards, visit its page here.

Women make up the bulk of travel industry employees, ranging from travel agents and advisors to hotel managers and concierges, and yet they remain disproportionately under-represented in the most senior ranks of travel and tourism organizations.

 Witti’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways to serve women in the travel. Visit them at  http://womenintravelandtourism.com

Witti was founded by Laura Mandala, Managing Director of Mandala Research, LLC, and former VP of Research with the U.S. Travel Association. Laura is passionate about women’s causes and helping women achieve success by building a network of outstanding professional women providing support to other women building their careers in travel and tourism.

Tourism brings $568.3 million in annual visitor spending into Dutchess County, and contributes more than $40.9 million in local sales tax. It sustains 10,484 jobs and is responsible for 6.7% of all employment in the Hudson Valley. Dutchess Tourism highlights countless #distinctlyDutchess attractions, attracting more than 4.5 million visitors annually from around the world. These summer weekends are a great time check all there is to see and do in Dutchess County. Visit their website to plan your visit at www.dutchesstourism.com.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

July 6th, 2017

County Collaborates with Dutchess Land Conservancy, Scenic Hudson and State to Preserve Pleasant Valley Farm

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced Dutchess County has finalized the conservation easement to protect the 170-acre Locust Grove Farm in the Town of Pleasant Valley owned by Mary-Elizabeth Atkins, in partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC), Scenic Hudson and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM).

Locust_Grove_FarmThe County contributed $118,000 toward the purchase of the development rights, ensuring the land remains open and available for farming for current and future generations. The Dutchess County Legislature approved funding from the Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG) Program in March 2016, based on recommendation from the Dutchess County Planning Board.

Total purchase price of the conservation easement was $1,056,410, with the NYSDAM contributing $788,750 and Scenic Hudson providing the balance of the purchase price. DLC was the grant applicant on behalf of the landowners, served as project manager, provided a portion of the closing costs and important in-kind services, and will hold and manage the conservation easement on the farm. The landowners also contributed to the project covering a portion of the closing costs.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Through the Partnership for Manageable Growth, Dutchess County is able to partner with local and state entities to protect active farms that are so crucial to our rich agricultural heritage and continue to play a key role in our county’s economy. Dutchess County recognizes the important role local farms play in our community – positively impacting our health, environment, character and economy – and we are committed to promoting these assets. Locust Grove Farm exemplifies the ideals behind the Partnership for Manageable Growth, and this easement will ensure the farm continues to positively impact Dutchess County for future generations.”

Locust Grove Farm is in the Town of Pleasant Valley, and proudly bears the sign welcoming visitors to the hamlet of Salt Point. The property straddles both sides of Salt Point Turnpike, with a prominent and distinctive red dairy barn right at the roadside, marked by the sign for Hackett Holsteins, and a stone main house located close to the road that was built in 1790. The majority of the property consists of open fields with treed hedgerows separating the meadows. The Little Wappinger Creek runs through the eastern portion of the property and the northwestern portion of the farm is bordered by farmland already under easement and protected lands owned by Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.

The farm property was originally a portion of the Greater Nine Partners Patent, a land grant made in 1697. An intestacy proceeding awarded the property to John Brown and Charles Brown, father-in-law of the present owner’s great grandfather, William Herrick. The property has been owned since then by the descendants of William Herrick and his daughter, Mary-Elizabeth Herrick Hasbrouck, the present owner being Mary-Elizabeth Atkins, a granddaughter of the late Elizabeth Herrick Hasbrouck of Poughkeepsie and Salt Point.

Since the early 1900’s milk has been the principal crop for the property and has continually operated as a dairy farm. Locust Grove Farm has been leased by the Hackett family since 2009, allowing them to expand the Hackett Holsteins dairy operation, which already operated on nearby property in the Town of Clinton. The Hacketts currently keep some 40 to 50 milking cows and their milk-fed calves on Locust Grove Farm and use the remainder of the fields to grow hay and corn for sale and to feed the cows on both farms. Hackett Holsteins, which has been designated as a Dairy of Distinction by the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program since 2010, on average produces 700,000 pounds of milk per year.

Dutchess County Legislator Don Sagliano said, “The preservation of farmland has been a priority for County Executive Molinaro and the Dutchess County Legislature, and I’m proud we can protect the Locust Grove Farm for generations to come. I applaud County Executive Molinaro, my fellow legislators and our community partners for their commitment to preserving Dutchess County’s agricultural heritage.”

Selling development rights encourages property owners to permanently preserve their land for agriculture, providing important funds to reinvest in farm operations or to transition a farm to the next generation.

Betsy Atkins said, “Locust Grove Farm has been in my family since 1830. I visited the farm regularly as a child and spent my summers there. My three children have continued this tradition as have our grandchildren. While my husband Ronald and I have never been primary managers of farm operations on the property, we share a deep connection to this farm and the agricultural way of life in the Hudson Valley. We have had a long relationship with the Hackett family, are very happy with their operation and presence on the farm, and plan for this relationship to continue long into the future. I am comforted in knowing that, by selling the development rights to the farm, the property will remain open and available for agriculture should there come a time when the property leaves the family ownership.”

“Our sincerest thanks to Betsy and Ron Atkins for protecting their family farm. Preserving Locust Grove Farm is extremely important both to the future of Hackett Holsteins and the dairy industry in Dutchess County and our region. Thanks also to our partners, Dutchess County, Scenic Hudson and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). Together we have ensured that another piece of our agricultural history remains to fuel our local economy and for future generations to enjoy,” said Becky Thornton, President of Dutchess Land Conservancy.

Created in 1999, the County’s Partnership for Manageable Growth grant program has helped to protect more than 3,500 acres of farmland and open space in Dutchess County. Awards are made after thorough review and ranking by the County's Planning Board. The PMG is designed to assist the County and its municipalities in implementing the recommendations of adopted planning documents, including Directions: The Plan for Dutchess County, the Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, Greenway Connections, and the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Plan. The Locust Grove farm is contained within the County’s “Agricultural Priority Areas” as delineated in the 2015 County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.

Executive Director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust Steve Rosenberg said, “Scenic Hudson thanks the Atkins family for making this commitment to conserve the fields they’ve farmed for nearly 200 years. People who choose local milk can be assured that the fields that nourish this farm’s cows are protected. Supporting local farming helps feed our communities and strengthens the County’s agricultural economy. We’re grateful to Dutchess County, the Dutchess Land Conservancy and New York State for partnering with us on this project."

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Access to affordable and viable farmland for current and future farmers is key to preserving our landscape, protecting our food supply, and keeping New York’s agricultural economy strong for years to come. The State is proud to support these critical projects through our Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Program, and we thank the Dutchess Land Conservancy, the Scenic Hudson Land Trust and Dutchess County for their partnership on this important effort.”

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

July 5th, 2017

Hyde Park to be in National Spotlight

C-SPAN in partnership with Altice USA reveals Hyde Park history and highlights authors during weeklong visit

The Town of Hyde Park and telecommunications company Altice USA, which provides Optimum-branded TV, phone and internet services in the New York metro area, will welcome C-SPAN to Hyde Park on Monday, May 22nd at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum as they kick off a visit to record the history and non-fiction literary life of the town on the cable network’s non-fiction book channel BookTV (on C-SPAN2) and history channel American History TV (on C-SPAN3).

In partnership with Altice USA, C-SPAN producers will reveal the stories and segments that will be explored by the national network.  During their time in Hyde Park, C-SPAN producers will visit various literary and historic sites, interview local historians, non-fiction authors and conduct educational and community outreach in the area.  The event keynote speaker is Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Director Paul Sparrow, who will discuss FDR's tie to the Hudson Valley region. 

Local segments recorded during the week of May 21-25 will air on BookTV on C-SPAN2 and on American History TV on C-SPAN3 throughout C-SPAN's special Hyde Park weekend, June 17-18. Altice USA’s Optimum customers in the Hyde Park area can access C-SPAN2 on Optimum channel 66 and C-SPAN3 on Optimum channel 107. 

 

WHEN:      Monday, May 22, 2017, 6:00pm         

WHERE:    
Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
4079 Albany Post Road  
Hyde Park, NY 12538             

REMARKS:  
Paul Sparrow, Director, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Ashley Hill, Producer/Community Relations Representative, C-SPAN

Refreshments will be provided.

  1.   Media welcome on shoot locations. C-SPAN producers available for in-studio and on-location interviews

BACKGROUND:
C-SPAN’s 2017 Cities Tour takes Book TV and American History TV on the road. BookTV (on C-SPAN2) and American History TV (on C-SPAN3) are featuring the literary life and history of each of these selected cities during special weekends on the public affairs network.

AIR DATES:
The programs C-SPAN produces in Hyde Park will air throughout a special Hyde Park feature weekend June 17-18 -- literary programming on Book TV (on C-SPAN2) and history programming on American History TV (on C-SPAN3).  Altice USA’s Optimum customers in the Hyde Park area can access C-SPAN2 on Optimum channel 66 and C-SPAN3 on Optimum channel 107.

For more information, visit the C-SPAN Cities Tour website and follow the program on Twitter @CSPANCities.

 

######

C-SPAN Contacts:

Ashley Hill, Producer/Community Relations Representative (on-site in Hyde Park)
304-545-0753 ahill@c-span.org

Debbie Lamb, Coordinating Producer
765-426-4452 dlamb@c-span.org

Robin Newton, Media Relations
202-626-8910 rnewton@c-span.org

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Contact:
Clifford Laube, Public Programs Specialist
845-486-7745 clifford.laube@nara.gov

About C-SPAN: 
Created by the cable TV industry and now in nearly 100 million TV households, C‐SPAN programs three public affairs television networks in both SD and HD; C‐ SPAN Radio, heard in Washington D.C., at 90.1 FM and available as an App (Android, iPhone, Blackberry); and a video‐rich website offering live coverage of government events and access to the vast archive of C‐SPAN programming. Visit https://www.c-span.org/.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

July 5th, 2017

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $2 Million to Expand Hiking Trails Across the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2 million in funding for projects to improve and expand State Park hiking trails and outdoor recreational access projects in State Parks across New York. The 2017-18 budget dedicates nearly $2 million to 12 projects to improve and expand State Park hiking trails and outdoor recreational access projects across New York. The trails projects are part of the Governor’s historic commitment to improving parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation through the NY Parks 2020 Plan.

"The New York State Parks system offers unparalleled natural beauty and world-class outdoor recreation in every corner of this state," Governor Cuomo said. "With this funding, we ensure that our trails and parks remain second to none, and I encourage residents and visitors alike to get out this summer and explore the hundreds of miles of trails New York has to offer."

New York State Parks feature more than 2,000 miles of trails, from challenging mountain climbs to gentle bicycle paths. Visitors can hike the popular Indian Ladder Trail in Thacher State Park then stop in the new Thacher Park Center, or ride along the new 8-mile  Black Diamond Trail near Ithaca, or explore back country trails in thousands of acres of protected open space in the rugged Hudson Highlands. For more information on trails in State Parks, visit www.nysparks.com/recreation/trails.

"With Memorial Day here and summer around the corner, it’s a great time to hike, jog, bike or horseback ride," Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said. "State Park trails offer some of the best places to explore and discover New York’s great outdoors, and I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for improving and expanding the trail networks in our State Parks."

Trails projects moving forward in the following regions include:

Central New York
Green Lakes State Park – $75,000 for improvements to the park’s 20-mile multiuse trail network.

Finger Lakes
Fillmore Glen State Park -- $20,000 for repairs to the gorge and other trails.

Hudson Valley
Rockefeller State Park Preserve -- $500,000 to rehabilitate a portion of the beautiful carriage trails in Pocantico Hills that were designed by John D. Rockefeller with inspiration from Frederick Law Olmsted. This multi-phase project will restore the historic design and increase safety on the trails, ensuring generations to come will be able to enjoy this beautiful woodland setting and park preserve.

The Harlem Valley Rail Trail -- $300,000 to resurface an older section of this popular bike route that runs through Dutchess and Columbia counties. Close to Taconic State Park, this trail offers the opportunity to ride to or from the state park and through the beautiful fields and farmland of our eastern counties.
Hudson Highlands State Park – $250,000 funding for trail rehabilitation that meets the standards for trail accessibility.  With views of the Hudson River and the spectacular Highlands as well as improved fishing access this trail will continue to activate Denning's Point as part of Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve.
Taconic Region State Parks – $40,000 to design and create interpretive panels for multiple parks in the region.

New York City
Clay Pit Ponds State Park -- $110,500 to improve accessibility for the park’s six trails.

North Country
Westcott Beach State Park – $30,000 to create a connection trail and parking for the public to access trails on both sides of State Route 3.

Southern Tier
Ithaca Area Gorge Parks – $50,000 for materials for stone stair and step improvements in gorge trails throughout the region.

Western New York
Allegany State Park -- $85,000 to improve hiking and backcountry trails in the 65,000-acre park as well horse trail improvements to improve the durability and safety of the trails; and improve the trail experience for equestrian groups.

Niagara Falls to Artpark State Parks – $50,000 to design and install Niagara gorge wayfinding signage to improve patron safety and education.
Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole State Park -- $450,000 to continue the rehabilitation of the historic access trail stairways to the Niagara Gorge.

The State Park trail improvements reflect Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improve parks outdoor recreation and expand opportunities for hiking and cycling. Governor Cuomo is creating the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. The state has committed $200 million in the 2017-18 budget to develop 350 miles of new trail to create a statewide pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

July 5th, 2017

Governor Cuomo Invites Visitors to New York Campgrounds this Summer

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the beginning of camping season in New York this Memorial Day weekend. The Governor encouraged New Yorkers and visitors to visit parks, trails and beaches throughout the Empire State this summer, including New York's 119 campgrounds that open Friday, May 26 for the summer season.

"New York campgrounds are central to our booming tourism industry, and as the number of visitors to the Empire State continues to grow, we remain committed to improving outdoor destinations and world-class attractions in every region of the state," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage everyone to visit a State Park this summer and experience for themselves the natural beauty and adventure New York has to offer."

New York State boasts 119 public campgrounds found throughout the Adirondacks, Catskills, Finger Lakes and Thousand Islands regions. Although campgrounds are quickly filling for Memorial Day weekend, reservations can still be made at Newtown, Cherry Plain Wildwood, Lake Taghkanic, Mills Norrie, Robert Moses, and Jacques Cartier State Parks.

Camping availability can be found through ReserveAmerica, which provides online and phone reservations for state campsites throughout New York. Reservations are accepted for campsites and cabins, from one day to nine months in advance of the planned arrival date by calling toll free 1-800-456-CAMP or online at newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com. 

New Campground Improvements for 2017

Six New Vacation Cabins: Located in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Moreau Lake State Park has nearly 150 campsites that accommodate tents and trailers throughout the camping season, in addition to the new cabins available for public rental year-round. Each cabin features queen beds, bunkbeds, a woodstove, small refrigerator, and a covered porch. Three cabins sleep four people, and three sleep six. This $700,000 project was funded by Governor Cuomo's NY Parks 2020, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding to revitalize state parks.
Two New "Yurts": Located on Lake Erie, the new "yurts" are available to campers at Evangola State Park. The wood lattice framed structures have a heavy-duty fabric exterior, windows, and wood floors. They include cots as well as a refrigerator and microwave.
ADA Accessible Shower Unit: Construction of a new ADA accessible, eight-unit shower building has been completed at DEC’s Lake Durant Campground in Blue Mountain Lake, NY.
Paving Project: Paving of the main road is now complete at Meacham Lake Campground in Essex County, in addition to the new boat launch constructed in 2016.
Updated Restrooms and Recreation Areas: Numerous restrooms and comfort stations have been rehabilitated at many of our facilities. New playgrounds have been installed at three different campgrounds. The electrical system at Cranberry Lake Campground in St. Lawrence County has been rehabbed and upgraded.
New Wastewater Systems: A complete reconstruction of the wastewater system at Caroga Lake Campground in Gloversville is currently underway. A new water reservoir is being constructed at Moffitt Beach Campground in Lake Pleasant, and the wastewater pumping system is being reconstructed at the Day Use Area of Northampton Beach Campground in Mayfield.


"State Park camping is an ideal way to explore the great outdoors with friends and family," said Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks Rose Harvey. "From tent sites nestled in the woods to charming cottages, State Parks offer comfortable accommodations for everyone. Make a reservation at one of our beautiful campgrounds, or simply plan a day-trip to do something you love at a nearby state park."

"State Department of Environmental Conservation campgrounds showcase the Governor’s commitment to Adventure New York, promoting tourism and providing attractive destinations for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors and some of the most beautiful natural resources in New York State," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "In addition to hiking and fishing, DEC campground facilities offer a wide range of outdoor recreational and camping opportunities and activities the whole family can enjoy."

DEC’s campground day-use areas in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves are currently 98 percent filled for the holiday weekend and expected to be completely filled in the coming days. Each year millions of people visit DEC facilities to enjoy the spectacular landscapes, lush forests, and fish and wildlife species that reside in the constitutionally protected “forever wild” campgrounds. Campers can also enjoy the many events, historical sites, and restaurants of nearby towns and villages. In the 2016 camping season, DEC Campgrounds saw just over one and one half million visitors.

Camping is a crucial part of New York’s tourism economy. Last year, campgrounds operated by New York State Parks set a new record for overnight visitation for the fifth consecutive year. Campsites, cabins and cottages across the state were occupied for more than 650,000 nights, surpassing 2015's record of 623,891 nights. About 25 percent of visitors to New York State campgrounds come from out of state.

This investment in state parks underscores Governor Cuomo's commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The 2017-18 State Budget includes $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, providing funding for open space protection, parkland stewardship and other environmental protection projects. In addition, the Governor's NY Parks 2020 is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2011 to 2020.

Since taking office 2011, Governor Cuomo has made unprecedented investments in the tourism industry throughout New York State, leading to historic levels of visitors and direct spending. In 2016, New York welcomed a record 239 million visitors who spent nearly $65 billion, generating a total economic impact of more than $100 billion for the third straight year. Additionally, tourism remains the state’s fourth largest employer, supporting more than 914,000 jobs annually.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which are visited by 69 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

DEC manages 4.6 million acres of public lands, including three million acres in the Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves, 52 campgrounds, seven day-use areas, more than 5,000 miles of formal trails, and hundreds of trailheads, boat launches, and fishing piers. Plan your next outdoor adventure at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

June 15th, 2017

Tivoli, N.Y.: Authenticity on the Hudson

Twelve years ago, when Lisa Schwarzbaum was buying a second home, she could have picked the antithesis of her Upper West Side apartment: a rural spread, miles away from the nearest brioche. Instead, she chose a house in the center of Tivoli, a village of 1,100 in northwest Dutchess County.

The 1860s two-bedroom house, for which she paid about $300,000, had a bright, tin-ceilinged kitchen, a front porch supported by Doric columns and a cheerful red front door.

“I didn’t want it to be ‘The Shining,’” she said.

Ms. Schwarzbaum, 64, is a former film critic for Entertainment Weekly magazine. She knew all the horror scenarios involving lonely houses, which is why she preferred to surround herself with neighbors like Emily Majer, a carpenter who specializes in preservation and is also Tivoli’s deputy mayor. When Ms. Schwarzbaum’s basement flooded — wet cellars are common afflictions in Tivoli, which sits on the eastern bank of the Hudson River — Ms. Majer summoned the fire department to pump it out.

Ms. Schwarzbaum was eager to dispel any misunderstandings about Tivoli. The village has a thriving arts community, as well as a bakery, a whiskey bar and students from nearby Bard College. But it is not Brooklyn on the Hudson, she said.

Nor does it resemble the Tivoli depicted in the sixth and last season of the HBO series “Girls.” In the final episode, Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah Horvath, moves with her newborn son to a college town of that name. To Ms. Schwarzbaum’s eye, the setting looked more like the manicured suburb in the opening scene of the horror film “Get Out,” from which a black character is abducted; the actual Tivoli has wood-trimmed Victorian houses and generous patches of undeveloped land.

Joel Griffith, Tivoli’s mayor since 2015, described the village as “unpretentious” and “authentic.” Having grown up there (his father was a philosophy professor at Bard) and having earned a master of fine arts degree from the college (he moonlights as a landscape painter), he is especially good at mediating town-gown relations. His administration increased penalties for noise violations and passed a nuisance gathering ordinance that makes it “difficult to have an ‘Animal House’ party,” he said.
“There are many, many boons to living three miles away from Bard,” said Mr. Griffith, singling out greater cultural and demographic diversity and a market for the businesses concentrated on Broadway, Tivoli’s main street. These include several restaurants, a community theater, and the art-filled Hotel Tivoli, owned by the painters Brice and Helen Marden.

But Bard is just a corner of his preoccupations. He is also working to develop the land along the Hudson where trains currently run. In 2010, the town bought three acres from CSX Transportation and has done preliminary designs for a riverfront park that would be reached by a pedestrian overpass above the tracks, offering a place to take in the dramatic Catskill Mountain views.

What You’ll Find
Part of the town of Red Hook, Tivoli is 27 miles north of Poughkeepsie and 16 miles south of Hudson off Route 9G. The location is something of a dead end, observed Adelia Geiger, a broker with Gary DiMauro Real Estate. “People don’t just drive up 9G, turn left, and go through Tivoli and out,” she said, explaining why she believes that Tivoli feels more like a working village than a tourist pit stop.

Second-home residents like Ms. Schwarzbaum, who spends half her time in the village, tend to put down deep roots and even become permanent fixtures.
Diverse architectural styles are found in and around Tivoli’s 1.8 square miles. Historic estates with river frontage and multiple outbuildings represent the grandest examples, even if they’re but leftover crumbs from the original properties held by prominent Hudson Valley landowners, like the Livingston family.

In these houses live Tivoli’s best-known part-time residents, including the Mardens, who own the 23-acre Rose Hill estate, built in 1843, and the publisher Jann Wenner; his is the 69-acre estate, called Teviot, built the same year. Such spreads rarely come on the market, Ms. Geiger said.

What You’ll Pay
Because of Tivoli’s high demand and small size (the 2010 census counted only 570 housing units), inventory is chronically tight. Five properties drawn from multiple listings were advertised for sale on Zillow’s website as of Monday. These included a six-bedroom house used as a rental property for students, at 101 Montgomery Street, listed at $245,000, and a three-bedroom Victorian at 18 Broadway, listed at $695,000.

The median sales price of Tivoli houses as of June 5, according to Ms. Geiger, was about $302,000, based on eight sales from multiple listings over the previous 12 months. The most expensive of those properties sold for $710,000.

Eight homes advertised for rent on Trulia as of Monday included a one-bedroom apartment in a condo at 9 Elizabeth Drive, listed at $895 per month, and a converted barn on an estate at 50 River Drive, listed at $3,600 per month.

The Vibe
Tivoli residents are informal, nature-loving people. On a recent Saturday, members of the Tivoli Progressive Garden Party, now in its fifth year, were weeding in preparation for their next meeting, at which they would tour one another’s gardens and down glasses of prosecco. At the 18th-century riverfront estate of Edwynn Houk, a photography galleryowner, and his wife, Nancy Wu Houk, an art conservator and beekeeper, alternating rows of fruit trees and lavender plants provided a buffet for Ms. Houk’s tough Russian honeybees. And just south of the village border, in the town of Red Hook, an honor guard of vivid purple salvia lined up in front of Ham House, an 1854 Italianate Revival residence once owned by Saul Bellow that overlooks the 1,500 protected acres of Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area.

The Schools
Tivoli children attend public school in the village of Red Hook, about seven miles southeast.

Mill Road Elementary School serves about 800 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. On 2016 state tests, 51 percent met standards in English, versus 39 percent statewide; 50 percent met standards in math, versus 43 percent statewide.

Linden Avenue Middle School serves 481 students in sixth through eighth grades. On 2016 state tests, 45 percent met standards in English, versus 37 percent statewide; 43 percent met standards in math, versus 34 percent statewide.

Red Hook Senior High School serves 677 students in ninth through 12th grades. On the 2016 SATs, the school’s average score in reading and writing was 540, compared with 483 statewide; the average in math was 544, compared with 501 statewide.

The Commute
The village is about 12 miles from the Rhinecliff-Kingston Amtrak train station in Rhinecliff, N.Y. The trip from Pennsylvania Station takes about one hour and 40 minutes and costs $29 to $69 one way.

Trains on Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson line stop in Poughkeepsie, a 45-minute drive south. The trip from Grand Central Terminal takes about two hours and costs $18.50 to $24.75 one way.

The History
In the 1790s, Peter Delabegarre (also known as Pierre de la Bigarre) acquired riverfront property next to Clermont, the estate of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, and planned a town he called Tivoli, after the summer residence of Roman emperors. The plan was never executed quite as he imagined it, and he eventually went bankrupt, but the name stuck. In 1872, Tivoli was incorporated with neighboring Madalin to create the village of that name today.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

June 6th, 2017

New York Moves Magazine: Ninth Annual Personal Chef Competition Awards Night, June 8th 2017

TEAM A: Alice Gainer (NBC) & Alfonso Sanna (Barilla Restaurants)
TEAM B: Anthony DiLorenzo (Pix11) & Silvia Baldini (Top Chef)
TEAM C: Baruch Shemtov (Fox 5) & Jeff McInnes (Top Chef)
TEAM D: Rob Petrone (Fios1news) & Jenna Cuccia (17 Summer)

JUDGES:
Terrance Brennan, The Artisanal Group
David Bruno, The Culinary Institute of America
Jessica Pimentel, “Orange Is The New Black”

WHAT: Presentation for the Moves’ 9TH Annual Personal Chef Competition. Four news
anchors paired with four chefs | 3 course meal | 30 minutes | voted on by 3 judges – Chefs
challenged with surprise ingredients selected by the anchors on the day. You’ve seen chef
competitions and watch in awe as these professional chefs whip up elaborate and complex meals in
just under one hour. But what if the competing chefs were not chefs at all, but rather local TV
newscasters? Disaster, right? Wrong! Introducing the Big 4, our ninth annual Personal Chef
Competition: 4 news anchors paired with 4 chefs to create a 3-course meal in 30 minutes and voted
on by 3 judges.

WHEN: Thursday, June 8th 2017

WHERE: Barilla Restaurants 108, W32nd St (6th / 7th Ave) Manhattan NYC

Confirm Credentials: New York Moves– press@newyorkmoves.com / 212.396.2394

Publisher: Moonah Ellison / 646.489.1633

New York Moves: “…lifestyle and fashion with attitude and poise for those working women with the
drive, the ambition and the disposable income to aspire to the better things in life…”
Barilla Restaurants: “…In a unique, fast casual environment, open every day, Barilla Restaurants' aim
is to proudly offer the cornerstones of Italian cuisine. From the heart of the Food Valley, pasta, pizza,
salads, sandwiches and soups, as well as Italian breakfasts, desserts and aperitifs, will be freshly
prepared directly in front of clients and promptly served…”

Supported by: Barilla Restaurants, Duchess County Tourism, Crown Maple, Associated Aircraft Group
The Culinary Institute of America, Colavita

Twitter: @NYMoves | Facebook: facebook.com/nymoves | Instagram: NYMovesMagazine
Wordpress: blog.newyorkmoves.com | YouTube: youtube.com/newyorkmovesmagazine

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

May 25th, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Written Media Protocol


Media Relations Protocol
All requests for public information, media interviews, and commercial photography should be directed to the Director of Communications at Dutchess Tourism, Inc. If breaking news were to occur, our Facebook page would be updated with the latest news and information as available. Request for filming projects go to the Vice-President, Melaine Rottkamp at MRottkamp@DutchessTourism.com

Contact Information
Contact the director at Nancy@DutchessTourism.com for all news items, as she is the primary contact person for inquiries and FAM tour requests. We make every effort to work within media deadlines. Some requests require detailed information and make take additional time to conduct the necessary research. Make sure to give us your complete contact information, including email address and the media outlet’s deadline information.

Interviews
The official spokesperson for Dutchess Tourism is the President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba. Interviews with her can be arranged through the Director of Communications in advance.

News Releases
News releases are issued several times a month regarding new staff, programs and tourism businesses. The releases are generally sent by email. A media list of local, regional and national newspaper, television and radio outlets used for distribution and are available on request. Please advise if you would like to be placed on the contact list, or if your contact information changes.

As you plan your visit to Dutchess County we can assist you with the following services:

  • arranging interviews with President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism
  • establishing media credentials;
  • planning and arranging itineraries;
  • providing introductions and coordinating arrangements with local attractions
  • assisting in story development and research
  • providing photography;
  • fact-checking pieces prior to publication or broadcast; and
  • providing assistance at sites for groups or individuals with special needs or circumstances.

The primary contact is Nancy Lutz, 845-463-5446. The Communications Specialist who assists her is Kacie Ging, at Kacie@DutchessOTurism.com and at 845-204-9514

If you are planning to visit on an independent press research trip, you should provide the following items:

information about yourself and the publication/broadcast outlet you represent to establish your credentials and help coordinate your needs with convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, hotels and restaurants;

  • at least three weeks between the time of inquiry and your planned arrival for a FAM tour or field research;
  • information about the purpose of your visit, your publication or broadcast outlet’s demographics, circulation/audience and tentative date of publication/broadcast;
  • a letter of assignment from your publication or broadcasting company (useful to make arrangements on your behalf with hotels, restaurants and attractions);
  • recent copies of published articles or tapes (required in the case of freelance work);
  • a copy of any articles or programs generated as a result of your visit hosted by Dutchess Tourism and its partners.

Credentials:  We will review all domestic and international media inquiries to establish credentials and determine credibility, potential publicity value and the appropriate course of action.

Letters of Introduction (upon request):  We can provide credentialed media with a formal letter of introduction when traveling within Dutchess County.

Air and Ground Transportation Assistance:  Dutchess Tourism does not cover plane tickets for individual journalists or outlets. It’s the responsibility of the individual/publication to make arrangements for transportation to and from the greater New York metro area. We do not provide rental cars for transportation.

Itinerary Preparation:  We are happy to draft and implement your itinerary. If you are traveling within multiple counties of the Hudson Valley or regions of New York sates, we can asssit with   a draft itinerary and connect you with our counterparts at the applicable DMOs and CVBs. Any changes to the initial draft itinerary are at the discretion of those counties.

Our itinerary services can include setting up assistance from overnight lodging, restaurants and attractions that are open to tourists.  Dutchess Tourism and its partners do not provide assistance for field research involving establishments that are not readily accessible to travelers.

Ground Assistance: It is at our discretion to provide any complimentary or discounted overnights, meals, rental vehicles, train or bus travel tickets, escorts and/or admission to attractions.

Field Escorts: It is at our discretion to provide this assistance.

Traveling Companions: It is customary that journalists and broadcast crews may assume any costs for parties who are traveling in a capacity not directly tied to a press research project.

 

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

May 9th, 2017

Winners Announced for Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction at National Travel Rally Day Celebration

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) celebrated National Travel Rally Day with the announcement of the winners of the 2017 Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction. Three finalists in each of seven categories were highlighted at a special breakfast on Tuesday, May 9th at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum.

Winners in each category are in bold:

  • Culinary Award of Distinction: Oliver Kita Fine Chocolates
    • Finalists were: Sprout Creek Farm and Taconic Distillery
  • Arts Award of Distinction: Dia: Beacon
    • Finalists were: County Players and Jazz in the Valley Festival
  • History Award of Distinction: Staatsburgh State Historic Site
    • Finalists were: Bannerman’s Castle and Historic Red Hook
  • Family Entertainment Award of Distinction: DC Sports      
    • Finalists were: Dutchess Stadium/Hudson Valley Renegades and Spins Bowl
  • Outdoors Award of Distinction: Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community
    • Finalists were: Ferncliff Forest and Interlake RV Park
  • Hospitality Award of Distinction: Doris Mack, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
    • Finalists were: Kisha Jones from the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel & Conference Center and Patty Polmateer from The Culinary Institute of America
  • The Dutchess County Executive’s Award for Overall Distinction: Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
    • Finalists were: Bardavon 1869 Opera House and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

National Travel Rally Day is a part of National Tourism week, which runs from May 7–13, 2017. The annual event, established by a congressional order in 1983, serves to champion the power of travel and the impactful contributions tourism makes to the US economy. Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for Dutchess County and has seen continuous growth since Dutchess Tourism began promoting the area in 1984. More than 4.5 million people visit Dutchess annually and in 2015, spent an average of $528 million on lodging, food, shopping, and area attractions. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs almost 10,000 people within Dutchess County.

According to Dutchess Tourism President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba, “The Awards of Distinction are a way for us to celebrate the excellent work our tourism partners are doing to create a Distinctly Dutchess experience for the millions of visitors that travel to the Hudson Valley every year.” She added, “They are the reason we have been recognized by National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, and The National Travel Association’s Courier Magazine as one of the top destinations in the world!”

The presentations took place in front of a sold-out crowd who enjoyed a locally sourced breakfast catered by Simply Gourmet that included premier local products from Crown Maple Estate, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, and Harney & Sons Fine Teas among other outstanding providers. Central Hudson was the event’s Platinum Sponsor.

Following the Awards Breakfast, there was a Brochure Exchange outside the FDR Library & Museum. Almost 100 local tourism representatives exchanged information about their sites in order to gain a greater awareness of all the various activities happening at destinations throughout the county in order to then share that information with tourists.

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Follow Dutchess Tourism on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

 

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

April 11th, 2017

Finalists Announced for Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) announced the finalists for the 2017 Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction. Award winners in seven categories will be announced at a special breakfast on Tuesday, May 9th at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum during DTI’s National Tourism Rally Day celebration.

These are the finalists in each category:

  • The Dutchess County Executive’s Award for Overall Distinction: Bardavon 1869 Opera House; Millbrook Vineyards & Winery; Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.
  • Arts Award of Distinction: County Players; Dia: Beacon; Jazz in the Valley Festival.
  • Culinary Award of Distinction: Oliver Kita Fine Chocolates; Sprout Creek Farm; Taconic Distillery.
  • Family Entertainment Award of Distinction: DC Sports; Dutchess Stadium/Hudson Valley Renegades; Spins Bowl.
  • History Award of Distinction: Bannerman Castle; Historic Red Hook; Staatsburgh State Historic Site.
  • Outdoors Award of Distinction: Ferncliff Forest; Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community; Interlake RV Park.
  • Hospitality Award of Distinction: Kisha Jones, Poughkeepsie Grand; Doris Mack, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site; Patty Polmateer, The Culinary Institute of America.

Tickets for the awards breakfast, catered by Simply Gourmet, are available by calling (845) 463-5432 or at www.DutchessTourism.com/awards. The breakfast will include premier local products from Crown Maple Estate, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, and Harney & Sons Fine Teas among other outstanding providers. Reservations are required by May 1. Central Hudson is the event’s Platinum Sponsor.

Following the Awards Breakfast, there will be a Brochure Exchange outside the FDR Library & Museum, where tourism-related businesses are invited to participate for free, from 10 a.m.-12 noon. This is an opportunity for tourism business to network with other attractions, accommodations, organizations, event promoters and transportation firms. It’s a great way to start the busy tourism season.

National Tourism week, which runs from May 7–13 this year, was established by a congressional order in 1983. The rally serves to champion the power of travel and the impactful contributions tourism makes to the US economy. Tourism supports almost 10,000 jobs in Dutchess and in 2015, tourists spent more than half a billion dollars in the county. 

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

April 11th, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Marks National Travel & Tourism Week with Annual Awards of Distinction & Brochure Exchange

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) will celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week by hosting a number of activities on National Travel Rally Day, May 9. The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a special breakfast where the annual Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction will be presented in seven categories. The breakfast will be followed by the Brochure Exchange at 10:00 a.m. where tourism related businesses located in Dutchess County are invited to bring at least 250 of their brochures to share in order to cross-promote to visitors. All events will take place at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum next to the Henry A. Wallace Visitors Center in Hyde Park.

Tourism continues to be a major economic driver for the county and has seen continuous growth since the agency began promoting the area in 1984. More than 4.5 million people visit annually and in 2015, spent an average of $528 million on lodging, food, shopping, and area attractions. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry and employs almost 10,000 people within Dutchess County.

According to Dutchess Tourism President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba, “The Awards of Distinction are a way for us to celebrate the excellent work our tourism partners are doing to create a Distinctly Dutchess experience for the millions of visitors that travel to the Hudson Valley every year.” She added, “They are the reason we have been recognized by National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, and The National Travel Association’s Courier Magazine as one of the top destinations in the world!” Dutchess Tourism’s Awards of Distinction will be given to destinations for excellence in Arts & Culture, Culinary, Family Fun, History, Outdoors, Hospitality and the County Executive’s Award for Overall Excellence.

“The Brochure Exchange is an important networking event for tourism business getting ready to kick-off the busy travel season,” said Dutchess Tourism vice president Melaine Rottkamp. “The more we all know about each other, the more we can recommend each other and form relationships we can build on to help us all grow and thrive. When visitors are excited about the many and varied things there are to do in Dutchess, they are more likely to stay longer or plan a return trip, which means they’ll spend more and that’s good for business!”

The locally sourced buffet breakfast will be catered by Simply Gourmet and include Crown Maple Syrup, Irving Farm Coffee and Harney & Sons Fine Teas among other products. Central Hudson is the event’s Platinum Sponsor. Advance reservations are required for the breakfast and tickets can be purchased at www.DutchessTourism.com/awards by May 1. Attendance at the Brochure Exchange is free but reservations are requested. Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsorships for the events are also available. For more information, email info@dutchesstourism.com or call (845) 463-5432.

National Travel & Tourism Week was established by a congressional resolution in 1983 to champion the power of the industry and the impactful contributions tourism makes to the US economy. This year’s theme shines a spotlight on the power of travel by recognizing the millions of people who keep this industry strong: the Faces of Travel

ABOUT DUTCHESS TOURISM, INC.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

March 24th, 2017

Roosevelt-Vanderbilt-Van Buren National Historic Sites Attracted More Than 663,000 Visits in 2016

HYDE PARK, NEW YORK – The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and Martin Van Buren National Historic Site recorded more than 663,000 visitors in 2016, which coincided with the National Park Service’s Centennial year celebration.

The numbers reflect a 7% increase in visitation at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and an 18.4% increase at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, surpassing 2015 visitation figures.  

“Remarkable” stated Superintendent Larry Turk.  “It was just a few years ago when we saw a major increase in visitation as a result of the Ken Burns documentary, The Roosevelts. We figured it would be hard to top that. It’s great to see the strong increases in visitation to the two Presidential Homes. Due in large part to our centennial campaign, Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque, and our park partners, we were able to reach new audiences and highlight more of our community involvement.”

Students attending park programs and tours in 2016 at The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Site, and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site increased 21% over 2015 figures. The Every Kid in Park  program also encouraged visitation by offering every fourth grader in America a free one-year National Parks Pass for the student and his or her family.

In 2016, over 300 park volunteers donated over 13,000 hours of service. These volunteers provided much needed help across the park including visitor services, interpretation, garden volunteers, train volunteers and trail maintenance.

For more information about visitation, please go to the National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics web page at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

February 22nd, 2017

Molinaro Presents 2017 State of the County: The Dutchess County family stronger, healthier, safer

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro presented his 2017 State of the County Address this evening at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park to a packed auditorium of residents, business and not-for-profit leaders, as well as local and state officials. With the County’s fiscal condition secure, including three consecutive years of property tax levy reductions and a commitment to continued property tax relief, the County Executive’s annual message focused on the County’s efforts to provide opportunities for the Dutchess County family to be healthier, safer and stronger.

“The state of Dutchess County is strong,” County Executive Molinaro told the nearly 600 people in attendance. “As we have successfully worked to improve our overall quality of life and boldly challenge ourselves to build a community that is stronger, healthier, safer and kinder – we know that there is more to be done.”

Among the initiatives highlighted in County Executive Molinaro’s State of the County Address:

A “Universally Accessible” county park that provides full access and enjoyment to individuals of all abilities. Property in the Town of East Fishkill, adjacent to the Dutchess Rail Trail, is being evaluated and there is the potential for private housing development for accessible housing, enabling those with special needs to live independently.

  • Modern facilities to meet the needs of Dutchess County seniors, including the development of a Senior Services Center – a regional innovation center to be created with funding support secured by New York State Senator Sue Serino. Additionally, the County Executive announced plans to relocate the Office for the Aging offices to a more accessible location, making it easier for seniors to take advantage of services and programming.
     
  • The “Path to Promise” Action Plan that includes the $500,000 funding commitment for the comprehensive review of youth services and an additional $1.5 million for the development of a youth services center
     
  • Addressing behavioral health needs, including the opening of the County’s new Stabilization Center, a 24/7 facility that is unique in New York State, serving as an alternative to emergency rooms or perhaps jail for those experiencing crisis relating to substance abuse and other mental health issues. Other initiatives include confronting the opioid and heroin epidemic with expanded medication drop off points and calling on pharmacies to accept unused medication, as well as working with physicians on Acute Pain Management to better address pain and avoid over prescribing.

The County Executive highlighted the work of the Th!nk Dutchess Alliance for Business, supporting more than $3.2 billion in major investments for projects under construction or planning stages throughout Dutchess County, in every sector from data to healthcare, tourism to agriculture. Among the economic development highlights is the resurgence of the county airport with its new name Hudson Valley Regional Airport where the new Dutchess Community College Aviation Maintenance and Education Center will be built, a partnership with the County that will expand DCC’s aviation curriculum by providing new skills and job opportunities for local residents.

County Executive Molinaro also focused on expanded services for veterans, the work of the newly re-established Human Rights Commission and the multitude of organizations and communities who have joined with Dutchess County Government to lead the statewide movement to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” and be more welcoming and accommodating to individuals of all abilities.

“Think Dutchess. We don’t just call this place home; we work together to make it stronger. We celebrate our differences, welcome varied points of view, embrace new ideas and seek common ground. Here we seek to learn from one another, respect one another – and with kindness and generosity make the Dutchess County family healthier, safer, and stronger,” concluded County Executive Molinaro.

County Executive Molinaro’s full 2017 State of the County Address is available to read here.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

February 21st, 2017

BBG&G Advertising Wins Four Service Industry Advertising Awards

BBG&G Advertising of Campbell Hall, NY, has been recognized with four medals from the 14th Annual Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards for their work in the Tourism and Service industries.

Since 2003, the SIA Awards have recognized advertising excellence, specifically from service industry providers. The winners for 2016 were chosen from a pool of more than 1,900 entries, 600 advertising agencies and 800 institutions. Each was evaluated and selected by a national panel of judges based on execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough advertising content.

"Winning this year's SIA Awards is a significant accomplishment and one that I am very proud of,” says Deborah Garry, President & CEO of BBG&G Advertising. “I believe these awards are a testament to our outstanding creative work and strategic innovation that we consistently provide to all of our clients."  

BBG&G Advertising won two Gold Awards, one Silver Award and one Bronze Award. One of the Gold Medals was awarded for Dutchess Tourism’s Craft Beverage video, shot from the perspective of a visitor that Millennial and traditional audiences could identify with, and edited to be fast paced, visually alluring, and upbeat. The video

highlights the great wineries, breweries, and distilleries that Dutchess County has to offer, as well as provides an inside look as to how these craft beverages are made.

“Since before the Vassar Brothers established their brewery in 1801 and the illicit moonshine making operation of gangster Dutch Schultz in the early 20th century, Dutchess County has been a place where the craft beverage makers have thrived, because of the richness of the land,” said Dutchess Tourism President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba. “With our new Distinctly Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail, we have worked with BBG&G Advertising to leverage our history and expand the popularity of wine trails and unique offerings of new craft breweries, distilleries and our first cidery.” 

Formed in 1997, BBG&G Advertising is a full-service marketing and public relations firm serving a broad range of industries, including tourism, healthcare and banking, in the greater Hudson Valley area. BBG&G is a Certified NY State WBE (women-owned business entity). For more information, call (845) 615-9084 or visit www.bbggadv.com.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

February 14th, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Hosts Free Lunch & Learn Seminars

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) will host a series of five Lunch & Learn Seminars on Wednesdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. beginning March 15th and running through April 12th, 2017. These free seminars are geared toward tourism-related businesses and participants are encouraged to bring their lunches to eat while they listen to the presentation. There will also be time for networking with other participants and the speakers.

“This is the fourth year we’ve run this very popular series and we’re excited to add new topics that haven’t been covered before,” said Dutchess Tourism Vice President Melaine Rottkamp. “Our goal is to continue to provide Dutchess County’s tourism businesses with the support they need to be successful and these seminars are just one of the many ways we do that.”

On March 15, Chuck Heinz from Minuteman Press will speak on advertising, marketing and PR at the Spring Hill Suites Residence Inn in Fishkill. Heinz has over 24 years of corporate marketing experience with Fortune 100 companies and will teach attendees how to leverage those components for maximum business success.

Professional photographer Mary Ann Glass from RiverWinds Gallery will teach basic photographic principles and how to get great pictures for promotion with just a cell phone. This March 22 seminar will take place at the Boardman Road Branch of the Poughkeepsie Library District.

Participants will be encouraged to Think DIFFERENTLY on March 29 when Jeanine Byrnes and Patrick Muller from Taconic Resources for Independence teach disability etiquette at the Wallace Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park.

Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook will host Dutchess Tourism staff members Melaine Rottkamp and Dawn Hopper on April 5. Rottkamp will help participants learn how to tell their story and differentiate their businesses and Hopper will offer instruction on ways to maximize their impact at trade shows and events.

Andrea Rhodes from Gig Marketing will conduct a very interactive presentation and give participants advice on how to perfect their branding and messaging at The Rhinecliff on April 12.

To learn more about DTI’s Lunch & Learn series, visit www.dutchesstourism.com. To RSVP, please email mrottkamp@dutchesstourism.com or call (845)463-5432. Those interested do not have to attend all five presentations in order to participate.

Tourism has a significant economic impact in Dutchess County, where more than 4.5 million people visit annually and spend an average of $528 million on lodging, food, shopping, and area attractions. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

February 8th, 2017

Dutchess Tourism Announces Board Members

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY– Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) announces its slate of new board members who were elected at its Annual Meeting on January 19th. The following people were elected to three year terms: J’aime Bonura – Bonura Hospitality; Mike Cobb – Crown Maple at Madava Farms; Colleen Cruikshank – Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation; Elaine Hayes – Mount Gulian Historic Site; Barbara Malley; Debra Pemstein - Bard College; and Andrea Reynolds – Dyson Foundation.

The board also elected officers at the meeting.  Denise Doring VanBuren from Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. will

serve as board chair while Judy D’Alessandro from the HYATT house in Fishkill will be vice chair. Additionally, Colleen Cruikshank from Northern Dutchess Hospital will serve as secretary and Angela LoBianco-Barone from the Hyde Park Brewing Company will serve as treasurer.

“It is an amazing time in our county’s evolution, as we welcome record numbers of new visitors to our beautiful and historic part of the country,” said VanBuren. “Our new executive officers, board of directors and professional staff are excited to channel the burgeoning interest in Dutchess County’s tourism assets to provide maximum economic benefit to our community. We welcome the support, input and enthusiasm of our many partners as we reach new heights of accomplishment.”

President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba thanked Andrea Reynolds for her service as the first board chair of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. and for her leadership as she helped guide the organization through its transition from being a part of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corp. to its own separate non-profit entity. “Andrea really helped us establish a solid footing on which to build and to make sure, as an organization, we had everything we needed in place to be successful,” said Vrba. “We are excited about the future and also appreciate the support we receive from County Executive Marcus Molinaro, the Dutchess County Legislature and the Dutchess County IDA. Combined with our dedicated professional staff, we have a powerful and effective coalition committed to welcoming new and returning visitors to the rich experience of visiting our community and its wealth of amenities,” she added.

Tourism has a significant economic impact in Dutchess County, where more than 4.5 million people visit annually and spend an average of $528 million on lodging, food, shopping, and area attractions. Tourism is New York’s fourth largest industry.

The DTI office is located at 3 Neptune Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie with 18 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000. Dutchess County Tourism was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, became incorporated as Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in 2014 and is partially funded by monies received from the County of Dutchess.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

January 31st, 2017

Dutchess Tourism welcomes new employee to its team, Colleen Dorney

Dutchess Tourism welcomes a new employee to its team, Colleen Dorney, who recently joined as their new office administrator, reporting to the agency’s President & CEO, Mary Kay Vrba. Say hello and welcome her when you call or stop by the office!

Most recently, Colleen was an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for the Corporation for National and Community Service in Connecticut. Previously, she worked for that nonprofit organization as a Community Outreach Coordinator in Buffalo.

Colleen earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 2014 at Loyola University in Maryland. Following her graduation, she worked in the Loyola Notre Dame Library as an Archives Assistant. She expects to earn her Master of Public Administration from Marist College in 2018

A Staatsburgh native, she once again resides in that town.

 

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

January 31st, 2017

Special Olympics New York: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Hudson Valley • Winter State Games • February 17-18 • SpecialOlympicsNY.org
 

Dear friends,

For the second straight year, Dutchess County is honored to host the Special Olympics New York State Winter Games on Feb. 17-18th. The 2016 Winter Games were a rousing success, and much of the credit goes to the 1,500-plus local volunteers – men and women who selflessly chose to #ThinkDIFFERENTLY, giving their time to set up competition venues, keep score, escort athletes or cheer them on from the stands, displaying what makes us distinctly Dutchess.

This year, with your help, the Winter Games will be even more rewarding for all involved – athletes, coaches, their families and volunteers. There are still plenty of opportunities to share your time and talents with these inspirational competitors from all across our state. I encourage you to click here and look at the various ways you can volunteer and make this event one we’ll long remember.

Last year we set the bar high, setting Special Olympics New York records for the number of volunteers and the time in which we reached our volunteer goal. This February, I know we can do even better; and I thank you in advance for your support.

Gratefully yours,

     

 

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

January 26th, 2017

Fare Box System Among New Public Transit Services Rolling Out

Poughkeepsie, NY…Dutchess County Public Transit users can take advantage of several new service enhancements to the countywide bus system beginning this month. Starting this week, public transit users can utilize new features to the existing fare box system on County buses that make purchasing bus tickets easier and more efficient. Additionally, Dutchess County Public Transit will expand service options for riders early next month with the addition of highly requested Sunday bus service and a new route in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

“We are excited to offer a variety of new service options for utilizers of the County’s public transit system. Now, more than ever, residents and visitors to Dutchess County will have improved and expanded options for traveling throughout our community,” said Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro.

As part of the new fare box system, riders will no longer need exact change. The fare box will now issue a change card to be used towards future rides. Additionally, riders will have the option to insert and swipe their bus tickets into the fare box, providing for ease of use and improved tracking for future trips.

New features include:

  • No need for exact change. The fare box will automatically issue a change card to be used towards future trips;
  • New card slot feature for Single and Multi-Ride tickets making payment easier and improves tracking for card balances; and
  • New swipe reader for Anytime tickets.

Ticket options have been improved, making it easier and more flexible for residents and visitors to use. Multi-Ride ticket options offer commuters greater flexibility as they can be utilized any day, with no expiration. Previously, commuter tickers were valid only during the purchase month and for designated time periods on weekdays only. New Anytime ride tickets offer convenient options for visitors, providing for unlimited rides for multi-day blocks. Bus tickets can be purchased directly on the bus, in person at the Dutchess County Public Transit bus facility or via U.S. mail using cash, check or money order.

Bus ticket options include:

Fare Category

Fare

Single Ride Good for one, one-way trip

 

Single Ride Full Fare

$1.75

Single Ride Reduced Fare

$0.75*

Multi-Ride Tickets Good for indicated number of one-way trips. Use anytime, any day, with no expiration.

 

20-Ride Reduced Fare Ticket

$15.00*

44-Ride Commuter Ticket

$45.00

Anytime Tickets Good for unlimited rides during the indicated number of days from the activation date (first use).

 

31-Day Anytime Ticket

$62.00

7-Day Anytime Ticket

$21.00

5-Day Anytime Ticket

$15.00

3-Day Anytime Ticket

$10.00


*Reduced fares are available to seniors (age 60+), veterans, children (age 5-12), students, or ADA passengers with proper identification including Dutchess County Senior ID card, current military ID, Dutchess County FAVOR card, valid student ID and ADA Identification Card.

Beginning Sunday, February 5, bus service will expand from six days a week to seven on the most popular routes. Routes A, B, F and H will offer service seven days a week, meeting a highly requested service for public transit users. Sunday bus service will be available as a pilot program and will meet a growing need for passengers who frequent the County’s public transit system.

A new fixed-route bus service, Route I, will launch as a pilot program on Saturday, February 4, providing a link to and from the Main & Market Street bus stop in the City of Poughkeepsie to the Metro-North Poughkeepsie Train Station, Boardman Road, the Dutchess County Airport, the Poughkeepsie Galleria and the Shoppes at South Hills via Hooker Avenue and Vassar Road. Route I, an approximate one-hour, one-way trip route, will run Monday through Saturday from 6:25 a.m. to 11:36 p.m. To view the Route I schedule, click here.

“I am excited for Dutchess County Public Transit’s new and expanded bus service options, which I supported in the 2017 County Budget. The new Sunday Service and Route I will serve a growing need for users of our public transit system. These expanded service options will allow for greater accessibility for students, seniors and veterans to enjoy all Dutchess County has to offer,” said Dutchess County Legislator Angela Flesland.

Also planned for this year, Public Transit will install new and improved bus signage and launch a mobile app to make navigating the public transit system easier and more accessible. The new mobile app, which will be available for both Android and iPhone users, will enable riders to get arrival prediction information in real-time on all routes. Public transit riders can plan their routes in advance, view bus schedules, and track the location of buses in real time, adding efficiency and making Dutchess County Public Transit more user-friendly than ever before.

For more information regarding the fare box system, ticket options and to view current Public Transit schedules, click here.

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3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

January 26th, 2017

Anticipation Mounts for Special Olympics New York State Winter Games 2017

Officials look to surpass record-breakingvolunteer effort for Feb. 17-18 event

Poughkeepsie… With just one month to go before the Opening Ceremonies for the 2017 Winter Games, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today welcomed Special Olympics New York President and CEO Neal J. Johnson and local athletes today to the Hudson Valley, which will host the Winter Games on Feb. 17th-18th, as part of a final push for volunteers.

For the second straight year, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties will host the annual event, which will bring nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches from around the state to the Hudson Valley.

“This year’s Winter Games will look to replicate the record-breaking event we enjoyed last year in the Hudson Valley,” Mr. Johnson said. “From the outpouring of encouragement our athletes received during the opening ceremony and competition in 2016, to the number of volunteers and support from local sponsors who made the Winter Games possible, we couldn’t be happier to return to the region. I know the Hudson Valley will again make this weekend memorable for all involved, again setting an example for future Winter Games throughout the state.”

The Hudson Valley set records in 2016 for both the number of volunteers and time period in which they signed up. Building on that historic volunteer turnout, organizers again encouraged local residents to volunteer to make the Winter Games as successful as possible.

County Executive Molinaro, who again serves as the Honorary Chair for the 2017 Winter Games, said, “We in Dutchess County have asked our residents to THINK DIFFERENTLY about our neighbors with special needs, and the Special Olympics are a great example of how that initiative has been embraced in our community. Wherever local volunteers have been needed – setting up competition venues, keeping score, rooting for these exceptional athletes from the stands – our residents have stepped up and answered the call to THINK DIFFERENTLY. I’m confident we’ll see a final surge in volunteers to help us surpass the historic levels we set in 2016. This inspirational weekend of competition and friendship will be one in which everyone involved will take pride, and Dutchess County is honored to be the center of activity for the 2017 Winter Games.”

In addition to service volunteers, Special Olympics New York seeks volunteers to be Fans in the Stands for the weekend.  Athletes will arrive at the State Winter Games from all over New York, and many families cannot make the trip.  Volunteers from the community are needed to attend the competitions, watch and cheer for these champions.  For more information on all volunteer opportunities, including those to cheer for the athletes during competition, visit www.SpecialOlympicsNY.org.

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) has organized the various aspects of the event, securing local community support and sponsorship, and working to provide a unique Hudson Valley feel to the Games.  The Co-Chairs of the 2017 State Winter Games GOC are Mary Kay Vrba, president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism Inc., and Frank M. Castella Jr., president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The 2017 State Winter Games will commence on February 17th with Opening Ceremonies, including a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center will also host Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on February 18th.

Event venues include:

  • Alpine Skiing – Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Road in Monticello
  • Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing – Bowdoin Park,  85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie
  • Figure Skating – McCann Ice Arena, 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie
  • Floor Hockey – Stewart Air National Guard Base, 1 Maguire Way in Newburgh

“The generosity of our local hotels, competition venues and various partners in the Hudson Valley is unparalleled anywhere in New York State,” Mr. Castella said. “Their support will again ensure athletes and their families will not incur any cost to take part in this terrific event. We thank all who have pledged their support, and we look forward to adding even more volunteers to our growing list, all of whom will selflessly give their time to benefit this worthy cause.”

The Platinum Sponsor for the State Winter Games is Westchester Medical Center Health Network. At the Gold sponsorship level, The Arc of Dutchess, Arnoff Moving & Storage, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric. At the Silver level, Access: Support for Living, Chobani, Greystone Programs, and Turk Hospitality Group are sponsors. At the Bronze level, Abilities First, Adams Fairacre Farms, Anderson Center for Autism, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, M&T Bank, and New Horizons Resources are sponsors. Media sponsors include the Poughkeepsie Journal, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media, Pamal Broadcasting, Highway Displays, and J6 MediaWorks.

“Our residents’ giving nature makes us distinctly Dutchess, and it’s one of the reasons visitors from across the world travel to our county each year. It’s also what makes hosting these Winter Games so inspiring – seeing our community answer our call and come out in force to support these athletes in whatever way they can,” Ms. Vrba said. “There’s still time for local residents to sign up to volunteer, giving of themselves while ensuring their neighbors from across the state enjoy a weekend of fun and camaraderie they’ll never forget.”

Special Olympics New York will host the Fishkill Polar Plunge at Sharpe Reservation on Saturday, Feb. 25th. Participants can support the athletes of Special Olympics New York by taking a dip in the chilly waters. Registration is open at www.PolarplungeNY.org. Donors are asked to raise $100 to receive an official Polar Plunge sweatshirt. 

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Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

January 26th, 2017

Molinaro Appoints Bettina "Gold" Wilkerson as 2017 Dutchess County Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate to present poem at State of the County Address

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has appointed Poughkeepsie resident Bettina “Gold” Wilkerson as the County’s 2017 Poet Laureate. Ms. Wilkerson will read her poetry at the 2017 State of the County Address.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County’s vigorous arts community enhances our lives in so many ways – from contributing to our tourism industry to improving our quality of life – and this appointment continues this county’s commitment to the arts. I know Poet Gold will bring thought-provoking pieces to life as our new Poet Laureate, works that will inspire Dutchess County. Our arts scene makes us distinctly Dutchess, and I urge all residents to enjoy the arts wherever they find them.”

In her unpaid role as Dutchess County’s Poet Laureate, Ms. Wilkerson will serve for a one-year term and bring poetry to the community through a series of readings and events.

Ms. Wilkerson said, “As Poet Laureate, through a series of poetry workshops and performances, I hope to empower communities to find their voice for their dreams, goals, and aspirations.”

Ms. Wilkerson was the recipient of the 2016 Dutchess County Executive’s “Artivist” Award; a 2016 Dutchess County Athena Award Honoree by The Chamber Foundation, Inc.; the 2016 recipient of the Exempt Firemen’s Association Black Heritage Committee’s “Outstanding Community Service Award” for Extraordinary Contribution and Dedication; and the 2014 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Individual Artist Tier Grant Awardee for Dutchess County, among others honors. Further information about Ms. Wilkerson is available here.

Ms. Wilkerson was the Artist-in-Residence for the “Leadership Overnight Camp,” hosted by Rural Migrant Ministry; served as host for the 2016 RMM Rural Women’s Assembly, hosted the 2015 NYS Women’s Rural Conference; spoke before renowned organizations, such as Omega Institute’s 2014 “Women Serving Women Summit;” and has inspired women with her words for the Women’s Leadership Alliance International Women’s Day.

Arts Mid-Hudson managed the process of the public call for nominations, inviting a panel of literary professionals and community members to make a selection from 65 nominations. Public nominations for the 2018 Dutchess County Poet Laureate will be accepted this summer.

“We appreciate County Executive Molinaro’s dedication to Dutchess County’s arts community, and his selection of Poet Gold as our 2017 Poet Laureate is one we can all celebrate,” said Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director for Arts Mid-Hudson. “The promotion of poetry throughout Dutchess County benefits residents of all ages and backgrounds, and we applaud County Executive Molinaro for his continued appreciation of the arts.”

County Executive Molinaro will hold his annual State of the County Address at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on Thursday, February 16th at 5 p.m. The State of the County Address event is open to the public; seating is limited, and registration

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Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

December 8th, 2016

3rd Annual Walkway Marathon Registration Opens Tuesday, December 6, 2016

For Immediate Release, December 2, 2016
Contact:
Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart, Executive Director, Walkway Over the Hudson 845-454-9649
Steve Densmore, Media Relations, Walkway Over the Hudson, 845-234-8713

POUGHKEEPSIE—Athletes nationwide and from around the globe are expected to converge once again on Dutchess County June 10-11, 2017, for the third annual Walkway Marathon race series. The series is presented by the Walkway Over the Hudson nonprofit organization in partnership with Dutchess County Government, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and Marist College. The race series features a Marathon, Half-Marathon, 5K, and the second annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Dash, a one-mile run/walk for people of all abilities.

Athletes registering for any of the Walkway Marathon races can do so starting Tuesday, December 6, at WalkwayMarathon.org. Held in June, the Walkway Marathon race series has established itself as a premier Hudson Valley running event. Competitive and fun for registrants and spectators alike, the series has attracted athletes from 35 states and six countries, many of whom qualified for the Boston Marathon.

 “We look forward to building upon the tremendous success of the Walkway Marathon race series which has drawn more than 2,500 athletes annually from across the nation and internationally, allowing thousands to enjoy the beautiful Hudson River Valley,” said Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart. “The third annual Walkway Marathon race series will provide a world-class running experience for everyone, as well as a festive atmosphere for spectators, families, and volunteers.”

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, "Dutchess County is again proud to host the Walkway Marathon, utilizing our award-winning Dutchess Rail Trail for the majority of the course. Thousands of runners from around the globe have taken part in this world-class race series since its inception, and they've marveled at all Dutchess County has to offer - from the one-of-a-kind vistas they'll enjoy while running, to the lure of our exceptional dining and tourist attractions, to the undeniable charm of our residents. The second annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Dash will again display Dutchess County's inclusive environment for participants of all ages and abilities. We look forward to another successful Walkway Marathon weekend, one that will make lifelong memories for all involved."

Certified as the first “green” race in New York State by Athletes for a Fit Planet, the event will use 18 eco-friendly practices that align with county Solid Waste Management initiatives to Reduce Waste, Increase Recycling, and Convert Waste to Energy, such as using compostable paper cups and working with Metro Pool and NY511Rideshare to decrease fuel emissions.  Organizers are committed to offering participants a race that is fun, unique, and eco-friendly.

Sponsors and partners to date include Royal Carting Service Company, Arnoff Moving and Storage, Arc of Dutchess, iHeartMedia, and Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club. Additional sponsors are welcome. If interested, contact Walkway Over the Hudson Director of Development, Evelyn Friedman, at (845) 454-9649, ext. 104.

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October 18th, 2016

Special Olympics New York Winter Games Returns to Hudson Valley In 2017

Poughkeepsie... The Special Olympics New York Winter Games return to the Hudson Valley region in February 2017, following the recording breaking success of last year Games. Once again, 1,000 athletes and coaches will travel from around New York State to compete in a variety of winter sports at venues in Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties. Honorary Chairman Marcus Molinaro was joined today at Bowdoin Park by Special Olympics New York officials, Special Olympics athletes, members of the local Games Organizing Committee and local sponsors to announce the return of the Games.

The Hudson Valley Region hosted the Special Olympics New York Winter Games for the first time in 2016 and broke records for volunteer recruitment, fan attendance and sponsorship support. More in-kind support was secured for the 2016 Winter Games than any other in the history of the event and it was first time ever that all event venues were made available at no cost.

“The Hudson Valley welcomed the Special Olympics with open arms and we are thrilled to bring the Winter Games back to the region in 2017,” said Neal Johnson, president and CEO of Special Olympics New York.

“Last year was a truly special moment for our community, coming together to be celebrate, cheer and be inspired by the athletes of the Special Olympics New York Winter Games. The Special Olympics athletes remind each of us that challenges and obstacles can be overcome when we choose to ThinkDIFFERENTLY,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. “We are excited to break the records we set last year with even more volunteers, fans and sponsorship support!”

The 2017 Winter Games will commence on February 17, 2017 with Opening Ceremonies, including a ceremonial parade of athletes, local entertainment and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie, which will also host an Olympic Village throughout the weekend. The Mid-Hudson Civic Center will also host Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on February 18, 2017.

Event venues include:

  • Alpine Skiing – Holiday Mountain Ski Area, 99 Holiday Mountain Rd in Monticello
  • Figure and Speed Skating – McCann Ice Arena, 14 Civic Center Plaza in the City of Poughkeepsie
  • Floor Hockey – Stewart Air National Guard
  • Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing – Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie

County Executive Molinaro will again serve as the Honorary Chair of the event. Mary Kay Vrba, president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism Inc., and Frank M. Castella Jr., president and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce return as Co-Chairs for the Games Organizing Committee (GOC), who organize the various aspects of the games, secure local community support and sponsorship and provide a unique Hudson Valley feel to the Games.

“Our local community truly stepped up last year to welcome the Special Olympics New York Winter Games, embracing the Special Olympics’ mission of providing athletes with positive, life-affirming experiences at no cost to them or their families.  We look forward to that continued support in 2017,” Mr. Castella said.

“It was an honor to the Special Olympics Winter Games last year and we can’t wait to do it again! We put on quite a show last year, creating a memorable experience for all involved, and look forward to making even better in 2017,” Ms. Vrba said.

The 2017 Special Olympic Winter Games will again require extensive local support to be as successful as possible.  Local volunteers – individuals or groups – are needed for various jobs throughout the weekend.

For information and to register online, visit www.specialolympicsny.org/winter or email volunteer@nyso.org. Local businesses and organizations can also provide support through a range of sponsorship opportunities.

For information about sponsorships, contact Renee Snyder, Vice President of Development & Public Awareness, 518-203-8348 or rsnyder@nyso.org; or Sponsorship Chairman Nevill Smythe at nevillsmythe@gmail.com .

Special Olympics is the largest amateur sports organization in the world. With 67,162 athletes, Special Olympics New York is the largest chapter in North America and the sixth-largest chapter in the world. These Winter Games are one of three annual state games and one of more than 5,000 total competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. Special Olympics New York athletes train and compete year-round in 22 sports, the Young Athletes Program and the Motor Activities Training Program – at no cost to the athletes, their families or their caregivers.  

 “So mark your calendars for Feb. 17 and 18th, 2017 to volunteer and come out and cheer!  Let’s again show New York State how we in Dutchess County ‘#ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ about those with special needs,” concluded County Executive Molinaro.

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Dutchess Tourism, Inc.,
3 Neptune Rd., Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845/463-5446
nancy@dutchesstourism.com

October 3rd, 2016

You're Invited to Celebrate the Dutchess Rail Trail's Induction to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame

Join us as we commemorate the Hudson Valley Trail Network's selection as the the newest inductee into Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Rail-Trail Hall of Fame! A celebration ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4th at the Walkway Over the Hudson Center Overlook.

The trail network — comprised of the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, Walkway Over the Hudson and Hudson Valley Rail Trail — was selected as RTC’s 30th inductee via a nationwide public vote held in honor of RTC’s 30th anniversary, with the Hudson Valley Trail Network receiving almost 54 percent of the 19,885 total votes placed.

If you would like to attend the ceremony, please arrive at either the Walkway State Park’s East or West Approach at 9:45 a.m. and you will be escorted to the Center Overlook following a procession led by a Color Guard representing the Poughkeepsie and Highland Boy Scout Troops. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held under the pavilion at the West Approach.

To learn more about the Dutchess Rail Trail's selection to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame, click here.

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