Press Room

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

March 24th, 2017

New Press Release

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/.

See the full PDF

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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 2nd, 2017

New Press Release

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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 1st, 2017

New Press Release

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

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

September 30th, 2016

County Collaborates with Dutchess Land Conservancy: New York State to Preserve Milan Farm

Great Song Farm one of six to be protected through County’s Partnership for Manageable Growth this year

Poughkeepsie, NY...Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro has announced the completion of a conservation easement to protect an 87.5-acre farm in Milan owned by Larry and Betti Steel, in partnership with the Dutchess Land Conservancy and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The County contributed $115,750 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 a recommendation from the Dutchess County Planning Board. Funds for the balance of the purchase price and project costs were provided by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and The Dutchess Land Conservancy. The Dutchess Land Conservancy worked closely with the Steels on the planning, implementation and the ultimate protection of the farm.

The Steel property hosts Great Song Farm, a 110-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) fruit and vegetable operation, a 30 beehive apiary and pasture for free range laying hens and cattle. A farm store provides items from other area farms for CSA members to purchase, including honey, eggs, breads, yogurts, cheeses and more. Anthony Mecca and Sarah Hearn are the farmers at Great Song and are active in the regional young farmers community.

County Executive Molinaro said, "The Partnership for Manageable Growth program allows us to strategically preserve farmlands that are the basis for agriculture which is a vital, diverse and growing economic engine throughout the County. Agriculture has always been, and continues to be, one of Dutchess County's primary industries. Our economy, rural landscape, community character, environment, health and overall quality of life are all positively affected by farms operating here. Agriculture has changed through time and continues to evolve and diversify, it plays a significant role in both the economy and quality of life for Dutchess County residents. Through the PMG and other innovative programs, the County is promoting a vibrant future for agriculture. We are grateful for the partnership of NYS Ag & Markets, as well as Dutchess Land Conservancy in making this latest farm preservation possible."

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. The Steel project is the first of these to be completed and brings the total amount of open space and farmland properties preserved through the PMG to approximately 3,372 acres.

County Executive Molinaro also announced applications for funding are now being accepted through the Partnership for Manageable Growth Program with a deadline of December 5, 2016. More information about the application process is available here.

County Legislator Gregg Pulver, who represents the towns of NorthEast, Stanford, Pine Plains and Milan, is the chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature's Public Works and Capital Projects Committee, and is a member of the Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee said, "Dutchess County will benefit from preserving the Steel Farm, which will remain farmland and continue to play a vital role in our county's agricultural heritage. County Executive Molinaro and the Dutchess County Legislature have made preserving farmland a priority, as can be seen by the Partnership for Manageable Growth, and this project is a prime example of that commitment. I thank the County Executive, my fellow legislators and our community partners for their dedication to conserving Dutchess County's farms."

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The State is proud to support these critical preservation projects that not only protect one of our most valuable assets from development and ensure that it remains affordable for current and future farmers, but also help protect the food supply, and strengthen the agricultural economy. I congratulate the Steels for taking this important step to preserve their farmland for many seasons to come.”

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. Larry and Betti Steel always envisioned the farm in active production, using sustainable growing methods.

"We are filled with pride and joy when our CSA members and their children come to the farm to pick up their vegetables, walk the land, and visit the cow herd and laying hens. We’re not sure if there is any higher calling than growing healthy food and introducing people to sustainable farming methods,” said the couple.

The protection of the Steels' 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 that towns can continue to provide critical services. Studies indicate that agricultural lands cost communities significantly less to provide services to than residential lands.

DLC works throughout the county to preserve significant landscapes, including important scenic, agricultural and environmental resources. Since 1985, the DLC has protected almost 40,000 acres of land, which includes approximately 23,000 acres of productive farmland.

"It is very rewarding to work with landowners like the Steels, who have not only ensured that their land stays in agriculture but who have reached out to a new generation by providing an affordable way for Anthony and Sarah to realize their dream of operating a farm. We are thrilled to assist landowners and young farmers through a collaboration with Dutchess County and the State of New York," said Becky Thornton, DLC President.

Created in 1999, the County’s Partnership for Manageable Growth grant program has helped to protect almost 3,373 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.

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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 30th, 2016

Local Business Team Participates in The Race to Recover America's Missing Children and the FIREBALL RUN Adventure-Travel Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 21, 2016  
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845-463-5446

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Rick Brownell, owner of Freedom Ford, Inc., in Beacon, and Rob Doyle, Absolute Auctions & Realty’s certified appraiser, principal auctioneer and licensed real estate broker, have been selected to participate in Season 10, FIREBALL RUN Anniversary Edition, a 26-episode adventure-travel competition series distributed by Amazon Instant Video.

FIREBALL RUN tracks 40 rally teams competing in a legendary 8-day, 2,000-mile, life-sized trivial pursuit game where the trivia comes to life. To win, they visit fascinating places, solving riddles and performing missions. Some experiences are historic, the missions challenging, and can be life changing. It’s all just for bragging rights, a greater cause and a plastic road sign. A US adventure-travel competition TV series, it inspires travel, and raises awareness for missing children.

Team #04 - Distinctly Dutchess’ Rick Brownell is a third generation automotive dealer. A life-long Fishkill resident, he is President of the Beacon Chamber of Commerce. Rob Doyle’s been conducting storage auctions for 30 years. He was inducted into the National Auctioneers Hall of Fame in 2006, having served as the 50th president of the National Auctioneers Association. Nancy Brownell, Rick’s wife, will fill-in for Doyle for one leg of the race. The Distinctly Dutchess drivers mean business! Fast talking Auctioneer Rob and Ford tough car dealer Rick say, "If you’re not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space!"

This team represents Tiffany Dixon, who was abducted on October 10, 1991 from Brooklyn, NY. Team #04 Distinctly Dutchess is distributing 1,000 posters during the live production in an effort to raise awareness for the missing child. Since 2007 Fireball Run’s efforts have aided in the successful recovery of 45 missing children.

Hosted by YouTube travel star Ivan Ellis and professional wrestler Sassy Stephie, FIREBALL RUN is the only episodic series filmed in real time, as it happens. All elements of the show are authentic, including contestant outcome and reaction. NOT a Reality TV series, Fireball Run is factual entertainment. Factual TV is a genre of non-fiction depicting actual events and people.

Most of the challenges are once in a lifetime, rare, exclusive, of historic experiences, although some are physical challenges. Not a road-race, contestant speeds are monitored by the AmberAlertGPS system by AlertGPS®. Fans can favorite teams in real time as they traverse along a satellite map at fireballrun.com.

Notable season 10 contestants include Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes, actor Brian O’Halloran (Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy), billionaire reality star Jacqueline Siegel (Queen of Versailles, Wife Swap, Hotwives of Las Vegas), and has the time car from Back to the Future along with other unique vehicles.

In Dutchess County, all are welcome to attend two FREE city-wide celebrations: the 40 teams’ arrival in the City of Beacon, Wed. Sept. 28th from 3-6pm, and the teams’ departure from the City of Poughkeepsie, Thurs. Sept. 29th, 8-10am. Enjoy music, family fun activities and fun festivities. Tickets are available for the VIP Dinner with the Drivers on Wed., Sept. 28th at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel from 6:30-8:30pm at https://dutchesstourism.com/fireball-run. FIREBALL RUN teams start Sept. 24 in Western NYS and end Oct. 1 in Amesbury, MA. Other stops include Starr Hill Vineyard, PA; Cumberland, MD; Lebanon, PA; Southern Saratoga County, NY; and Putnam County, NY.

For additional info, photos, video or interviews email media@fireballrun.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

September 8th, 2016

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. Announces the Promotion of Melaine Rottkamp to Vice President of Agency

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI), President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba announced that Melaine Cancellari Rottkamp has been named vice president of DTI, effective immediately. Previously, she was the director of special events, outreach & administration and first joined the organization as a volunteer in 2011 before taking on an administrative role.

“I’m delighted Melaine will continue the very important work she’s begun here. The competition for leisure dollars is challenging, and we’re counting on her inventive ideas and ceaseless energy to help guide our tourism businesses to increased success,” said Vrba. “She is creative, visualizing new initiatives, and is adept at bringing people together to achieve successful partnerships.”

Rottkamp will continue some of the duties she previously managed such as developing, coordinating and administering the Walkway Marathon Health & Wellness Expo and her work attracting the NYS Winter Special Olympics Games to Dutchess. Vrba added, “She’s successfully organized several major events for us, from the Dragon Boat Race and Festival to this fall’s Fireball Run. There’s no substitute for her combination of innovation and hard work.”

Additionally, Rottkamp will focus on program development and run this fall’s Farm Fresh tours in partnership with Metro-North and Amtrak. She will also organize DTI’s winter Lunch & Learn seminars geared toward tourism related businesses and organizations as well as coordinate the popular brochure exchange during National Travel & Tourism Week in May.

Rottkamp earned a dual degree from Syracuse University in political science from the College of Arts & Sciences and public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She resides in Poughkeepsie with her husband, Chris Rottkamp, and their sons, Nicholas and Philip.

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 20 Tourism Information Centers located around Dutchess County. Their website is www.DutchessTourism.com and they can be reached at 845-463-4000.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. was founded in 1984 under the umbrella of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation, and is funded by 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

August 23rd, 2016

Classic Harbor Line launches scenic dining cruises to and from Dutchess County

For immediate release, August 15, 2016
Contact: Dawn Hopper
845-463-5444, dawn@dutchesstourism.com
www.dutchesstourism.com and www.sail-nyc.com
 

Classic Harbor Line launches scenic dining cruises to and from Dutchess County
August 21, September 11 and October 2, New York City and Poughkeepsie

New York City and Poughkeepsie, NY… Classic Harbor Line launches a new series of cruises this summer and fall 2016 that explore the picturesque Hudson River Valley!  The dates for each one-way passage between Manhattan and Poughkeepsie have been hand-picked to feature Dutchess County events and activities and attractions for fun in Dutchess County, as well as, detailed information on return travel. Each passage will include a 4-course dining experience aboard the 1920s inspired yacht, Manhattan, as guests cruise on the majestic Hudson River!

The NYC to Poughkeepsie Hudson Valley Brunch Cruise will run on Sundays, August 21, September 11 and October 2, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, departing from Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 in Manhattan.

The Poughkeepsie to NYC Hudson Valley Dinner Cruise will run on Sundays, August 21, September 11 and October 2, 4:00-8:30 PM, departing from 1 Main Street in Poughkeepsie, Waryas Park (floating dock next to the Poughkeepsie Ice House)

Tickets for each leg are $144. Book here.

Sunday, August 21: Jazz in the Valley at Waryas Park | NORTH BOUND LEG | Enjoy a relaxing 4-course brunch cruise up the Hudson River and a live jazz music event at the Poughkeepsie waterfront park; special discounted jazz tickets with reserved seating are available for purchase with cruise tickets.

Sunday, August 21: SOUTH BOUND LEG | Take a train to Poughkeepsie to enjoy Jazz in the Valley (special discounted reserved seating tickets for purchase with dinner cruise) and waterfront attractions or arrive by10:44AM to meet the Roosevelt Ride for complimentary shuttle service to visit FDR Presidential Home, Library & Museum and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill in Historic Hyde Park! Advance shuttle reservations required: 845-229-5320. Then board the Manhattan at 4:00PM in Waryas Park for a dinner cruise to NYC.

Sunday, September 11: Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival | Enjoy a special admission to this annual affair at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY. Arrive by boat in Poughkeepsie then take Amtrak to Rhinecliff and a short cab ride to event.

Sunday, September 11: SOUTH BOUND LEG | Take Amtrak to Rhinecliff and a short cab ride to enjoy a day at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest or a take a train to Poughkeepsie for waterfront attractions; arrive by10:44AM to meet the Roosevelt Ride for complimentary shuttle service to visit FDR Presidential Home, Library & Museum and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill in Historic Hyde Park! Advance shuttle reservations required: 845-229-5320. Then board the Manhattan at 4:00PM in Waryas Park for a dinner cruise to NYC.

Sunday, October 2: Sip & Sweet Farm & Wine Tour | NORTH BOUND LEG: A complimentary shuttle will meet you at the Poughkeepsie dock upon arrival and take you on a Dutchess County culinary adventure. 1:45PM to 6:30PM. The route includes a visit to Crown Maple at Madava Farms and Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (Additional fees apply for optional tour and tasting at each site).

Sunday, October 2: SOUTH BOUND LEG: Take a train to Poughkeepsie and arrive by10:44AM to meet the Roosevelt Ride for complimentary shuttle service to visit FDR Presidential Home, Library & Museum and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill in Historic Hyde Park! Advance shuttle reservations required: 845-229-5320.

Poughkeepsie waterfront attractions, walkable from the dock:

Walkway Over the Hudson – Visit the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge at 212’ feet over water and 1.28 miles across. Take a five-minute stroll along the Hudson River to Upper Landing Park and ride the glass-enclosed elevator to unprecedented views of the Hudson Valley.

Bridge Music – Notable composer Joseph Bertolozzi rigged the historic Mid-Hudson Bridge with microphones to record sounds for his full compositions. Listening stations on the bridge invite visitors to hear his creations while standing above water and enjoying the nearby views of the Walkway.

Walkway Loop – The loop allows visitors to hike or bike across the Mid-Hudson Bridge to paths on the
river’s west bank, across the Walkway Over the Hudson, and back to Poughkeepsie waterfront; maps available.

Rent a Bike Leisure Bike Rentals ($8 per hour or $35 per day plus $3 per person for insurance/ helmets included). Enjoy riding over 18 miles of uninterrupted trails on the Dutchess County Rail Trail which includes the Walkway Over the Hudson. Advance Reservations required. Bikes and helmets will be delivered dockside. Bike the Walkway Video

Hudson River dining:

Poughkeepsie Ice House – Enjoy dining inside or al fresco dockside on the Hudson River. River Station – Enjoy dining inside or al fresco with views of the Hudson River. Amici’s – Enjoy Italian dining near the Hudson River.
Mahoney’s Irish Steakhouse & Pub – Enjoy American and Irish fare near the Hudson River.
Shadows on the Hudson – Enjoy dining inside or al fresco overlooking the Hudson; only .7 miles/15 min. walk from dock.

Book an overnight stay in Dutchess County!
Email dawn@dutchesstourism.com to learn about special hotel rates. 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

August 11th, 2016

Dutchess County Historic Tavern Trail Continues Next Stop: Stissing House in Pine Plains this Friday

Poughkeepsie, NY…The Dutchess County Historic Tavern Trail series continues this week at the Stissing House, located at 7801 S. Main Street in Pine Plains, on Friday, August 12th, at 6 p.m. The Historic Tavern Trail, in its inaugural year, brings history and local cuisine together, while introducing the community to iconic locales, with each installment held at a different historic location featuring a brief presentation on the site’s history.

Built by Cornelius Elmendorph in 1782, the Stissing House served as a stagecoach inn on the main line connecting Connecticut to the Hudson River. Over time, the building housed successive inns and restaurants, and purportedly served as a brothel at one time. Dutchess County Historian William P. Tatum III will present a program exploring the Stissing House’s history and will draw on the county’s Ancient Documents Collection for insights on tavern life. Attendees will receive a 10% discount on dinner at the Stissing House.

Dutchess County Historian William P. Tatum III said, “The Dutchess County Historic Tavern Trail highlights many of our iconic buildings and the history contained in our epic landscape. These programs are a fun way to explore the links between history, cuisine, and local culture that make our area such a vibrant place.”

The Tavern Trail is a collaborative endeavor between the Dutchess County Department of History, the Dutchess County Historical Society, and local historical societies to create an innovative program that highlights the county’s rich history.

Future installments of the series will visit Old Drover’s Inn in Dover Plains on September 9th, the Kimlin Cider Mill in Poughkeepsie on October 14th, and Dutch’s Spirits in Pine Plains on October 28th.

Reservations may be made online at http://www.meetup.com/DutchessTavernTrail. Tickets for each program are $5 per person and include discounts on meals and access to special tastings at host sites. Additional event details are available at www.facebook.com/DutchessTavernTrail.

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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 9th, 2016

Wings of Freedom Tour Returns to Dutchess County Airport: Rare WWII Aircraft on Display September 9-11

Poughkeepsie…The Collings Foundation’s popular WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR returns to the Dutchess County Airport on Friday, September 9th through Sunday, September 11th. The tour features rare treasures of aviation history including the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, North American B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo”, and WWII P-51C Mustang dual-control fighter. WingsofFreedom2015The B-17 is one of only 8 in flying condition in the United States and the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the world. A memorial ceremony will be held at 11:00am on Sunday, September 11th, to remember and honor the victims, survivors and heroes of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

“The Wings of Freedom Tour has drawn thousands to our own Dutchess County Airport in previous years and we are excited to once again host this remarkable living history exhibit. This event allows our veterans and their families, as well as adults and children of all ages, to learn about these historical and truly remarkable aircraft, and their significance in our nation’s history. We look forward to welcoming back the Collings Foundation and hosting this special tour in Dutchess County,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

Visitors to the airport will be provided a unique and rare opportunity to explore these aircrafts inside and out. Tour prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and younger. WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. Discounted rates are also available for school groups. The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR hours are as follows:

Friday, September 9 from 2pm to 5pm
Saturday, September 10 from 9am to 5pm
Sunday, September 11 from 9am to 5pm

Visitors can also take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by taking a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. Flights on the B-25 are $400 per person. P-51C flight training is available for $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences, call 800-568-8924. WingsofFreedom20152

Dutchess County Airport Director John Mouris said, “This will be the third year in a row the Wings of Freedom Tour has come to the Dutchess County Airport. While the Collings Foundation does not typically schedule repeat appearances, when they had an opening in their schedule, they opted to return to Dutchess based on the great reception they have received on their prior visits and we are thrilled to welcome them back!”

The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing and supporting “living history” events that enable Americans to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is celebrating its 27th year and has made more than 3,000 visits to airports across the country.

The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR travels the nation as a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. The B-17 & B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home. One of America’s most famous medium bombers, the B-25 was known for its adaptability and reliability under any combat circumstance, including as a ground attack aircraft and low-level bomber. The B-25 is most notable for the Doolittle Raid on Japan, the first American attack made on the Japanese mainland after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend” – saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore very few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-24, B-25 & P-51 and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. The tour allows for local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public, particularly younger Americans. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides an opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around! Visitors can find out more by visiting the Collings Foundation website at http://www.collingsfoundation.org/.

For further information, e-mail Hunter Chaney, Director of Marketing, at hchaney@collingsfoundation.org or 800-568-8924.

Click here to see the event flyer:
http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Airport/Wings-of-Freedom-2016.pdf

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 5th, 2016

County's Tourism Growth Highlighted at Dutchess Chamber's August Breakfast

For Immediate Release, August 5, 2016
Contact:
Loren Hoffman, Communications &
Marketing Coordinator, 845-454-1700 or email
lhoffman@dcrcoc.org

County’s Tourism Growth Highlighted at Dutchess Chamber’s August Breakfast

If you’re interested in how the Hudson Valley’s tourism industry has evolved over the past several years, don’t miss the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s August Contact Breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Dutchess Tourism, Inc.’s President & CEO, Mary Kay Vrba will discuss how tourism affects the county and what her organization does to promote Distinctly Dutchess.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. was established in 1984 as the officially designated destination marketing organization for Dutchess County. It brings tourism dollars to area businesses by marketing and promoting the assets of Dutchess County to the nation and the world.

Mary Kay Vrba has more than 28 years of tourism experience. She works with over 600 tourism businesses in Dutchess County. Under her leadership, many new programs have been initiated including Farm Fresh Dutchess, Tourism Rally Day, an award-winning website re-design as well as marketing to international travel markets.

Admission to the breakfast is $25 for members in advance or $30 at the door. Nonmembers are welcome to attend for $35. Call (845) 454-1700 ext. 1000 to RSVP or visit dcrcoc.org.

The newly formed firm made up of Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell; Sedore & Company; and Rouis & Company proudly sponsors this month’s breakfast.

The firm provides audit, tax, accounting, and business development consulting services to business owners in the Hudson Valley and New York Metropolitan area. They have offices in Newburgh, Middletown and Wappingers Falls. They serve a variety of clients with the personal attention they deserve through five principal divisions: accounting and auditing, tax services, consulting and special projects services, accounting support services, and computer consulting. The firm also provides year-round service in a business advisory role to fulfill clients’ present and emerging needs.

Contact Breakfast attendees are asked to remember the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee’s ongoing collection of canned and dry goods to benefit the Chamber’s Workforce Development Center. Please bring donations to the marked boxes near the registration tables at the Poughkeepsie Grand. Representatives from the Alzheimer's Association, Hudson Valley Chapter; Dutchess Outreach Inc.; and Rebuilding Together of Dutchess County will also be in attendance.

Founded in 1907, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is committed to the growth and development of local businesses and the economy.  For more information about Chamber happenings, the complete events calendar, or to find out how we might best serve as an advocate for you and your business, please visit dcrcoc.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

August 4th, 2016

Dutchess County Again Among Nations Best for Technology Use & Innovation

Dutchess County Again Among Nations Best for Technology Use & Innovation

Poughkeepsie… For the 13th consecutive year, Dutchess County Government has been recognized in the nation’s top 10 best examples of technology use to improve services and boost efficiencies to better serve residents. The 2016 Digital Counties Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), ranked Dutchess County 5th in the nation, in the 250,000-499,999 population category, for its use of information and communications technology.

Dutchess County’s award winning survey, submitted by recently retired Office of Central and Information Services (OCIS) Commissioner Tim Mahler, highlighted many of the initiatives and programs instituted by Dutchess County Government to save tax dollars, boost transparency, improve cybersecurity and citizen engagement, and continue to innovate the way in which government operates. 

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Congratulations to our entire OCIS team who are at the forefront of these nationally recognized initiatives and programs. We are grateful to Tim Mahler for his many years of leadership and service – he built a legacy of innovation that has made Dutchess County a national leader. As we begin the next chapter in OCIS with our new Commissioner Glenn Marchi at the helm, we look forward to building on the legacy with new innovations and initiatives that allow us to better serve and engage with our citizens.” 

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

Open Government, Transparency, Open Data

Access to information and ability to connect with Dutchess County Government has never been easier, with multiple tools readily available through the County’s www.dutchessny.gov website. Tools like Dutchess Dashboard and the annual budget documents, including the Budget-In-Brief, provide key data points for residents.

Dutchess County continues to expand its digital document management, providing public access to a broad range of county documents, including legislative resolutions, County Clerk documents, as well as historical records using an online web portal.

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

The County’s mobile strategies involve public applications as well as tools for employees to be more efficient. Among the many mobile offerings for the public are Dutchess County’s HELPLINE mobile app which is available through Google Play or the Apple store; the launch of texting conversations with the 24/7 HELPLINE; as well as the launch of Text to 911 for emergencies where it is not safe to speak to a 911 operator. Additionally, applications such as Aerial Access enable the public to identify their location and start aerial views, and the new Dutchess Bike Parking Finder provides an online searchable map of bike parking locations combined with rail trails and designated bike routes to enable cyclists to locate parking near their planned destination.

County employees, including Child Protective Service workers, public health nurses, and case managers, who engage with the public in the community are taking advantage of tablets to be more efficient in the field. These mobile tools enable them to have key information readily available and allows them to complete necessary reporting with clients quickly and easily.

Social Media/Citizen Engagement

Dutchess County Government is active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to inform and engage residents. Additionally, 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. Dutchess County Government has allowed made use of countywide Tele town-hall meetings to share information about the annual budget process and reach a broad audience.

Collaborative/Shared Services

Dutchess County Government has been aggressive in its effort to promote shared services to reduce the cost of government and increase efficiencies. OCIS has led this effort, providing PC/server tech services, network services, website and software development, and IT consulting. OCIS has worked with numerous local municipalities and government entities, including the City of Beacon, Town of LaGrange, and the Arlington Fire District to develop new websites, as well as streamline information technology services. These partnerships have provided cost savings and help deliver information to residents faster and more effectively.

Cybersecurity and Disaster Recovery

Ensuring county networks and systems are secure and operations can continue during emergencies is a paramount priority for OCIS. The Digital Counties Survey recognized Dutchess County’s work to ensure there are multiple layers of security in place, security awareness training is ongoing and threat detection is strong against the wide variety of network system threats such as botnets, spyware, phishing, malware and viruses. Dutchess County has worked to build redundancy into its network and phone systems for continuity of operations in the case of disaster to ensure services can still be provided to residents.

Glenn Marchi, who officially began as OCIS Commissioner on Monday, said, “I look forward to continuing to build on the great work done over the many years by Dutchess County OCIS. We will seek to expand the partnerships with local municipalities and provide tools for the public that allow them to easily access services and engage with their county government. Dutchess County is fortunate to have such an impressive group of IT professionals and I am pleased to have joined this award-winning team.”

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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 27th, 2016

Tourism Visitor Spending in Dutchess is up

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2016
Contact: Nancy Lutz, 845-464-8484

Tourism Visitor Spending in Dutchess is up

A just-released New York State (NYS) report shows that visitor spending in Dutchess County in 2015 is at a record $528,333,000, as compared to visitor spending in 2014 of $508,991,000. In 2015 this spending generated $37,670,000 in local tax revenue, an increase from the $35,931,000 in local taxes realized in 2014. They divided their money on lodging, recreation, food and beverages, retail and gas station outlets, and transportation. Visitors’ expenditures supported tourism 9,994 jobs, largely in those industries. Tourism has increased considerably since the agency’s inception in 1984, when visitor spending was $94 million, generating $950,000 in Dutchess County sales tax.                                                          

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, "Visitors from around the state, nation and world understand just what makes us Distinctly Dutchess. Tourism as an industry, employer and economic engine continues to grow - and our partnership with Dutchess Tourism, Inc. continues to create jobs, improve our economy and increase revenues. I commend 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. We are a vibrant and diverse community and I encourage residents and visitors alike to think Dutchess and experience all that makes us distinct."

Tourism is a significant driver to the local, state and US economy, returning $8 for every $1 invested.

Dutchess Tourism’s Board Chair Andrea L. Reynolds stated, “Due to the diligent efforts of our hard working Dutchess Tourism team, the economic impact numbers are always on the rise. We’re pleased to announce that the programs of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. have resulted in an increase in local sales tax, visitor spending, and have, most significantly, created more jobs in Dutchess County.”

President & CEO Mary Kay Vrba noted, “We’re pleased to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world. We’re thrilled to show them what makes us ‘Distinctly Dutchess’, with a number of attractions that can only be found here.”

These include the nation’s first Presidential Library & Museum for Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with the FDR Home, a National Historic Site, The Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premier culinary college, all in Hyde Park; the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, the world’s longest pedestrian bridge; and Dia:Beacon, the nation’s largest contemporary art museum.

Other unique attractions include the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Watch the antique planes soar at the aviation museum, with one of the largest collections of early airplanes in the world, as well as vehicles from 1900 to ‘39.  The nonprofit Omega Institute offers workshops on many subjects. More than 23,000 people attend workshops and educational programs there annually. Together our attractions provide many different kinds of experiences that enrich the lives of the visitors we welcome to Dutchess, the heart of the Hudson Valley region.

Mary Kay Vrba observed, “We’re the marketing arm, not just for these world class attractions and historic landmarks, but for many small businesses. We know our marketing efforts are vital to make the cash registers ring at B&BS, restaurants, shops, and recreation sites.  We’re pleased to be able to help to sustain these businesses, the backbone of our local communities, every day.”

Dutchess Tourism utilizes digital, print and television advertising, primarily in the New York City-metro area, advertises in national magazines and on Facebook, and is active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and especially twitter, with 8,000 “tweeps” following their posts. They print and distribute 90,000 copies of the Dutchess County Travel Guide annually. More than 2,000 people a day visit their website, www.DutchessTourism.com, and view on average nearly 8 pages The website has logged 278,516 unique visitors so far this year, including 86,789 international visitors. These are just a few of the way potential visitors find out about area tourism attractions.  Dutchess Tourism’s efforts let visitors find out about the many ways to plan an unforgettable vacation. After experiencing all we have to offer, they tell their friends that Dutchess County should be their next destination!  #Distinctly Dutchess

New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions, with attractions spanning landmarks from Niagara Falls to the Hudson Valley, wine trails and historic sites. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in Poughkeepsie is funded by 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

June 28th, 2016

Dutchess Tourism Inc., Presents Awards of Distinction

For Immediate Release, May 5, 2016
Contact:
Nancy Lutz, 845-463-5446

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) is celebrating National Tourism Week and 32 years of helping the Tourism Industry in Dutchess grow and thrive. Over the years, tourism has become a major contributor to the economy of the Hudson Valley region, thanks to the terrific partnership between DTI and the wide variety of tourism related businesses here.

Dutchess Tourism’s award-winning advertising and outreach efforts draw tourists from all over the world! It’s come a long way since we started in 1984 when visitor spending was $94 million, generating $950,000 in sales tax. By 2014, that figure had jumped to $508 million in spending and $35.9 million in local sales tax!

Dutchess County is proud of the numerous accolades it’s received so far including Fodor’s Go List for the Top 25 Destinations, and, in 2013, National Geographic Traveler awarded a “Best of the World” distinction which called the Hudson Valley one of the “Top 20 Must See Places” to travel.

In recognition of those who have helped along the way, the agency presented the Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction at the May 5th celebration. Dutchess Tourism extends its thanks to Bonura Hospitality and The Grandview, event host and food sponsor. http://dutchesstourism.com/2nd-anniversary

The Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction Finalists are listed below. The winner has been bolded:

The Dutchess County Executive’s Award for Overall Distinction: Dia: Beacon; Crown Maple at Madava Farms, and the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College;

Arts Award of Distinction: The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck; Daryl’s House Restaurant & Music Club, and the Wassaic Project;

Culinary Award of Distinction: Main Street Hospitality; Montgomery Place Orchards, and Oliver Kita Fine Chocolates;

Family Entertainment Award of Distinction: Mid-Hudson Civic Center/McCann Ice Arena; Spins Bowl, and Trevor Zoo;

History Award of Distinction: Friends of the Irondale School House; Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and Wilderstein Historic Site;

Outdoors Award of Distinction: Clearwater; William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, and the NY-NJ Trail Conference; and

Hospitality Award of Distinction: Krista Borrero, Hilton Garden Inn, Fishkill; Anna Petersen, Hampton Inn, Fishkill; and Kerri Travis, Crown Maple at Madava Farms.

Dutchess Tourism extends its appreciation to the Gold sponsors of the event, which are: Amtrak; BBG&G Advertising & Public Relations; Bonura Hospitality Group; The Culinary Institute of America; Crown Maple; Mid-Hudson Civic Center; Poughkeepsie Galleria; and Zipcar.

Before the awards luncheon there was a Brochure Exchange/Tourism Rally Day and Press Conference in the parking lot of The Grandview. Tourism related businesses were invited to participate for free, from 10 am -12 pm; more than 100 people took part. This allowed tourism business to network with other tourism attractions, accommodations, organizations, lodging properties, restaurants, event promoters and transportation firms. It’s always a great way to start the busy tourism season.

The press conference at 11 am highlighted tourism’s substantial economic impact and provided updates on upcoming events in the county, in addition to a special announcement by Zipcar.

National Tourism week was established in 1983 by Congress. The rally serves to champion the power of travel and the impactful contributions tourism makes to the US economy. Travel supports 15 million jobs in America. This is the 33rd Annual National Tourism Week, celebrated from May 1 – 7. Learn more from the US Travel Association at https://www.ustravel.org/events/national-travel-and-tourism-week

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. in Poughkeepsie is funded by the county

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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 23rd, 2016

Dutchess Stadium Gains National Attention

New York Giants star Odell Beckham shone the national spotlight earlier this week on our great Dutchess County park, Dutchess Stadium, when the former NFL Rookie of the Year joined other Giants, past and present, for a charity softball game at the park in Fishkill.

Video of Beckham belting a home run out of Dutchess Stadium has gone viral and been viewed by millions online and on major television networks like ESPN, ABC and NBC. In the process, people across the state, across the nation and even around the world have known for years: Dutchess Stadium, and all our award-winning parks, provide countless recreational opportunities for individuals and families.

"Dutchess Stadium is a great asset and a great attraction," County Executive Marc Molinaro said at Monday's charity event, which benefited the Ryan McElroy Children's Cancer Foundation. Giants punter Brad Wing, who organized the game, has hosted similar events at parks throughout the region, and he said once Dutchess Stadium, he knew it the park would be a great venue. "It's such a great facility, and we thought it would be perfect for the event," he said.

Click here to watch our full video from the event, including Odell Beckham's home run and County Executive Molinaro and Brad Wing discussing Dutchess Stadium and the local community.

Monday's event was just the latest recognition Dutchess County parks have received. Last week, the Hudson Valley Trail Network, comprised of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, was voted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame, receiving almost 54 percent of the 19,885 total votes placed in a nationwide public vote. For the sixth time in eight years, readers of Hudson Valley Magazine fall voted Bowdoin Park as the area's top park in the publication's annual "Best of the Hudson Valley" poll.

Summer is a great time to make family memories at Dutchess County parks, so we hope you enjoy them throughout the season!

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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 17th, 2016

Dutchess Rail Trail Voted into the National Rail-Trail Hall of Fame Thank You for Your Support!

Poughkeepsie…Rail-trail supporters from Dutchess County, the Hudson Valley Region and beyond, spurred the Dutchess Rail Trail’s selection as the newest inductee into Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) 2016 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame! Thanks to the overwhelming support of residents, County employees, and users of the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail, the Walkway Over the Hudson, and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, the Hudson Valley Trail Network became the 30th Rail-Trail Hall of Fame selection, receiving almost 54 percent of the 19,885 total votes placed in a nationwide public vote, beginning on June 6 and ending on June 15.

“Thank you to all those who voted for our Dutchess Rail Trail, along with the Walkway Over the Hudson and Hudson Valley Rail Trail, to be part of the 2016 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame! Dutchess Rail Trail has been a destination for thousands since the first phase opened, as people flock to enjoy the scenic views, the quiet and tranquility, as well as the easy-to-navigate surface along the 13-mile path. Together with the Walkway Over the Hudson and Hudson Valley Rail Trail, we have created an 18-mile-plus world-class treasure that has no equal,” said County Executive Marc Molinaro.

The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 13-mile multi-use linear park that runs through the middle of the County along the former Maybrook Rail corridor including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill, with a direct link to the Walkway Over the Hudson and the regional trail network. Since the first phase of the trail opened in 2008, thousands of residents and visitors have walked, biked, ran, skated, and have even gone snowshoeing on the Dutchess Rail Trail, all while enjoying the scenic beauty of Dutchess County. The Dutchess Rail Trail has earned several accolades including Hudson Valley Magazine readers' pick for "Best Bike/Rail Trail" in 2015, the editors' pick for "Best News for Outdoor Enthusiasts (Planned Extension) in 2012, the readers' pick for "Best Bike Trail" in 2011 and the editors' pick for "Best New Hiking Trail" in 2008. The Rail Trail is a popular venue for organized races including the Walkway Marathon and several charity fundraisers.  

drtThe popular Hudson Valley Trail Network covers 18 miles and connects three rail-trails, stretching from Highland, over the Hudson River and through Poughkeepsie, to Hopewell Junction. On the west side of the river, the flat, paved Hudson Valley Rail Trail stretches nearly 4 miles through hardwood forests, over Black Creek and under two spectacular stone-arch bridges. Walkway Over the Hudson runs 212 feet above the river along the steel cantilever truss Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge (which was once the longest bridge in the world) and draws a half-million visitors annually. The Dutchess Rail Trail runs through what seems like a perpetually green landscape of dense tree cover, linking Poughkeepsie at the Hudson River with smaller towns to its southeast. The Hudson Valley Trail Network was RTC’s Trail of the Month in March 2016.

“The way that the Hudson Valley Trail Network seamlessly connects three unique trails is a prime example of how integrated trail systems can produce important benefits for communities—for transportation, tourism and economic development,” said RTC President Keith Laughlin. “We’re thrilled to induct the Hudson Valley Trail Network as our 30th Hall of Fame rail-trail.”

RTC is the largest trails organization in America, representing a community of more than 160,000 members and supporters—including 33,000 in New York—and more than 850,000 trail users. RTC selects Hall of Fame rail-trails based on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance, community connections and geographic distribution. As a Hall of Fame inductee, the Hudson Valley Trail Network will receive national publicity, trail signage, coverage in Rails to Trails magazine and an unveiling event.

To learn more about the Dutchess Rail Trail and all of Dutchess County’s Parks, go to:

http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/DPW-Parks/PPIndex.htm

 

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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 18th, 2016

2016 Dutchess Tourism Travel Guide On Stands Now!

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY Luminary Media announces the new edition of the Dutchess Tourism Travel Guide on stands now. This year’s guide features an enhanced look and feel, annual events, historic sites, arts and cultural attractions, restaurant listings, travel information, and much more.

"Whether planning a one-day getaway or a longer vacation, we're here to do everything we can to make it easy to plan and hard to forget," said Mary Kay Vrba, director of Dutchess Tourism Inc. "By using this travel planner you can map out your journey in advance, find lodging that suits your taste and budget, and check the hours for area attractions. Dutchess is easily accessible by car, train, bus and boat, from New York’s metro area and Capital district, as well as eastern Pennsylvania and western New England. Planning ahead means more time for sightseeing, and a more relaxing stay."

This year’s Guide features a re-design with increased usability while maintaining the high standard of informational resources visitors to the area need.  The cover of the 2016 Dutchess Tourism Travel Guide is a captivating image of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Hyde Park, NY home. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum as well as the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

“We’ve been working with Dutchess Tourism on this publication for more than five years now,” adds Brian K. Mahoney, editorial director of Luminary Media. “The Guide has always informed and delighted potential visitors to Dutchess County and served as a powerful attractor to the region as a whole.”

View the 2016 Dutchess Tourism Travel Guide online here: https://issuu.com/luminarypublishing/docs/2016-dutchess-county-tourism-travel. For more information on planning your trip to Dutchess County contact the Dutchess Tourism office: 
3 Neptune Road, Suite A11A, Poughkeepsie NY 12601, 845-463-4000 or 800-445-3131.

Book your trip now and discover what makes the county #DistinclyDutchess.

ABOUT LUMINARY MEDIA

Luminary Media was born in the summer of 1993, with the aim of nourishing and supporting the creative and cultural life of the Hudson Valley. The parent company of the iconic Chronogram, Luminary Media has over 20 years of custom publishing experience including tourism guides, travel guides, and the launch, sale, and reacquisition of Upstate House, a popular Hudson Valley real estate, design, and green living publication.

Luminary Media , Inc.’s mission is to disseminate media and create events that nourish and support the creative life of our region and in the world, and to demonstrate a paradigm of that creativity in action.

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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 8th, 2016

BBG&G Advertising Wins Eleventh Service Industry Award

Campbell Hall, NY (April 1, 2016) - BBG&G Advertising, Inc. has been awarded a Gold Service Industry Advertising Award (SIA Awards) for the 2015 Integrated Marketing Campaign for their client, Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

The focus of the multi-media advertising campaign centered on showcasing the unique experiences visitors can have that are Distinctly Dutchess. Print, digital, and e-blasts were distributed via national, local, and international publications in an effort to promote the destination’s arts, historical, family fun, and culinary activities. Some of the top featured attractions included Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Walkway Over the Hudson, Bannerman Castle, and The Culinary Institute of America.

Established in 2003, SIA Awards recognize advertising excellence among service industry providers throughout the country. Over 1,700 entries were received and evaluated by a national panel of judges. Each was reviewed based on execution, creativity, quality and consumer appeal, and overall breakthrough content.

“We're thrilled to have been recognized once again for the innovative multi-media marketing program that we crafted for Dutchess Tourism. After working together for several years, we've become experts at branding the distinct culture, food, and breathtaking views that Dutchess County offers to targeted local, regional, and international audiences. The success of our integrated program is a true testament to the efficacy of our strategic approach and the dynamic partnership between BBG&G and Dutchess Tourism,” said Deborah Garry, President of BBG&G Advertising, Inc.

Mary Kay Vrba, President and CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc., noted, “Through our partnership with BBG&G Advertising, Dutchess Tourism has experienced increased visitation from travelers both near and far. We are continually working to promote the area’s unique attractions that are “Distinctly Dutchess” in an effort to reach a national and international audience, and look forward to continuing our efforts in 2016.”

The win marks BBG&G Advertising, Inc.’s eleventh SIA win, three of which were for their work with Dutchess Tourism, Inc. Previously, they were awarded a Silver SIA Award for Dutchess Tourism, Inc.’s 2014 Integrated Marketing Campaign. 

About BBG&G Advertising, Inc.

Based in Campbell Hall and Poughkeepsie, NY, BBG&G Advertising, Inc. is a full service advertising, and public relations agency serving a wide range of local and regional clients within a broad range of industries. Having received their GSA Contract Award, BBG&G is poised for growth within the government sector. BBG&G Advertising, a Certified NY State WBE (women-owned business entity), was started in 1997, and is known for delivering successful integrated marketing strategies that leverage both traditional and new media to reach customers at varying phases of the decision process. For more information, call 845-615-9084 or visit www.bbggadv.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

April 7th, 2016

Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, "Spirit of the Aerodrome Gala" Event Developments - Saturday, May 21, 2016

RHINEBECK, NY – April 5, 2016: Planning for the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum’s SPIRIT OF THE AERODROME GALA is moving ahead rapidly and it will be the most elaborate event that the Aerodrome has ever undertaken to kick off an airshow season. The Gala will be centered around the Aerodrome’s recently completed and thoroughly accurate reproduction of Charles Lindbergh’s famed Spirit of St. Louis, which will celebrate its public debut with a demonstration flight and a 1920s themed fundraising cocktail party at the Aerodrome. This event will take place on the 89th anniversary of Lindbergh’s epic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.  

The Aerodrome’s Spirit of St. Louis reproduction made international headlines last December when it became the subject of an Associated Press article and video after its successful test flight.  The project had been worked on over a period of twenty years, and it became the first aircraft reproduction to be started and completed at Old Rhinebeck since Aerodrome founder, Cole Palen passed away in 1993.  Ken Cassens, Palen’s friend and longtime Aerodrome mechanic and pilot, headed up the project and duplicated every part of the original aircraft as accurately as possible, with assistance from the National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C.  The original had no forward visibility and neither does the reproduction, which makes it challenging to fly. A chase plane, a Curtiss Robin of the same vintage, will be used when the aircraft is demonstrated in flight to help ensure that the coast is clear.

The Museum buildings and grounds will open at 10AM and there will be casual demonstrations of vintage aircraft and vehicles throughout the day. Aerodrome staff and volunteers will be on hand to personally talk with visitors about the collection and current projects.  The Heartstring Hot Club band will also entertain guests during the day with live music of the 1920s through 1940s.  A full schedule of events and details can be found on a special website that has been set up specifically for the event: www.spiritoftheaerodrome.com.  The site allows you to sign up for an invitation for the event.  A “buy now” ticket feature will be added to the site in the next week or so.

The highlight of the day will be the grand rollout and flight demonstration of the Spirit of St. Louis, which will take place at shortly after 5:00 pm (weather permitting). After touchdown, the Spirit will be rolled into the gala hangar and celebrations will commence, with New York’s CBS 101.1 radio personality, vintage aviator, and former Aerodrome pilot, Dan Taylor as the Master of Ceremonies.

Guest speaker, Reeve Lindbergh (author, and daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh) will discuss her father’s personal feelings about the original aircraft, which has had a permanent home in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. since 1928. Reeve says of the Aerodrome’s Spirit project, "When I was growing up in Fairfield County, Connecticut, I used to fly with my father sometimes on Saturday afternoons out of Danbury.  We flew in an Aeronca, but I secretly dreamed of flying in the Spirit of St. Louis over New England.  I never thought I'd see the Spirit fly in my part of the country, but thanks to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome and its wonderful work with their own Spirit of St. Louis reproduction project, it is happening!”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro will discuss the significance of the Aerodrome’s reproduction project and the importance of this aircraft to New York’s Hudson Valley as a functioning example of an American icon at the event. Aerodrome President Michael DiGiacomio stated, “We are thrilled to have Reeve, Dan and Marc participating in the event. It will be an enjoyable and memorable night for all!”

The Georgie Wonders Orchestra, a well-known regional nineteen piece swing band, will play music of the period during the gala.  MainCourse, one of the Hudson Valley's premier caterers, will be providing period-themed food and drink, including The Lindy, an original “NYP” (New York-Paris) inspired cocktail.  Participants are encouraged to dress in 1920s period attire to enhance the atmosphere.  High school students are encouraged to submit essays for The Charles Lindbergh essay contest, and the winner will be presented with a $250 scholarship at the Gala.  Proceeds from the Gala will be applied to ongoing aircraft restorations at the Aerodrome.  The Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum is 501(c) 3, non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

 

Contact: Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, 845-752-3200 & info@oldrhinebeck.org or Nancy Lutz,  845-463-5446
Websites: www.spiritoftheaerodrome.com  and www.oldrhinebeck.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rhinebeckaerodromemuseum

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Contact Us: 800-445-3131