2017-06-14 / Front Page

Fleischmanns among top recipients of Delaware County bed tax funding

Portion of tax is being allotted for tourism promo
By Joan Lawrence-Bauer

The much-reviled occupancy (bed) tax adopted in Delaware County last year became a cash cow this month with the announcement of 19 grants to communities throughout the county to fund advertising and promotion initiatives designed to bring additional tourists to the region.

Big winners in the grant sweepstakes included Fleischmanns which will get $4,000 to promote its spring time Trout Tales event and another $4,000 to promote the Great Catskill Mountain BBQ Fest that kicked off last year to rave reviews. The community of Andes was awarded $2,296 for a new website and the Stamford Golf Club will promote play and stay packages to the Hudson Valley and down state regions with its $2,175 award.

County Economic Development Director Glenn Nealis told the News this week he was pleased with the proposals submitted and with the work of the Tourism Advisory Council in reviewing applications and proposing a funding schedule. “People took this process seriously,” said Nealis Tuesday.

“They put in the time to carefully plan their events and campaigns and to think about the impact they could have on their communities.” Nealis noted that with the very limited amount of money available during this first year of implementation, that funding awarded was significant enough to have a good impact on tourism in the region.

Agriculture in general and the history of the agrarian communities were big winners with Farming Bovina getting $4,000 to expand and improve a website that promotes agricultural events and lodging throughout the year while the Meredith Dairy Festival and Margaretville’s Cauliflower Festival got $1,000 each.

The Delaware County Fair’s promotion will get new energy with a $4,000 grant and Roxbury’s Woodchuck Lodge got $1,155 parking and improved trails at the historic site while the Historic Society of Middletown will have $1,000 to better promote its heritage tourism historic cemetery tours.

Running wild

Run Wild in the Catskills, a half marathon event initiated last year on the Catskill Scenic trail will get $1,000 for promotion this year and Margaretville’s Holiday on Main events will get a $1,000 advertising boost as well.

A Walton video project, Franklin State Company, Davenport’s bi-centennial and Hancock’s Summer Nights, all earned grant dollars, and the Hobart Book Store Village, long a major attraction in the county, will work to pull visitors from Philadelphia and the Berkshires with its grant.

Smaller awards

Smaller amounts went to the Franklin area for the production of a new brochure and to the Hamden Hill Ridge Riders who will build and install kiosks near snowmobile trails that will highlight local businesses in the area where riders might want to get off trail for the services provided.

“These projects cost so little but promise great rewards,” said Nealis of the $129.40 awarded to the snowmobile project. “The club is doing all of this work and asked only for one half of the materials cost,” said Nealis. What they do can then become a prototype for similar projects throughout the county.

Nealis and the Tourism Advisory Committee have been under the gun to get grants announced and awarded at the beginning of the primary tourism season despite the fact that there were delays in adopting and implementing the law.

Nealis said the County Board of Supervisors will approve the announced grants at an upcoming meeting.

“It will still take time to get through the contract process,” said Nealis, “but the county has agreed to allow the LDC to front the early season grants then accept reimbursement when all paperwork is complete.”

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