tourism awards

Visit Nyack Wins Big At County’s Annual Tourism Grants Ceremony

Business Industry Living

RCC Culinary Arts Center Hosts Grant Ceremony And Shows Off Its Assets For Tourism

By Tina Traster

Visit Nyack, the nonprofit that drives tourism to Nyack and the county, once again took the big prize during the county’s announcement of annual tourism grants. Awarded $50,000, the nonprofit towered over other recipients who collectively received the $212,000 for 32 projects.

The tourism grants derive from the county coffers, which is a dedicated tourism line in the budget. The county also gets funding from I Love New York, an affiliate of New York’s Empire State Development for promoting Rockland County. This year’s allocation is $60,043, a matching-fund grant.

For several years, Visit Nyack has lead an advertising campaign that has brought tourists from the metro area and surrounding counties.

“Tourism fosters civic pride, it brings people together, it bridges cultural divides,” said Jeremy Schulman, Rockland County’s director of Economic Development and Tourism at today’s ceremony at the RCC Hospitality & Culinary Arts Center. The RCC Culinary Arts Center also received a $4,500 grant for program marketing.

The culinary center, another source of pride for Nyack, and the county, is not just the county’s “CIA (Culinary Institute of America),” where students learn culinary arts and sciences. It is also a venue to host culinary competitions and other events in a refurbished theater.

Asked why Visit Nyack won nearly 25% of the funding, Schuman said, Nyack has tremendous infrastructure to market the county. It’s a gateway to the county. It has helped brand the river towns.

“We’re happy to be collaborating with the county to bring tourism,” said Visit Nyack’s director Meg Mayo, adding the grant money will be used to fund Visit Nyack-themed posters on the MetroNorth, and for digital advertising in publications including The New York Times, Time Out New York, New York Magazine, and others.

Ed Day, who attended the event, noted six years ago, when the county was strapped, there was no ability to hand out grants. Today he pointed out the average household in Rockland would have to pay an additional $568 in yearly property taxes to maintain current services if not for tourism generated sales and local taxes, Day, who ticked up the total grant money this year by $1,000, also said 7.1% of the county’s employment, or 8,700 jobs, are tourism-related.

Other Nyack-based grant recipients included The Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center ($5,000), the Rockland County Pride Center ($4,000), ArtsRock Concert and Walk ($10,000), the Fire Boat McKean Pres. Project Day ($3000).

The organizations will use the funds for promotion and advertising their programs, initiatives and events. Rockland has been positioning itself is as a destination where tourists can stop at multiple locations — such as traveling through the river towns — rather than visiting a single village or town and then leaving.

Here’s the full list of recipients:

GARNER Historic District (Multi-themed arts + commerce + history program offerings) $ 10,000

GARNER Arts Center d/b/a (Live Arts Beer Fest) $ 10,000

Suffern Chamber of Commerce (Explore Harriman Campaign) $ 10,000

Hampton Velo (SuperCross Bike Event) $ 10,000

Friends of Harmony Hall (Bluegrass Festival) $ 10,000

Haverstraw River Arts Food & Beverage Crawl $ 2,000

Historical Society of Rockland County (Print/Digital Brochure for Travel Plazas and Key Locations) $ 5,000

The Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education (Promote Current Exhibits and Lectures) $ 3,500

Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center (Artist-in-Residence/40th Anniv. Jazz in the Garden Series/Summer Exhibition) $ 5,000

Immigrant Hands (United Cultural Festival of Spring Valley) $ 2,000

United Latin Festival of Haverstraw $ 4,000

India Cultural Society of Rockland County (India Day Parade & Festival) $ 3,000

JCC Rockland (Jewish Film Fest) $ 7,000

Greater Nanuet Chamber of Commerce (Online Rockland Map Brochure) $ 5,000

The Mind of a Winner (One Love Culture Food, Art & Music Fest) $ 3,000

Penguin Rep Theater (Annual Season Lineup) $ 5,000

Rockland County Pride Center (Pride Sunday) $ 4,000

Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) (Music Sessions) $ 6,000

Rockland Bergen Music Festival $ 13,000

Visit Nyack (Marketing Campaign) $ 50,000

New York Boulders (Tri-State Advertising) $ 10,000

ArtsRock (Concert Series) $ 7,000

ArtsRock (Nyack Arts Walk)* $ 3,000

Haverstraw River Arts (Day of the Dead & Music Festival)* $ 2,000

Fire Boat McKean Pres. Project (Day on the Water Experience)* $ 3,000

Rockland Bicycle Club (Ride Around the Century)* $ 1,000

Haverstraw African American Connection (Juneteenth Festival)* $ 2,000

Rockland Farm Alliance (Summer Festival at Cropsey Farm)* $ 2,000

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble (Women & Patriarchy Series)* $ 2,000

RCC Culinary Arts Center (Program Marketing)* $ 4,500

Rockland Community Foundation (SuffrageForward Campaign)* $ 3,000

AOH (St. Patrick’s Day Parade)* $ 5,000