Tourism Awards

Rockland County Awards 31 Organizations With $298,000 In Tourism Grants; County To Hire New Marketing Firm For $500,000

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Visit Nyack Reels In Big Prize Among Tourism Grantees Once Again

By Tina Traster

Once again, Visit Nyack, the nonprofit that promotes Rockland County’s river village, hooked the biggest prize at Rockland County’s Tourism award ceremony held Friday at the Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education on Rockland Community College’s Suffern campus. The organization reeled in $25,000.

“We’re so grateful,” said Thomas Schneck, Visit Nyack’s president. “We appreciate this support from the county that helps us promote Nyack as the gateway to Rockland County.”

The organization won the same amount last year. In 2020 it had received $50,000.

Since 2016, Rockland County has been granting about 30 cultural, historic, and economic organizations grants annually to promote tourism. Other grants of at least $15,000 or more were issued to the Garner Arts Center, Friends of Harmony Hall, the Edward Hopper House Museum, the Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, the New York Boulders, the Penguin Rep Theater.

Tourism Awards

“This is not a giveaway,” said County Executive Ed Day, referring to the grants issued to 31 groups totaling $298,000. Day added that there is an expectation for these groups to do what it takes to get people to come to Rockland County.

The grants provide businesses and organizations funding to promote upcoming events to visitors outside of Rockland.

“It is so important to understand how these groups bring individuals from outside the county to the county,” said Lucy Redzeposki, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for Rockland County, speaking to grantees. “This could not happen without you.”

The county last year hired the Alon Marketing Group of Farmingdale, NY for one year for $95,456 to coach Rockland’s tourism’s assets to work more collaboratively to create county-wide tourism itineraries and to educate stakeholders on the tourist trade. The group continues to work with the county.

In addition, the County is in the process of solidifying a $500,000 contract with the Lake Placid-based marketing company Workshop.

“We’re contracting with this marketing company to unify our message,” said Redzeposki. “A company like this will help our tourism partners scale up.” The company creates integrated campaigns, creative content, and brand strategy and design.

“Tourism has endless benefits; it creates jobs, strengthens economies, and contributes to infrastructure development,” said Day. “Since 2014, the sales tax revenue collected in the County of Rockland has increased every year through 2022, except for 2020, due to the pandemic shutdowns. Total sales tax revenues have not yet been tallied for 2023.

The average household in Rockland would have to pay an additional $581 in yearly property taxes to maintain current services if not for tourism-generated sales and local taxes, said Day in a press release. In 2022, tourism also generated 6,532 jobs in Rockland County, a 7.6 percent increase over 2021.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Rockland County