Identify and create tourism opportunities to enhance economic growth and development in Rockland County.
The Hospitality and Tourism Alliance (HTA) agendas for the first quarter concentrated on various themes and locations in the County. The tourism industry has become an important economic engine for Rockland County. As the importance has increased, so has the level of participation. The HTA is a significant forum where professionals in the industry get together to learn of the latest programs, activities, trends and ideas.
The April meeting took place at 5 Wits in the Palisades Center Mall (PCM). Asia Sibert, 5 Wits Manager, informed the group that their business has been very successful at this location. While retail in general has been challenged, the PCM remains a very popular destination. Family entertainment venues have been a big draw. Mall Marketing Director, Rachel Chester, informed the group that there has been a lot of interest in the JC Penny location, after they announced closing at the PCM location. PCM is Rockland’s largest tourism destination and the interest in shopping and entertainment remains strong. Other presentations included; updates on the Rockland Bergen Music Festival, the Rockland Boulders baseball team and Tallman Beach and Pool Club. The meeting was followed by a tour of 5 Wits, where the group saw first-hand the mechanics and computer systems that control the various games.
The May meeting was held at the Edward Hopper House Art Center, in Nyack. The “Everything Nyack” theme included the former Deputy Mayor Foster who gave an outline of several tourism initiatives the Village is involved in. Of special interest, is the development of new waterfront activities, including kayaking and sail boat charter, with on-going discussion to make the marina more accessible for larger boats. Jennifer Patton, Executive Director of Hopper House, gave an overview of their activities and talked about its importance as a worldwide destination. The Hopper House has plans to grow, to the next level, as an art museum and archive. Meg Mayo, of Visit Nyack, made a presentation on the very robust schedule of marketing efforts currently in place. As a special treat, locally-made, award winning, Lisa’s Cheesecake was available for all to taste.
The June meeting was held at the Pearl River Hilton, before a packed room. David Kimmel, Director of RCC’s soon-to-be-built Nyack Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program spoke. He gave a great overview of the plans for the build-out for the new building, located in the center of Nyack, on the first floor of the former Presidential Life building (corner of Main St. and Broadway). David talked about the very unique program that will be a true hands-on program and will most certainly be a significant tourism destination. Rockland Director of Economic Growth and Tourism, Lucy Redzeposki, updated the group on the County’s tourism efforts. The meeting concluded with a discussion about the film tax credit issue, which has put Rockland at a financial disadvantage compared to counties north of us.
Upcoming meetings: September 8, October 13, November 10 and December 8, 2017.
Supervisor, Town of Ramapo, Christopher St. Lawrence, spoke about the tourism opportunities in the Town of Ramapo and how the RBA Hospitality/Tourism Alliance and the Town can work together promoting tourism.
William Boydston, Director Career & Technical, Rockland BOCES, talks about the ESL (English Second Language) Program for hotels. Next to him is Charles Hunter, Manager, Applebee's who hosted the meeting.