Second Economic Development Forum

ARKVILLE, NEW YORK---The impact and future of recreational tourism on the Catskill region will be explored in depth to build greater understanding among community leaders and business people, 10am, Saturday, February 27, at the Catskill Center (43355 Route 28, Arkville, NY 12406). The public is invited to attend and the meeting will end around 1pm.

Speakers and other participants from New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), regional chambers of commerce, environmental experts, NY State licensed guides, hiking club leaders, hotel representatives and others will share insights on how the past five years of recreational tourism growth has impacted their work and lives.  Roundtable discussions will follow each presentation.

According to Geddy Sveikauskas, member of the Catskill Center’s Board of Directors, who will chair the meeting, “By gaining more knowledge of the scope of recreational tourism growth as well as challenges facing communities and their businesses from this growth, we hope to better maximize potential benefits for the entire Catskill region.”

He pointed to a study completed in 2012 showing conservatively, recreational tourism on public land alone (not including publicly accessible private lands like ski resorts) attracted more than 1.7 million visitors to the Catskills, with an estimated economic impact on the region of more than $46 million while supporting nearly 1,000 jobs.  Including publicly accessible private lands, the numbers increase to more than 2.5 million visitors annually with an economic impact of $115 million, supporting more than 2,400 jobs in the region.

“We’ll be exploring the impact of growth since that time during which the DEP has opened a considerable portion of its land for public use, including hiking, kayaking and fishing, and how outdoor activities have grown along with increased usage of other facilities including hotel and bed and breakfast inns.”  

This meeting is the second in a series of four winter forums sponsored by the Catskill Center.  The first, held January 23, focused on the role of the region’s hamlets and villages in the region’s business and economic development.  A third forum on March 26 will explore the role played by the Internet as the new “highway” to the Catskills and the fourth to be held in April will examine the role of the Catskill’s visitor information facility:  The Maurice D. Hinchey Interpretive Center, opened in Mt. Tremper last July. 

For more information, please contact:  Erik Johanson at 845-586-2611. 


CATSKILL CENTER   Since 1969, we have led the effort to protect the more than 700,000 acres of the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve. We are the major force advocating for the Catskill region.

OUR MISSION   To protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill region.