The Birth of #CatskillsLove
A Special Place
There is a very special corner in the Catskills, where the first waters of the Delaware River bubble up from the ground and begin to roll together westward towards the sea. It’s a place where the Catskills high peaks melt into softer rolling hills and small communities filled with historic architecture are strung like jewels among forests and farmland. It is a landscape that is both beautiful and demanding, and invites a special spirit of adventure from those who live here and those who visit.
Do you know it?
Maybe you’re a fourth generation farmer or business owner, or maybe your family has come here for decades for your own adventure in the mountains. Or maybe you’re just discovering this corner of the Catskills as you are looking for something real, something out of the ordinary, and something magical.
We invite you to fall in love.
The Birth of #CatskillsLove
While the Catskills region is seeing a boom in popularity, being included in National Top travel lists and featured in movies and Emmy-Award winning television shows, this corner of the Catskills is still something of a well-kept secret. As a community of fiercely independent, creative, iconoclastic businesses, we are continually looking for ways to invite the world to our door, and share the riches of our retail, food, and attractions both with visitors as well as our neighbors.
After decades of ebbs and flows, our communities are blooming into diverse, exciting destinations with a fabulous mix of old and young business owners and residents and an amazing roster of businesses. Restaurants ranging from neighborhood cafés to world-class cuisine, and shops offering local, regional and global goods; award-winning distilleries and cideries, and more: there is new life abounding on every one of our historic Main streets.
In the fall of 2018, regional community foundation the MARK Project brought together a group of local business owners - retailers, makers, guides, restaurateurs, and hoteliers - to create momentum that would support our extraordinary businesses, bringing awareness and revenue to our vibrant yet often-undiscovered towns. And #CatskillsLove was born!
Inspired by campaigns like American Express Small Business Saturday and Hawaii’s Hawaii Revealed, #CatskillsLove is being crafted to be a year-round, multi-touch campaign to not only attract tourists but also invigorate locals and weekenders to discover the hidden treasures here and shop local.
Supported by grant funding from New York State and the O’Connor Foundation, our first roll-out of #CatskillsLove is centered on the uniquely charming communities served by the MARK Project: Andes, Arkville, Bovina, Fleischmanns, Halcottsville, Margaretville, and Roxbury. As the love grows, so, too, will #CatskillsLove…
What’s In a Name?
As the group explored what most rang true for us about this place we live and work, the theme kept coming back to “love”. It is not uncommon to meet a local or weekend and hear the words ‘We came for a weekend and fell in love, so bought our house a month later.” In fact the final name was solidified with a quote from local business owner Lindsay Barton of Table to Farm Tours:
“Catskills Love resonates for me, it's how I feel about the area and while I'm not sure about the message it sends for commerce vs tourism one of the things that people most notice on our tours is their passion for what they do. If you live here or have started a business here, chances are you love what you do and this region.”
Feel the #CatskillsLove!
#CatskillsLove launches Feb. 1, 2019 with a month-long Instagram Giveaway and special offers and events in each town President’s Day weekend Feb 15- 17. The campaign will include events and contests at least once per quarter, ‘always-on’ social media and community blog content, print support & merchandise and small business support.
While the initial phase of the campaign focuses on the towns that the MARK Project serves, there are plans in place to expand to a larger regional footprint as momentum and financial support builds.