If you can write a convincing 200-word essay on “How would owning the Lakefront Dream Home change your life?,” you just might win a very nice Lakefront Dream Home in New York’s Catskills Mountains.
Entrepreneurs Andrew Bares and Kelly Livorgna are offering up their 5.5 acre retreat featuring more than 250 feet of lake frontage on Swinging Bridge Reservoir in the town of Bethel, NY, to the winning essayist. Bethel was the site of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 and is now the home of Bethel Woods, a superb music venue.
The two-bedroom house is in a woodsy area and offers direct access to fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and cross-country skiing. It has a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, a large deck, and is well furnished.
I can vouch for the scenic beauty of the region, where I’ve spent a lot of time.… Continue reading
Back in late February, we chronicled the saga of how Ithaca, New York, travel marketers won worldwide publicity by urging potential visitors to go to sunny Key West instead of coming to frigid Ithaca.
The brutal subzero winter temperatures and constant snows in upstate New York had just gotten to be too much, and the local Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website blared, “We surrender!” Visitors were urged to return in warmer weather to enjoy Ithaca’s waterfalls, wineries, gorges and cultural attractions.
After that story went viral, the seemingly counter-intuitive result was hundreds of thousands of VisitIthaca website hits and countless phone callers and online chatters wanting to know more about Ithaca — home to Cornell University and, indeed, a great place to visit when you aren’t in imminent danger of contracting frostbite. (I should point out, though, that for many… Continue reading
You may have read or heard the story: on Sunday February 15, during a freezing upstate New York weekend, the director of the Ithaca-Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau put up a message on the bureau’s website (VisitIthaca.com) reading, “That’s it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West, anyone?”
That’s right — director Bruce Stoff was suggesting (and jesting) that, while temperatures were hitting ten below and the incessant snows were whipping around in minus 30-degree wind chill, people should forget about visiting Ithaca and head straight to the warmth of the Florida Keys. “Please come back when things thaw out. Really, it’s for the birds here now…P.S. Send us a postcard.”
Stoff even linked to the Florida Keys Tourism Council site.
As someone living in upstate New York suffering through similar weather conditions, and also a frequent visitor… Continue reading
OK, I’ll admit it, there’s nothing scientific about this list. I haven’t googled “The Five U.S. Cities Foreign Visitors Want to See Most,” because this post is based strictly on my own anecdotal experience.
And my experience in talking with foreign visitors from Switzerland to Singapore, Panama to Palau — and points in between and beyond — is that a remarkable number have the same wish list:
* Las Vegas
* New York City
Having lived in three of these cities and visited the other two, I understand the appeal. Not only are they great cities, but they dominate American movies and TV settings, and, in several cases, serve as the beacons of American glitz and glamour.
Sure, I’ve met… Continue reading
If you start to see Chinese-style rice porridge appearing in your hotel’s breakfast buffet, don’t be surprised — it just means that hotels are catching on to the skyrocketing spending power of the sheer numbers of Chinese tourists now washing over American (and other) shores.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Chinese tourists spent more than $100 billion worldwide last year, up by more than third since 2011, during the course of some 83 million trips out of China. That’s more than any other nationality.
While the bulk of those statistics reflect travel within other parts of Asia, the U.S. is also seeing an influx of Chinese visitors — some 1.5 million of them in 2012, spending nearly $9 billion here. That’s an average of $6,000 spent per trip — also more than any other nationality.
The rise… Continue reading
I was glad to read in The New York Times that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo took time out from their busy schedules to promote tourism in the Adirondacks, a huge tract of parkland in upstate New York.
The two officials, who haven’t always seen eye-to-eye politically, agreed to meet each other oar-to-oar for some whitewater rafting on the Indian River. Each was part of a team of six rafters — consisting of various aides, bodyguards and relatives (including Cuomo’s two daughters) — who competed against each other for bragging rights, to see who could complete the river runs the fastest.
The rafting competition was part of a week-long event called the Adirondack Challenge, designed to call attention to various activities in this mountainous, lake-dotted region of the state: everything from art shows… Continue reading