Wednesday, May 9, 2018



Travel Rally Day marked in Dutchess

HYDE PARK – Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) celebrated National Travel Rally Day with the announcement of the winners of the 2018 Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction on Tuesday at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.  Seven categories, each with three finalists, were highlighted at the breakfast session.

Dutchess Tourism President Mary Kay Vrba said that "the travel industry in Dutchess County is strong because it is so collaborative," referring to DTI's relationship with both county and local governments along with tourism partners throughout the county that work to attract millions of tourists from around the world. 

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. has been recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the most successful tourism organizations in existence.  Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro remarked that tourism in the county has an impact on both the local economy and the quality of life for Dutchess residents.  In Dutchess, tourism brings in almost $1 billion in revenue and the industry supports 10,000 local jobs that, collectively, pay almost $300 million in salaries.

“In many ways tourism as an industry and tourism as a message is a reminder to our community, a reminder of how great we are,” Molinaro said.

The award of distinction were presented to Sabrina Kardas, an employee at the Hampton Inn of Fishkill for "Hospitality," Formal Gardens at F.W. Vanderbilt National Historic Site for the "Outdoors" category, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome for "History," Harlem Valley Farm & Food Alliance for "Family Entertainment," Hyde Park Brewing Company for "Culinary," the Wassaic Project for "Arts," and the Dutchess County Executive's Awards for Overall Distinction was presented to Bard College. 

Vrba, back row left, Molinaro, center, with the award winners

In presenting the recognition, Molinaro said that "the Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction are another way we can highlight the amazing businesses, organizations, restaurants and historic sites that make us ‘Distinctly Dutchess.’ These organizations consistently go above and beyond to serve the community and offer an incredible variety of programming and attractions."

Molinaro praised Bard, the liberal arts college in Red Hook, for helping to bring attention to Dutchess County via their campus.  Debra Pemstein, vice president of Development at Bard listed several reasons that the institution draws visitors from all over the world, all year long including the world class art at the CCS Hessel Museum of Contemporary Art and the Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts. She also mentioned that the Bard Music Festival, SummerScape, and their 930-acre arboretum draw visitors for a variety of reasons. 

The historic Montgomery Place which neighbors that campus was purchased by Bard in 2016 and draws tourists to the historic mansion and outbuildings.


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