Cuomo mounts a motorcycle to announce $5 million Catskills tourism campaign

Above: Gov. Andrew Cuomo riding a motorcycle through the Catskills. Photo via the governor's press office, via Flickr.

Riding on a motorcycle in a leather jacket through the peak of the Catskills fall colors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a procession of bikers around the Ashokan Reservoir to a private luncheon at the Catskill Interpretive Center in the Ulster County hamlet of Mount Tremper on Friday, Oct. 23. 

Earlier today, Cuomo announced that he was launching a $5 million I LOVE NY marketing plan for the Catskills region, a 2016 "Catskills Challenge" and a "Ride the Catskills" tourism website.

The new website, which contains motorcycling and biking itineraries for Catskills visitors, is a sub-section of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's website.

Cuomo did not make the announcement in the Catskills. Instead, he delivered the news at Minnewaska State Preserve Park, which is located in the Shawangunks. In his remarks, Cuomo also announced $7.3 million in new funding for Minnewaska to make it a "world class tourism destination."

Above: Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrives at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper on a motorcycle on Oct. 23, 2015. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

The event at the Catskill Interpretive Center was closed to the public and the media, so details about the plan were released in a press release issued by the governor's office:

Next summer Governor Cuomo will host a Catskills Challenge to promote tourism and showcase all of the recreational opportunities the region has to offer, including fly fishing, paddling, hiking and mountain biking. The Challenge will be modeled after the Governor’s successful Adirondack Challenge used to strengthen tourism in Upstate New York and will bring together state and local officials, tourism industry representatives and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the Catskills region.

Empire State Development will launch a $5 million tourism ad campaign next year to promote all the Catskills region offers to visitors from around the world. The campaign will feature TV ads promoting the world class attractions across the region, expanded service for the I LOVE NY bus, a Catskills concierge program with New York City hotels and extensive marketing to tour operators and travel agents in key markets including China, Australia, UK, Germany and Canada.

As part of that campaign, New York State today launched the “Ride the Catskills” tourism website, an online resource that features a series of itineraries and trips for visitors to enjoy the pristine beauty of the Catskill Mountain region by motorcycle, car and bike as well as through other outdoor adventures. The website connects scenic locations and outdoor recreation activities with dining, shopping and lodging opportunities in the region. Whether it’s kayaking, hiking, horseback riding or getting an aerial view from a hot air balloon, opportunities abound in the Catskills to explore natural wonders. The Ride the Catskills website and theme-based itineraries were developed in partnership with Catskill Association for Tourism Services. 

Below: The governor's office released a video of Cuomo's motorcycle tour through the Catskills.