The weather is upending normal activities during beginning of winter in the Catskills, which started on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Skiers aren’t flocking to the mountains as they normally do right after Thanksgiving.
Instead, flocks of geese are floating peacefully on the unfrozen waters of the East Branch. Daffodils are sprouting, golfers are playing on snowless greens and salt piles remain untouched in Delaware County as the Highway Department concentrates on getting ahead of 2016’s tree program.
“It’s been a bleak beginning to December,” said Jesse Tolz, the communications manager for Windham Mountain in Greene County. Read more
Gifting is so much fun. But the classic ideas can always stand an update. After all, a partridge in a pear tree takes up the entire living room, shipments of milkmaids and drummers need to be housed (to say nothing of a gymnasium space for all those leaping lords), and calling birds just keep calling...and calling...and calling.
But you, you lucky soul, have the Catskills at your disposal. And these hills are packed with delicious foods, life-enhancing objects, fantastic fashion, life-changing experiences and mouthwatering edibles. So we’re hoping you’ll do your shopping locally, among the small independent merchants where your dollar makes a big difference.
Here are 12 local Catskills gift ideas for this holiday season.
On the first day of Christmas the Catskills gave to me:
Ring those bells and light those lights: It’s Christmastime in the Catskills. Public festivities abound. Come out and revel with your neighbors this weekend. Here’s our five-county guide to what’s doing.
Above: The Ulster County town of Shandaken will receive $415,000 in state funds to fix broken pipes in Phoenicia, part of $26 million in state grants won by Catskills organizations and municipalities today. Photo via PhoeniciaNY.com.
Now that it's the first week of December, holiday events are legion across the Catskills. There are craft markets and festivals, concerts and carolers, and Santa is popping up in Roxbury, Bethel and Schoharie. Here's what to do this weekend.
Patients and doctors across the Catskills have been scrambling to deal with the abrupt closure of Health Republic, a troubled health insurance company that is closing for business today, Monday, Nov. 30.
The shuttered company is no longer paying its claims, leaving doctors unsure whether they will ever be paid for seeing Health Republic patients. Some doctors have turned patients away, or are bargaining directly with patients over their medical fees.
In September, New York State regulators ordered Health Republic, the largest of many health insurance cooperatives to be established across the country as part of the Affordable Care Act, to close at the end of 2015. Read more
As the fourth Thursday in November rolls around, we gather in a spirit of gratitude for our mountain peaks and sparkling creeks, our deer and raptors and black bear, and for each other. Here are some places to feast among neighbors in the Catskills this Thanksgiving Day. Unless otherwise specified, all events are taking place on Thursday, Nov. 26.
The Interfaith Council is inviting everyone in the greater Margaretville community to its 5th annual free Thanksgiving dinner, taking place from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the Margaretville United Methodist Church. All are welcome and take-outs are available. Read more
Above: Maureen Wacha of Walton, a motel owner, spoke against the Delaware County bed tax at a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Photo by Robert Cairns.
Those who pay for overnight stays at hotels, motels and other lodging establishments in Delaware County will soon pay two percent more.
The Delaware County Board of Supervisors, at a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24, approved a hotel and motel occupancy tax that will also apply to bed-and-breakfast establishments and rentals of vacation homes.
Proponents of the bed tax law say that the tax will raise $192,000 per year to augment the county's tourism promotion efforts. Currently, the county spends $95,000 annually through its tourism promotion agency, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.
Under the provisions of the law, the tax’s proceeds are dedicated to tourism and will not go into the county's general fund. Read more
The holiday craft season is heating up. This weekend, 65 vendors will flock to the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo in Kingston, and more will appear at markets and bazaars in three other counties. Here's where to shop local for the holidays during the weekend of Nov. 21 and 22.
Fresh-baked pies, locally-raised meats, Catskills-made spirits and wines and much more will be for sale at the Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce (GSACC) Holiday Pop-Up Farmers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 in Stamford. The market has become an annual tradition, and over a dozen vendors will be there to provide a shopping bonanza just before Thanksgiving. Read more
Above: Colchester Supervisor Art Merrill, left, and Davenport Supervisor Dennis Valente, both opponents of the proposed Delaware County bed tax, conferred during Wednesday's meeting of the board of Supervisors. Photo by Robert Cairns.
A new version of a proposed Delaware County tax on hotel and motel occupancy was introduced at the Wednesday, Nov. 10 meeting of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors.
An earlier version of the local law to authorize the two percent tax on overnight stays at lodging establishments was withdrawn last month after supervisors agreed with critics that it unfairly placed the tax on establishments that are already subject to sales tax while allowing casual rentals of rooms and homes to go tax-free.
The new version of the law makes such casual rentals subject to the bed tax by removing language that specified that only establishments that provide maid service or other amenities are taxable.
The change is designed to make the law applicable to rooms booked through services such as AirBnB or advertised on classified ad sites like Craigslist. Read more