By Rockland County Executive Ed Day
Monday, March 12th, marks the beginning of this year’s Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, a week I look forward to every year, not just because of the great food available at our local restaurants but because this week brings with it a golden opportunity.
The opportunity to attract new visitors to Rockland’s many great restaurants and convince them to come back again to spend the day in our hamlets, villages and towns is priceless. Tourism in New York is big business. When I first took office, I vowed to make tourism a priority in my administration.
We have done that through increased outreach to places as close as New York City and as far away as China and Ireland to bring people and their tourism dollars to Rockland County. We’ve also received nearly $6 million in State Regional Economic Development grants that benefit Rockland.
These grants are all about bringing people, tourists, into Rockland County.
We want people to come here, spend the day in downtown Nyack or Suffern, go to the Haverstraw River Arts Festival, see a theater performance.
While they are here, they can eat at our restaurants, shop in our stores and find other ways to spend money. That money fuels our economy. Were it not for tourism-generated sales and local taxes, the average household in Rockland would have to pay an additional $555 in taxes to maintain current services.
That is why opportunities like Hudson Valley Restaurant Week are so important. With 22 restaurants throughout the county participating, we have a great chance to attract even more people to Rockland.
They can experience living history by dining at the 76 House in Tappan, a three-hundred-year-old structure listed as a National Landmark, or they can get a taste of Rockland’s diversity at Union Restaurant and Bar Latino in the Village of Haverstraw.
Not only is this a chance for visitors to explore the best Rockland has to offer, but it is an opportunity for you and me to dine at some of our finest establishments at an enviable price. For the next two weeks, these restaurants are putting their best food forward; showcasing to all that Rockland County is the premiere destination in the Lower Hudson Valley. I urge you to join me in enjoying some great food at an excellent price!