HUDSON VALLEY – Tourism remains big business in the Hudson Valley. An annual consultant’s report that looked at the entire state, said 81,000 people were employed in tourism jobs in the Hudson Valley last year. Tourists spent $4.75 billion last year and over $318 million in local taxes benefited municipalities in the region.
Hudson Valley tourism in the ranges from recreational to historic, and could add gaming in the future assuming casinos are legalized.
Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. Director Mary Kay Vrba, who is also Dutchess County Tourism executive director, said casinos should not hurt the other forms of tourism in the greater region.
“I think some of the folks who come up to casinos are kind of single-focused, they are coming up for that particular venue,” Vrba said. “They are coming up to gamble and maybe watch a show. I don’t think we necessarily see them visiting a lot of attractions on that particular day, and I think that those folks that are coming up for the outdoors or the leisure market or the history, they are going to continue to come for that.”
Assuming state voters approve gaming later this year, the Sullivan-Ulster County area could get up to two casinos.