Clear sky
Clear sky
26.6 °F
December 06, 2016
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

It’s a wonderful life

Thunder 102's Paul Ciliberto greets Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the Bethel Woods Holiday Market benefiting the CASA Kids Toys for Tots campaign.

December 6, 2012

My desk is cluttered more than usual this week. Flyers, cards, and scraps of paper litter my world as I attempt to unravel what I’ve accomplished over the last few daze and determine what lies ahead. As if I weren’t dizzy enough, I’m sick. Right on schedule (or so it would seem) I have a cold that has socked me with a one-two punch that has forced me to slow down a bit and take care of myself. “No rest for the weary” echoes in my addled brain, as I heave my tired old bones out of bed and review my notes.

Mixing business with pleasure always appeals, and I did just that while attending the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) ( “Marketing through the Arts” mixer at the Catskill Distilling Company ( in Bethel last Thursday. Although the invite was made out to me, Dharma (for something completely different) was the “belle of the ball,” as she sashayed around the distillery, stopping for photo-ops in between speakers. DVAA Executive Director Elaine Giguerre gave her a pat before addressing the packed room along with Board of Directors President Jeffrey Allison and (lo and behold!) I learned a few things.

I’ve always been keenly aware of the importance of the tourism industry here in the Upper Delaware Valley, but the fact sheet given out at the event was illuminating. In part, I discovered that “Tourism in the Catskills is a billion-dollar business and provides nearly 17,000 jobs in the region.” In addition, “traveler spending in the area grew 3.3% in 2011 and 8.7% in 2010 over the previous year.” Good news to be sure, but as the speakers pointed out there is “always more work to be done” and the DVAA mission—“to advance arts in the region through innovative programming and building artistic and business alliances”—is an ongoing process.