May 22, 2013 —
About 50 tourism businesses exchanged rack cards and other literature in advance of the opening of the summer tourist season in Sullivan County. The event this year was held at the Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History in Narrowsburg on May 16.
Deborah Conway, the director of Fort Delaware, said among the events upcoming at the fort is a colonial market fair on Memorial Day weekend. She said, “We’ve got dozens of settlers, or venders, who will be selling their wares, and doing an encampment. I have an 18th century balladeer who will be entertaining during the day on Saturday.” The balladeer, Linda Russell, played for several years at Federal Hall on Wall Street, but she was “sequestered.”
Conway also said she started advertizing last November for re-enactors as part of the effort to make the market fair more attractive to visitors. She said she has communicated with various people associated with heritage tourism, and reported, “There is one group in particular that has the potential to bring in 1,000 people for a black-powder shooting match at some point.”
For some business owners who attended the literature exchange, the past few years have been challenging. Joe Tinari, owner of the Fosterdale Motor Lodge, said, “The last couple of years have been a little tough and this year is no exception; we’re not doing phenomenally. The way we look at it now is that whatever we’ve done in the past few years, is the way it’s going to be for a while.” He said he’s tightened his belt from a 34 to a 30 inch waist.
Alan Rosenblatt, owner of Ecce Bed & Breakfast in Barryville, on the other hand, said business is pretty good. He said when people find something that they really like they will return to it, so it’s important to have something unique to offer. He said bed and breakfasts attract people with the settings they are in, with the personality of the owner and with the kind of food they provide.