Friday, September 17, 2021

News from the Tourism Board

Only four of the eight members of the Tourism Board were present at last night's meeting (Chris McManus, Kate Treacy, Ivy Dane, and Selha Graham), but some interesting information emerged. First, Ryan Wallace, who replaced Calvin Lewis as Third Ward alderman, has also replaced Lewis as chair of the Tourism Board.

Also of interest was the proposed Tourism Board budget for 2022, presented by Chris McManus. The proposal is that $209,845 be allocated in the 2022 city budget for distribution by the Tourism Board. 

Of that amount, $42,000 is to be used to repeat Warren Street Shared Usage in 2022, $28,345 for Waterfront Wednesdays, and $60,000 to support four BIPOC events in Hudson--$15,000 each for Operation Unite Black Arts & Culture Festival, Juneteenth Festival, Bangladeshi Cultural Festival, and Latinx Festival, which is happening for the first time this weekend. Lesser amounts are being proposed for such events as Winter Walk ($7,500), Flag Day ($2,000), and Hudson Pride Parade ($2,000).

Responding to the proposed budget, Wallace suggested, "Let's pull together and get feedback from the community." McManus assured him, "This is a list for us to start a discussion. This is not an ask."

In considering this proposal, a little history is in order. For many years, the City of Hudson allocated $20,000 annually to support events and festivals determined to enhance the quality of life for Hudson residents and attract visitors to Hudson. That money was divvied up among organizations planning qualifying events by the Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee, a standing committee of the Common Council created in 2000At the beginning of 2018, Council president Tom DePietro did away with the Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee and in April of that year assigned the task of meting out the $20,000 to the Finance Committee. During the budget process at the end of that year, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (BEA) decided to eliminate the $20,000 from the next year's budget, so in 2019, the $20,000 for festivals and events was provided by the Tourism Board, taken from its budget which that year amounted to about $140,000. The money was divided among eleven groups. The list of events funded in 2019 can be found here

The Tourism Board was created in 2018 by the lodging tax law, Section 275 Article VIII of the city code. The law originally gave the Tourism Board a percentage of the revenue from the lodging tax, never to exceed $250,000 a year. Early in 2020, the Council voted to amend Section 275 Article VIII to eliminate the Tourism Board's funding and to direct all the revenue from the lodging tax into the general fund. It's interesting that some of the loudest voices calling for defunding the Tourism Board back in 2019 are now members of the Tourism Board and seeking funding from the City. Of course, the only thing some recall about the original Tourism Board is the proposal to hire a consultant to help craft a strategic plan to market Hudson in a way that respected the integrity and character of the city, didn't relinquish telling Hudson's story to the whims of travel writers, and made Hudson's popularity as a destination more dependable and sustainable. That effort was reduced by critics to the notion of branding, and so it is remembered by at least one member of the current Tourism Board.


  1. ....and how exactly do any of these events promote tourism? This board continues to be nothing other than a cash machine for its members' "friends and family." Hudson deserves better than this type of CORRUPTION and misappropriation of funds from our city government. Shame on the Mayor and the Common Council for facilitating and enabling this group.

    1. How this will enhance tourists into visiting Hudson seems to be very unlikely, nor will it generate much in extra sales tax revenues for the city.

      it will make all diverse minorities feel better, and will only cost Hudson $60,000.00 plus the cost of clean up.

      Is it not worth it to make these people happy, even if it costs $ 500.00 per person?

      They might feel even better if the Tourism Board or the Mayor just handed them the cash. What do you all think ??

      Hudson has lots of cash to throw around. we know that. Look at the Youth Dept, or the Sloop Club.

      Its raining money in Hudson, and good feelings if you are not paying taxes -which almost none of these people are.

  2. The money being thrown around is mind boggling. 28K for waterfront Wednesdays, seriously? Half this stuff should be canceled and made into property tax rebates.

  3. Seems to me that the Winter Walk is truly unique to Hudson and is capable of bringing in tourists from all over and hence, revenues for our City. I think it should get more support - it is also a marvel for everyone.

  4. Also the Hudson Out weekend. It's not just the parade.

    Flag day also brings in people from other communities.

    I wonder if any rationale was presented for the decisions regarding the grant amounts.

  5. started over a year ago and now posts weekly updates with events, happenings, and listings, all in and around the City of Hudson.

    Fold-out walking maps are available free throughout Hudson in businesses and lodging rooms. Two sets of walking maps have been produced, 5,000 per set - Summer and Fall. A third set is planned for Winter.

    A scan code is on each map that brings you directly to the website. A calendar of events lets you know what is happening each day - events for both locals and tourists.

    The website is agnostic of any other social media platform - you do not have to be on FB or IG to see any information.

    Anyone can submit an event into the calendar, FREE. Anyone can join the newsletter and get weekly updates.


    Thank you to readers and advertisers for your support throughout the past year.


  6. Project Hudson: "The Tourism Board is tasked with using its funds to promote our city. With Project Hudson, the board hopes to take small steps toward supporting the creativity, ingenuity, and civic-mindedness of Hudsonians to create a more vibrant, healthy, equitable, and safe place to live and to be."

    1. Those two sentences have nothing to do with each other. The very definition of a non sequitur (a literary device, often used for comedic purposes. It is something said that, because of its apparent lack of meaning relative to what preceded it, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing). Seems very befitting for the feckless Hudson Tourism board, appointed by the Mayor and supported by the Common Council. All would be funny if not so sad and involve hundreds of thousands of dollars of misappropriated funds that should be put to better use in a city with such a high poverty rate.

  7. With so many diverse groups making requests for funding for parades and waterfront parties, it would make economic sense and would also beneficial in bringing all the populations together socially, to have one singular, BIPOC parade and party that each group could be a part of. As other groups may want to join in the future, they could easily be added to the mix.

    Do we really need another parade for Juneteenth? Flag day, once the parade is finished becomes a BIPOC event down at the waterfront, and occurs at nearly the same time, no reason that these two celebrations couldn't be combined into one. Two big events, Juneteenth/Flag day in June, and one multicultural, BIPOC event in August, seems more than enough parades and celebrations than needed during the summer.

    1. Frankly the two couldn't be more different, and Juneteenth is a really important event, and more directly serves and impacts resident of Hudson, as opposed to Flag day which definitely is a more regional and less city based draw. Not that they both shouldn't exist but if we were to choose one over the other....

    2. There are so many issues with your post that it is difficult to unpack them all. But I will try.

      “With so many diverse groups”

      Yes, they are diverse groups. Diverse means different. Not an amalgam.

      “bringing all the populations together socially, to have one singular, BIPOC parade and party that each group could be a part of”

      This is not about parades and parties. It is about cultural identity. Bringing all the populations together means that you see this as an “us” (I can only assume WASP, not immigrant in the last 50 years, because we are all, with the exception of native Americans, immigrants) and “them” dynamic. The “them” for you are all just people with no differentiating cultural or experiential qualities, so they can be lumped together in a culturally meaningless parade. This is the most telling sentence in your post.

      Do we really need another parade for Juneteenth?

      Yes we do. Juneteenth is a commemoration of a very significant date in American history. It commemorates the date that the last slaves were freed in Texas in 1865. It has nothing to do with Flag Day. May I suggest, if you are interested in reading, that you read the speech by Frederick Douglass “What to the slave is the fourth of July”.

    3. The argument that having a multicultural parade that celebrates all the various cultural identities in the community somehow dilutes cultures and renders them meaningless is absurd. This is what the USA is about, we are a nation of immigrants, each with our own history and identity but a part of the whole. The fragmentation and separation of peoples by race and culture is very negative in my opinion, it is a form of segregation that perpetuates racism and white nationalism.

      Flag day and Juneteenth have a lot in common, they both celebrate freedom from tyranny. The idea as Douglass said, that the 4th of July (flag day) did not include black Americans is all the more reason to celebrate both at once, not to dissolve or lose Juneteenth, but to recognize it as an essential and missing part of the celebration of freedom in the USA. Seems to me, if Douglas was alive today and observed the racial and economic segregation in Hudson, he would both be horrified and agree that in 2021, separation by culture, race and economic status is a bad idea.

  8. Replies
    1. of course not,

      they do not have to do anything, they just ask for money from the City, the State, the Federal Government, or Galvan.

      Why do anything anymore ?

  9. Can we please stop the negativity on this? Many of these initiatives are good for Hudson and good for our community.
    The question I raised about funding in an earlier post was about how these decisions were made. I
    t still bears discussion.


    1. What's negative?

      Seems to me the problem is the Tourism Board was created to use the funding from the lodging tax to promote the city and tourism. Since that's not happening the board should be abolished and a new board created. It could be called something more in keeping with the new purpose, the Tax Disbursement Board, or Parade Financing Board.

  10. In all seriousness and not judging the merits of these events, they do not draw tourism. The tourism industry seems to to a good job with their individual marketing efforts without the help of the city (or sometimes seemingly hindering from the city). Maybe the board should be called the “Community Arts & Culture Board” to be more in line with its focus. How much funding they get and what they spend it on is another discussion. Speaking of which… why so much again for Shared Streets? I personally support the general idea, but if we’re gonna use the ugly concrete blocks again, aren’t they paid for now? Is this money for the city labor to move them? Another consultant to deal with complainers? Also, we should look to Catskill on how they just used one concrete block on the side facing the direction of traffic, and using fencing and planters to border the rest of the assigned plots. Plus, their concrete blocks are “upgraded” using a mold with a false textured stone wall look.