Friday, February 5, 2010

The Catskill Watershed Hospitality Industry - Going Green

(February 2010) The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) has announced an ambitious three-year project to promote the “greening” of the tourist industry throughout the five-county Watershed region. Over 150 tourist and lodging facilities will receive direct technical assistance from Hospitality Green, LLC to improve pollution prevention, recycling and source reduction practices.

The Green Concierge project is part of New York State’s efforts to promote eco-tourism in the Catskills, as well addressing regional and statewide environmental, economic and industry sector goals. Hospitality Green will provide site visits, assessments, resource tools, and collection assistance for lodging and hospitality facilities in the Catskill watershed in order to institutionalize and quantify “green” practices throughout the region.

One of the unique aspects of the “Green Concierge” project is the use of HG’s proprietary facility assessment and audit tools, which were developed specifically for institutional settings. These tools allow facility managers to track measureable environmental improvements in water and energy usage; solid waste generation, recycling and reuse; purchasing; and chemical usage. Facilities are thus able to create and implement individualized facility improvement plans and track their progress toward source reduction goals.

Because of CWC’s role in maintaining a clean water system for the 9 million residents of New York City metropolitan area, emphasis on water conservation and chemical reduction are particularly important in the Catskills. Ninety percent of the 1.3 billion gallons of water consumed daily by New York City and surrounding communities comes from the six reservoirs in the Catskill Mountain/ Delaware River region of New York state.

Funding for the “Green Concierge” project is coming from a $74,000 grant from New York State’s economic development agency, Empire State Development Corp., along with $50,000 from the CWC’s Catskill Fund for the Future. Facilities eligible to participate in this project include hotels, inns, bed and breakfast establishments, campgrounds and rental condominiums. Interested facility managers in the five county region should contact Hospitality Green at 845.436.6173.

The Catskill Watershed Corporation is a Local Development Corporation established in 1997 to protect the water resources of the New York City (NYC) watershed located west of the Hudson River. Covering portions of Ulster, Green, Delaware, Sullivan and Schoharie Counties, CWC’s mission also extends to preserving and strengthening communities in the region as well as increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of the NYC Water System. (For general information about the CWC, please visit

Hospitality Green, LLC, is based in Mountaindale, Sullivan County, NY. For more information on Hospitality Green, please visit