Local tourism industry on the rise after COVID

By Connor Linskey
Posted 9/8/21

Business has improved as of late for Active Lifestyle Tours, LLC after the company braved the worst parts of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far.

The company launched in the summer of 2019. In the …

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Local tourism industry on the rise after COVID

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Business has improved as of late for Active Lifestyle Tours, LLC after the company braved the worst parts of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far.

The company launched in the summer of 2019. In the business’ first few months, William Farrell, the company’s owner and a resident of Marlboro, held just a few tours as he got a feel for the tourism industry.

Then the pandemic hit in March 2020, which greatly affected the tourism industry.

“It pretty much just shut tourism down,” Farrell said regarding the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Getting a lot of people traveling was really difficult and tough. I kinda had to wait.”

Farrell is also a full-time firefighter with the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department. This job helped him support himself as his tourism business struggled during the worst months of the pandemic. At that time, he promoted his tourism business by placing ads on Google as well as social media.

Business started to pick up in May 2020 and got progressively better through the summer months. People wanted to go outside after spending months cooped up in their homes. Farrell noted that the company had its most business in the fall of 2020. Active Lifestyle Tours had a solid summer and Farrell hopes that business will be as busy as it was last fall.

Farrell is an avid traveler. His willingness to show off New York to others, as well as his passion for the outdoors were his drive to start his tourism business. Farrell has traveled to over 30 countries and 40 U.S. states. He has a true love for the travel and tour industry, which he has been a part of since 2013. In addition to working as a firefighter, Farrell also works as a trip director for an international travel company. He has managed trips for group sizes ranging from 30 to 60 from all areas of the world. His travels have taken him from the Gold Coast of Australia to the Gold Coast of California, but above all, he loves to show off his home state of New York.

“I have lived in New York all my life and I still find so many new areas to be explored and adventures that await me,” Farrell said. “I find that many people that live here feel the exact same way. So, no matter where you’re from, come and experience all of New York for an unforgettable time!”

Active Lifestyle Tours offers many trips throughout the Catskill Mountains, Hudson Valley and New York City.

The company offers a zipline adventure tour at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills. It is the highest, fastest, and longest zipline canopy tour in North America and the second largest zipline in the world. The tour soars 600 feet above the ground with crisscrossing twin ziplines. Participants will cruise for over four miles through the Catskills, from mountain peak to mountain peak and back again, reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The entire tour lasts about three hours. Each participant is attached to the course by a safe and secure harness and receives a safety course prior to zipping away.

Situated 2 1/2 hours north of New York City and one hour from Albany is Hunter Mountain and Tannersville. The highest peaks of the Catskill Mountains offer outdoor recreation and the chance to reconnect with nature, each other and oneself. During the trip, attendees will stay at the Kaatskill Mountain Club Resort and Spa. The resort offers a luxurious stay in nature located adjacent to Hunter Mountain. This Vail Resorts owned and operated hotel features a four-season outdoor heated pool, two outdoor hot tubs, game room, full service spa, fitness room and a full-service restaurant.

Active Lifestyle Tours also offers a Catskill Mountains Waterfall hike. This will bring participants to the top viewing platform where they can see Kaaterskill Falls, the highest cascading waterfall in New York State. After reaching the viewing platform, participants have the option of hiking down alongside the waterfall to add as many miles and difficulty as they want.

The company has another tour which offers rail biking as well as trips to Woodstock Brewery, the Walkway Over the Hudson and Beacon. While rail biking, participants will travel alongside the Esopus Creek through the beautiful nature of the Catskill Mountains on an eight-mile total round trip ride. The rail bikes are pedal powered but could be electric powered if the group needs them.

After rail biking, participants can enjoy a frosty beer at the Woodstock Brewery. They can also check out the gorgeous Emerson Spa shops, restaurant, hotel and outdoor sitting area near the water.

The Walkway Over the Hudson Tour provides access to the Hudson River’s breathtaking landscape. Those attending the tour can feel free to take a jog, rent a bike (must reserve beforehand with Active Lifestyle Tours) or just stroll at their leisure.

A tour of Beacon is also offered. The city has a lot to offer, such as shopping, dining, bar-hopping, hiking, a river park, breweries, hotels, waterfalls, a popular contemporary art museum and much more.

Those attending the Woodstock Brewery, Walkway Over the Hudson and Beacon tour will stay at the Roundhouse Hotel. This is a luxurious, unique and historic property overlooking a beautiful waterfall, rushing creek and bustling street corner in Beacon.

The tour agency also offers a hike of Mount Beacon and an opportunity to explore wineries. The Mount Beacon hike is a 2 ½ mile round trip moderate hike (easier hikes/walks are available as well). Guests will get to visit Benmarl Winery, the oldest vineyard in the country. They will also go to Nostrano Vineyards.

Alternatives to the hike include walking Long Dock Park in Beacon or the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Participants can also choose a llamas and alpacas walk or do a longer winery tour with three wineries instead of two.

Breweries and distilleries are also available to tour. Transportation is provided by the company.

Active Lifestyle Tours allows people to create custom trips. The company is happy to book anything that a person or a group would like for any date that they desire.

There are numerous trips available in New York City. Active Lifestyle Tours offers jet boating with close pass by views of the Statue of Liberty as well as an interactive bus tour. Another tour entails trips to One World Trade Center’s 100th Floor Observatory as well as a trip to the Sept. 11 Memorial and a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Those interested also have the opportunity to visit the Empire State Building 86th Floor Observatory. The 86th Floor has been the setting of dozens of movie and television scenes, as well as tens of millions of unforgettable personal moments. The observation deck wraps around the building’s spire, providing 360-degree views of New York and beyond. Tour participants have the chance to visit Chelsea Market, an indoor food hall with more than 45 vendors. They will also walk High Line Park, an elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail.

Adventure enthusiasts can join Active Lifestyle Tours for a bike or walk through Central Park. They will also receive tours of iconic spots such as Columbus Circle, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue.

The tour agency offers a ferry from New York City to Sandy Hook Beach, New Jersey. The ferry ride offers tours of many of New York’s famous landmarks. This stretch of seven-mile pristine ocean and bay beaches are excellent for swimming, relaxing and catching a tan. For nature lovers, there are extensive hiking trails, running and bike paths, a spectacular holly forest and more than 300 species of birds at Sandy Hook Beach. Participants will also find old military forts and the country’s oldest lighthouse.

Active Lifestyle Tours offers a variety of trips for people of all walks of life.
“We offer the best of both worlds,” Farrell said. “We feature unique outdoor activities from hiking with a llama to biking on a railroad. Then couple that with sipping delicious wines at a winery and end your day relaxing at your luxury hotel, everything booked by us!”

To learn more about Active Lifestyle Tours or to book a trip, visit activelifestyletours.com.

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