EscapeMaker.com will partner with Dutchess Tourism Inc. to run popular
Farm Fresh Tours program with Metro-North Railroad through 2017.
EscapeMaker.com, NYC’s guide to local getaways since 2000, announced today that it has secured a contract with Dutchess Tourism, Inc. to administer the development and operation of their successful Dutchess County Farm Fresh Tours program through 2017.
For 10 years, Dutchess Tourism, Inc. has operated the Farm Fresh Tours program, which offers guided day trips to local farms and producers in and around Dutchess County by providing bus shuttle service to train passengers arriving at Metro-North stations in Poughkeepsie and Beacon, among others. The objective has long been to encourage car-less travelers to hop on a train from New York City and spend a day exploring local agriculture, a driving economic force and way of life in the Hudson Valley. Many Dutchess farms are family-owned and welcome visitors to “pick-your-own” produce, make purchases from their farm stands, or join them during family-oriented festivals. Apple picking, wine making, visiting breweries or learning about cheese making are all examples of agritourism, which supports local farmers and producers.
“One of our major focuses for the past several years has been to seamlessly connect the dots between customers eager to learn about where their food comes from and the local farmers who work tirelessly to produce goods to the region,” says Caylin Sanders, founder and CEO of EscapeMaker.com. “Having worked with the amazing team at Dutchess Tourism for 12 years and with our expertise for bringing New Yorkers out of the city to experience the endless offerings of the Hudson Valley, jumping at the opportunity to take over the program was an obvious and organic choice for us. Our missions are aligned.”
EscapeMaker.com will continue to offer many of the existing farm and destination itineraries, which include Metro-North transportation. All itineraries transfer from the Beacon, Wassaic and Poughkeepsie stations and highlight artisanal eats, craft beverage tasting, apple picking, eco-friendly and organic farming, festivals and more. Following the 2017 season, EscapeMaker.com will be exploring ways to expand in future seasons, including working with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket and farmers to educate their shoppers about trip options.
“For the past decade, Metro-North Railroad has had a great experience partnering with Dutchess Tourism on this important local initiative,” said Donna Haynes, assistant director of promotional partnerships of Metro-North. “We have no doubts that our friends at EscapeMaker.com and their expertise for agritourism will energize and continue the success of the program.”
The program offers the best of culinary tourism in unique, educational, and memorable eating and drinking experiences, from local apple picking to whiskey tasting. Tours will become available for booking sixty days in advance. Shuttle bus reservations are required and must be made at least 48 hours in advance and confirmed before a train ticket is purchased.
“We are very excited to welcome the EscapeMaker.com team on board to help us bring even more visitors from New York City to our county agritourism businesses,” said Mary Kay Vrba, president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism. “Dutchess Tourism, Inc. will continue to support and promote the Farm Fresh Tours program and look forward to its continued success and growth moving forward.”
About Dutchess Tourism Inc.
Dutchess Tourism Inc. (DTI) is a private nonprofit 501(c)6 whose purpose is to promote Dutchess County and stimulate economic growth by attracting overnight visitors, meetings and conferences to Dutchess County. The area is known internationally as the epicenter for culinary innovation, agritourism, wine and for its bucolic landscapes and exquisite Hudson River vistas.
It is EscapeMaker.com’s mission to provide New York area residents with the education and tools necessary to break free from New York City and explore the countless farmers, producers and local agritourism destinations located within a day’s drive or train ride from New York City.
About Metro-North Railroad
Metro-North Railroad, is a suburban commuter rail service run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a public authority of the state of New York. The service also offers packages, special fares and deals to area local attractions and w