07/13/17 6:00am
07/13/2017 6:00 AM

Visitors to the North Fork will soon have another way of traveling among their favorite shops, restaurants and wineries as a North Fork trolley service is set to begin on Sept. 2.

The fall service, which will run until November, will act as a pilot program and organizers will adjust the service based on user response. An official launch is expected for spring 2018.

Those who wish to use the service will pay $10 for a bracelet which allows them to ride for the day. One trolley can fit about 30 people. READ

12/09/16 3:33pm
12/09/2016 3:33 PM

Luminati Aerospace Calverton UAV

New York State played Santa Claus for local municipalities and developers Thursday, doling out $62 million in grant money on Long Island, with the Riverhead, Southold and Riverside communities all on the receiving end.  READ

09/29/15 7:00pm
09/29/2015 7:00 PM

Steve Bellone

Members of the East End Tourism Alliance asked County Executive Steve Bellone to increase the amount of tourism funding they get through an existing 3-percent county room occupancy tax at a meeting in Riverhead Tuesday. READ

11/18/13 4:00pm
11/18/2013 4:00 PM

KATHERINE SCHRODEDER PHOTO | Alan Martinez, third place winner in a “World’s Fastest Shucker” contest, shows off his work at Claudio’s Restaurant.

After the last tasting of wine was sipped and the final oyster was shucked, organizers of the first-ever Taste North Fork festival are hailing the event a success. So successful, in fact, the North Fork Promotion Council is already working toward repeating the event in six months.

On Monday, NFPC president Joan Bischoff said members voted unanimously to bring back the event sometime in March or April following the large spike in business the three-day Veterans Day festival brought to the North Fork.

“The enthusiasm of the North Fork is what is driving this,” Mr. Bischoff said. “We’re going to try to schedule it on a weekend where there is something already going on, like restaurant week. It will be a good way to start off the summer season.”

Taste North Fork was made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End. Since the East End Tourism Alliance, Long Island Wine Council and North Fork Promotion Council unveiled the plan in August the event has received an overwhelming response from local businesses and town officials, organizers said.

“Businesses had anywhere from 20 to 40 percent increases in traffic and sales,” said Bryan DeLuca, of East End Tourism Alliance. “We had some vineyards with 60 to 80 percent increases in traffic and sales. Overall it was a tremendous success. The was a lot of collaboration between the businesses.”

Throughout the long weekend more than 50 local wineries, restaurants, hotels and shops offered a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region.

Participants had the option of hopping on a free shuttle bus provided by Hampton Jitney that ran in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There were also feeder buses from the Cross Sound Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. The free ridership was another first on the North Fork.

“We had a lot of ridership,” Mr. DeLuca said. “Over 1,000 people took the jitney. Hopefully this will demonstrate to the county and the state that need to start funding something similar in coming years.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that he was pleased with the turnout.

“We launched the ‘Taste NY’ campaign earlier this year to highlight the superior products that are grown and produced right here in New York and last weekend’s “Taste North Fork” event marked our latest effort,” he said. “The event was a great success in promoting the local food and beverage products to New Yorkers and visitors, and we will continue to push this ‘buy local’ movement all across the state to support our vibrant agricultural industry.”

[email protected]

10/11/13 11:15am
10/11/2013 11:15 AM
Courtesy photo by Bryan Deluca | A glimpse of the new East End Getaway boutique at Long Island MacArthur Airport.

Courtesy photo by Bryan Deluca | A glimpse of the new East End Getaway boutique at Long Island MacArthur Airport.

As part of a $335,000 grant run through the East End Tourism Alliance, a draw for travelers will be on display at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, promoting the tourist economy the East End has to offer.

In addition to selling standard tourist fare like t-shirts and hats promoting the East End, the shop will sell local food products and artwork from the region’s artists.

“This is another great opportunity for us to promote the region, not only for tourists flying in but also for commuters using that airport frequently to give them a better idea of what’s going on at the East End,” said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.

Click here to read more about the shop on Northforker.com.

10/02/13 10:00am
10/02/2013 10:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A pilot shuttle bus program will transport people to wineries, hamlets and local businesses this Veterans Day weekend.

The Southold Economic Development Committee is partnering with the North Fork Promotion Council to host a meeting for Southold businesses to learn about efforts to extend the tourist season.

The forum comes as part of a major public relations effort and significant advertising campaign for Taste North Fork, a new pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries, hamlets and local businesses this Veterans Day weekend.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY” grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End, according to the East End Tourism Alliance.

During the joint meeting, local business owners will be asked to weigh in on the planning process for the event and brainstorm activities to make the implementation of this grant a major success, according to Southold Town.

The meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Peconic Lane Community Center Peconic Lane, next to the Recreation Center.

[email protected]

08/28/13 12:00pm
08/28/2013 12:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A pilot shuttle bus program will transport people to wineries, hamlets and local businesses.

Southold Town is throwing its support behind a new pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries, hamlets and local businesses this Veterans Day weekend.

During Monday’s work session the board said it would assist the East End Tourism Alliance, Long Island Wine Council and North Fork Promotion Council in promoting the event.

“This would be an opportunity to advance business,” said Southold’s special projects coordinator Philip Beltz. “It needs to be successful so it can be continued.”

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a $335,000 “I Love NY”  grant, aiming to help promote agritourism on the East End, said Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council during the meeting.

The buses, which will be provided by Hampton Jitney, will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Cross Sound Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours.

The groups behind the shuttle are currently planning a ‘Taste North Fork” festival to coincide with the pilot program on Veterans Day weekend. The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

Mr. Bischoff said he’d like the town’s help to expand participation to include small businesses, chambers of commerce and historical societies. He hopes stops could also be made within each individual hamlet.

“The hope is [that businesses] can come up with themes to showcase their community,” he said.

“It is a fantastic idea,” said Greenport Business Improvement District president Peter Clarke said after the meeting. “It makes sense for Greenport. It’s a pedestrian spot. People could stop and see a lot of things at one time.”

Mr. Clarke said he thinks the village could be use as a hospitality center where visitors can learn about the different locations where the shuttle will stop.

Mr. Bischoff said he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

“We have to make sure it’s not a bridge to nowhere,” he said. “We would like some sort of annual event in the slow season to bring in tourists.”

The organizations are now working with the towns and the Hampton Jitney to finalize the exact shuttle route.

The Town Board agreed to host a meeting for all interested parties at the end of September to help promote the pilot program. No date has been set.

[email protected]

08/19/13 8:00am
08/19/2013 8:00 AM

Jitney

The North Fork wine trail attracts thousands of visitors each weekend. With dozens of vineyards to choose from, getting to each one – especially after the bottles have been uncorked – takes planning.

To help take the guess work out and get people to their destination safely, the East End Tourism Alliance and North Fork Promotion Council are launching a pilot shuttle bus service to connect wineries this Veterans Day Weekend.

The pilot program is being made possible through a portion of a  “I Love NY” $300,000 grant, aiming to help promote agritourism in Suffolk County, according to Steven Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council.

“The real transformative part of the project is to test out the feasibility of a free shuttle bus to facilitate tourist access for the huge New York metro population without their own cars,” he said.

The buses, which will be provided by Hampton Jitney, will run in a loop between Riverhead and Greenport. There will also be feeder buses from the Orient Point ferry and Long Island Rail Road. Stops will be made at each location approximately every 45 minutes during business hours, Mr. Bate said.

The groups behind the shuttle are currently planning a ‘Taste North Fork” festival to coincide with the pilot program on Veterans Day weekend. The three-day event will feature a full range of activities celebrating local wines and foods across the region, Mr. Bate said. Wineries, as well as local breweries and distilleries, will be invited to offer special tasting menus paired with foods from local restaurants.

Joan Bischoff of the North Fork Promotional Council said that he hopes the shuttle program can continue next year for the entire summer season.

The organizations are also now working with the towns on finalizing the exact shuttle route.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and very grateful to I Love NY for giving us the seed capital to launch what we hope will become an annual event that provides a significant seasonal boost to our local economy,” Mr. Bate said.

[email protected]