SUNY Sullivan Seeks Agency To Brand the Catskills

SUNY Sullivan Seeks Agency To Brand the Catskills

SUNY Sullivan is seeking proposals for branding and a one-year marketing campaign to launch the college’s Catskill Hospitality Institute. This project will focus on rebranding current and evolving campus activities as an entrepreneurial response to the expanding hospitality, tourism and culinary industry in the Catskill region of NYS. The winning proposal will comprise a comprehensive, effective marketing strategy, including initial launch and continuing marketing tactics that will ensure the success of SUNY Sullivan’s Catskill Hospitality Institute.


SUNY Sullivan is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) higher education system. Located in the Sullivan County Catskills, the SUNY Sullivan is located approximately 90 miles north of New York City. Sullivan County, the Catskills, and the surrounding mid-Hudson region, are experiencing tremendous growth in the hospitality and tourism sectors, as evidenced by the recently opened Resorts World Casino and YO1 Catskills: India’s Holistic Wellness Program, as well as the soon-to-be opened Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Water Park and LegoLand Theme Park. Additionally, there is a burgeoning boutique hotel industry (Foster Hospitality Supplies, the Eldred Preserve Hotel/Restaurant, and Chapin Estates Hotel.

The region also home to a number of distilleries, breweries, cider houses, and artisanal food producers, including Catskill Distilling Company at the Dancing Cat, Prohibition Distillery, Catskill Brewery, Roscoe Brewing Company, Abandoned Hard Cider, Bashakill Vineyards, Tonjes Dairy, Beaverkill Trout Hatchery, etc.

To capitalize on this growth, SUNY Sullivan, as the only institution of higher education in the county and one with a historically celebrated culinary program, is undertaking a branding initiative to incorporate multiple distinct components under the umbrella of the Catskill Hospitality Institute.

The components to be contained within the Catskill Hospitality Institute include:

Credit-bearing academic programs including:

  • Culinary Arts
  • Pastry Arts
  • Professional Chef
  • Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Tourism (Certificate)
  • Adventure Sports Management (proposed program)
  • Yoga and Wellness (proposed program in cooperation with YO1 Catskills/Himgiri ZEE University in Uttarakhand, India)

Non-credit personal enrichment (Community Learning) courses such as our Friday Night Flavor Series, which includes three-hour classes held in the college’s culinary kitchens and hosted by

SUNY Sullivan faculty. These courses take place at the Loch Sheldrake campus and the kitchen at the Narrowsburg Union. Examples of classes include:

  • The Greek Kitchen
  • Asian Cooking Class
  • Knife Skills 101
  • Farm to Table: Vegetarian Delight
  • Tipsy Desserts
  • Kids Cooking Classes, such as Way Cool Cooking Class, Gingerbread House Making, etc.

Professional development classes including TIPS and ServeSafe training for culinary and hospitality professionals.

Summer Learning Packages – targeting summer visitors to Sullivan County, these are upscale field trips to local farms (including SUNY Sullivan’s Hope Farm, Community Garden and Hoop House) farmer’s markets, cider houses, distilleries to purchase ingredients, followed by a cooking class (possibly at the hotel or bed and breakfast where the guests are staying) led by Chef Michael Bel. Participants will learn about the farm-to-fork movement.

Culinary Lunches and Dinners, held in our Grossinger Dining Room (lunches in fall semester and dinners in spring semester), prepared as part of the college’s Culinary and Pastry Arts program students, and attended by hospitality-related business owners in order to identify potential employees and/or enhance partnerships with the college.

SUNY Sullivan Bakery Café, which is operational each Wednesday morning during the fall semester. Culinary and Pastry Arts students bake all items, and run the café to gain real world business and customer service experience. The café is open to SUNY Sullivan faculty, staff and students as well as to the community at large.

Collaborations with organizations such as:

  • Sullivan Renaissance, for the Care of Public Spaces class, a unique course at SUNY Sullivan that introduces students and community members to the importance of public spaces for community health and wellness; careers and opportunities associated with caring for public spaces, facilities and grounds, parks and main streets; an understanding of the effort to engage citizens in creating public spaces. This course connects students to the natural resources and growing opportunities in Sullivan County and can lead to intern opportunities for several participants.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension & the Sullivan County Food Hub for food-related entrepreneurial learning opportunities.
  • The Sullivan Catskills Visitor’s Association, for vacation packages and internships for our students.
  • Hurleyville Arts Center for its commercial grade cooking facilities and elegant event space, movie theater and yoga studios.

Scope of Work:

SUNY Sullivan is seeking responses from recognized marketing organizations with experience working in education, hospitality/tourism and culinary promotions. The selected firm will work with key stakeholders at the College to develop and effectively implement a comprehensive marketing strategy. The winning proposal will comprise a variety of services including the following:

  • Development of strategic branding initiative that stands apart from the college’s brand, which includes a logo, tagline, mission statement.
    Identification of target demographic groups and associated marketing tactics for those various groups ranging from traditional-age students for credit-bearing programs to sophisticated adults who live in NYC and vacation in the Catskills.
  • Development of key marketing materials appropriate to various audiences.
  • Development of branded messages for use in traditional and social media.
  • Development of a grand opening event.

Due Date:

October 20th


Cindy Kashan

Dean of Community Outreach

SUNY Sullivan

112 College Road

Loch Sheldrake NY 12759

Relevant NY PR firms could include Rubenstein PR and Rubenstein Communications.

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