BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
New Business Group Helps Revitalize Hurleyville
by Denise Sullivan
HURLEYVILLE, December 2021– Back in the 1990’s, a small group of Hurleyville friends began organizing to pick up litter and beautify the hamlet.
The group would meet at the Hurleyville Emporium, an eclectic Western styled shop/hangout on Main Street, which stood next to where LaSalumina is now. Gathering with wine on Friday evenings at the Emporium, the group began to plan hamlet events and distribute holiday baskets to needy families as a way to connect with the local community. Sadly, the shop owner passed away suddenly, but the group persevered and joined Sullivan First, the organization that eventually merged with and formed Sullivan Renaissance.
Their mission, to build beautiful and active communities in Sullivan County, resonated with the local group, now called Hurleyville-Sullivan First (HSF), and they were among the very first Sullivan Renaissance grantees in the County. Through the 2000’s, HSF completed dozens of beautification projects and took advantage of the Sullivan Renaissance leadership, partnerships, and planners who provided expert advice in community improvement. Believing that Hurleyville was a special place is what drove the volunteers to keep going.
Years passed, and during that time, The Center for Discovery noticed Hurleyville. Their subsequent investment brought a lot of attention and renovation to the little hamlet, including new sidewalks, crosswalks, and paving of the Rail Trail. Other people began to notice, and Hurleyville has grown even more popular. Restaurants like Casa Mia (formerly Frankie and Johnny’s) and the Pickled Owl continue to draw a steady stream of patrons, and the new Tango Café is getting ready to join this set of great Hurleyville eateries. The past two years in particular have brought new excitement to town, and Main Street is buzzing and busier than ever.
Enter Team Hurleyville – a newly formed group of active businesses that includes the Hurleyville Arts Centre, an oasis of music, movies and dance. Team Hurleyville began meeting in June to network, share information and help each other thrive. The group felt strongly about the need to attract people and share the excitement about the growth of Hurleyville, a win for everyone who believes in this special hamlet.
A couple of months ago, Team Hurleyville met and started planning to bring back the Holiday in Hurleyville festivities on December 4th, a hamlet-wide event with activities for all ages, as well as special offerings at shops and restaurants. Many are pitching in to help, and some have been driving the effort, like Jacquie Leventoff of Do Over Real estate, who has some outstanding new Airbnb rentals on Hope Street, Denise Lombardi, owner of the lovely Hurleyville General Store, Hal Simon from Fortress Bikes, who is gearing up for winter snow shoe rentals, Suzanne Cecil of the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Perry Gipps of the PartyMaster entertainment company, Jack Comstock from the Collaborative College High School, and Eleanor Friedman of La Salumina. Bold Gold Media group kicked in a radio commercial for the event, and the Hurleyville Fire Department is helping, too.
Apparently it is true: if you build it, they will come. Go Team Hurleyville!