Radio Guest List — The Abbey Inn & Spa in Peekskill, New York on November 21, 2020
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Scott McCartney, Travel Editor at The Wall Street Journal, joins the program to speak about the speculation surrounding the incoming administration: how will it affect travel and tourism, what it means for the future of high speed rail and the implications of expanding train travel in small towns and around the country. Then, Scott expands on the mask mandates and how it affects travel at local and state levels and what it really means when airlines ban people from refusing to wear masks on a flight. Is it forever or just until the mandate is over?
Gene Sloan, Senior Reporter, Cruise & Travel at The Points Guy, joins Peter to discuss being on the first major cruise to sail since the beginning of the pandemic. How did it go? Four days into the trip, someone on the ship tested positive and then the cruise locked down completely. It was a different kind of cruise from that point on. So how and when will the cruise industry come back? Gene gives his predictions and dives into the requirements and regulations that may push back the timeline.
Maggie Howell, Executive Director at Wolf Conservation Center, speaks about the critically endangered wolves that call Westchester and other nearby regions home. Maggie then speaks about ambassador wolves and safeguarding their natural behavior. Then, Peter and Maggie discuss other local wildlife, their return to the region and how people can get involved and engage with the wolves. There are immersive programs aimed to inform people about how similar wolves and humans are.
Jason Klein, Director of Conservation for the Westchester County Department of Parks, talks about the more than 50,000 acres of park land and the wide range of outdoor life. He speaks about the surprising aspects of the greenery, the rails-to-trails and the diversity of habitat and wildlife. It has had record visitation since April because people really want to get outside. How about bears, mountain lions and golf courses? You can find all of that here.
Glenn Vogt, Owner & Manager at Rivermarket Bar & Kitchen, chats about how weathering the pandemic and how its mission statement of serving locally produced food ties into that. He talks about preparing for the winter. He’s also part of an organization that works to keep the Hudson River clean and create environmental stewardship. Glenn says he has been doing farm-to-table before it was “farm-to-table’” and talks about the connection between us as consumers and where the food actually comes from.
George Latimer, Westchester County Executive, dives into all things Westchester: the food scene, the natural outdoor environment and turning into much more than just a place to sleep outside of Manhattan. He describes the defining geography, the reservoirs and gorges and the natural advantages that inhabit the county along with its well-known landmarks. He speaks to the point that it can be desirable to be in a less populated area and the country can offer that. It can also offer the only government-owned amusement park that opened in 1928 called Playland – a local favorite.
Dr. Betsy Bradley, Vice President of Programs and Engagement for Historic Hudson Valley, talks about all the little-known aspects of the region’s history and the legends like that of Sleepy Hollow. She also dives into the enslavement of Africans in the north, which she says is seldomly taught in school. Then, she shares the unique architectural story behind a lot of the region’s homes and the countless number of trails, even a secret trail that makes you feel like you’re in Vermont.
Janet Langsam, CEO of Arts Westchester, speaks about the region’s arts and culture as well as outdoor art-oriented activities that are ideal for enjoyment during these strange times. She explains the Lyndhurst Mansion’s renovation projects, the fantastic landscape design and all the great things that can be done there as well. She argues that Westchester has become the outdoor sculpture destination of the state. There are several outdoor sculptures that can be visited, including a unique sound sculpture installation.
Gilbert Baeriswil, General Manager at The Abbey Inn & Spa in Peekskill, chats about the property’s impeccable grand opening timing. Gilbert discusses the Abbey’s holy history. It used to be a convent on the Hudson River that sat vacant for years. He then speaks about restoration, its original architecture and the Abbey itself – and what it’s used for these days. Today, it’s a boutique hotel with a great history and story to tell.