KNOWLTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) — This week at Brook Hollow Winery, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) met with Warren County and Sussex County growers, farmers, small business owners, and local officials as a part of his Tourism Task Force — to discuss how to boost agritourism and ecotourism to Northwestern New Jersey.
“Here in Northwestern New Jersey, our incredible farms and orchards and vineyards are true destination spots and, importantly, major revenue generators for those who live and work in this beautiful part of New Jersey,” Gottheimer said. “We need to be working to attract more of our fellow Garden State residents to Sussex and Warren Counties, to come spend time in our region, visit our businesses and participate in agritourism and ecotourism — highlighting the region’s assets, helping the industry flourish, and boosting our local economies.”
This meeting was the latest installment in the Sussex and Warren Tourism Task Force, which Gottheimer started with NJ State Senator Steve Oroho, Sussex Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Horsfield, and the Farm Bureau to work towards bringing more tourism to Warren County and Sussex County by focusing on ecotourism and agritourism.
“Today’s meeting was successful bringing stakeholders from across the county and the region together to discuss the importance of tourism,” Board of County Commissioners Director James R. Kern III said. “Warren County is a real treasure in New Jersey and all the officials and business leaders in the room understood that. I appreciate that Congressman Gottheimer put together today’s summit and look forward to continuing to work with him and his office on this important initiative.”
“This meeting was a great start. It was pretty exciting to see a lot of us have the same ideas and I really look forward to our next steps on this. We have a lot of terrific tourism assets up here, and working together we can come up with ways to let visitors know what we have to offer,” said Explore Warren County Tourism Partnership Director Art Charlton. “I’m really gratified that the Congressman brought us together and got us in the same room to start talking about these things. We’ve been working on a county level, but it helps to have somebody get us together to collaborate.”
Gottheimer was joined by Paul Ritter of Brook Hollow Winery, Hardwick Mayor Kevin Duffy, Knowlton Councilman and Warren County Ag Board Member Frank Van Horn, Warren County Commissioner Director James Kern, Mayor Tim McDonough, Blairstown Deputy Mayor Deb Waldron, Blairstown Committeewoman Giovanna Van Valkenburg, Washington Boro Councilwoman Josephine Noone, Andover Township Committeeman John Carafello, Explore Warren County Tourism Partnership Director Art Charlton, Washington Borough Business Improvement District Executive Director & Warren County Economic Development Boardmember Mel Thiel, New Jersey Farm Bureau Research Associate Nicole Kavanaugh, Garden State Wine Growers Association Legal Chair Audrey Cross, and Tour de Farm Executive Director Mitchell Morrison.