As 2020 came to a close, I am sure I was not alone in hoping 2021 would be a better year. After a full year continuing to deal with Covid in 2021, we find ourselves questioning if 2021 was in fact a better year.
For me, I can say it was. Despite commonly shared obstacles and setbacks that we all are facing, my family and I remained healthy and in decent spirits throughout the year. Having two young children attending schools during a pandemic seems to be the biggest challenge among them.
One of the most interesting things to come from the pandemic is the affect it had on our village’s home values. I conducted a brief analysis comparing the village’s property values year over year and it seems the Village of Greenwood Lake saw the largest jump in home values in Orange County at roughly a 35-40% increase. This, coupled with a roughly 25% jump in recorded building permit fees collected (no increase in charges), is a sign that the local economy in Greenwood Lake is heading in the right direction. Our business owners have done a tremendous job weathering the storm, not only investing in their own businesses, but our community as a whole.
This past year, we prioritized large-scale outdoor events that would attract tourism to support our businesses and provide local and area residents with the opportunity to engage socially in outdoor settings. We hosted the Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s day parade this year in Greenwood Lake, ran a weekend-long community-wide Oktoberfest that drew thousands of visitors and hosted a holiday festival, which also drew thousands to a beautiful outdoor venue for holiday cheer when we needed it most.
Other exciting news from 2021 was the Village taking over the breathtaking Thomas Morahan Waterfront Park and Greenwood Lake Beach. In addition, I am happy to report the “Anton’s property” which was once a thriving restaurant and hotel was purchased by the Benjamin Steakhouse group. Benjamin’s Steakhouse owns properties in Manhattan, Japan and Westchester. They plan on opening one of their prized steakhouses on the lake and turning the rundown hotel into a high-end resort with a projected investment in excess of $10 million dollars. For the Village of Greenwood Lake, 2022 looks like it will be an exciting year.
None of the great things we have done over the years would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our village board, village staff, business owners and the support of our community. We strive to make Greenwood Lake a great place to live, work and recreate. I am very much looking forward to seeing a brighter 2022 for us all!