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Consultant Sees Good
Future for Monticello

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO — February 16, 2001 – By the year 2008, downtown Monticello could be “recognized as a destination due to its successful, thriving, specialty businesses.” There would be such things as specialty retail shops, art and culture, entertainment (such as movies, theater, a small cabaret, etc.), art galleries antiques, eateries, an expanded library, bed and breakfast inns, and much more.
“By the year 2008, downtown Monticello would be widely known as having the following image: A thriving art, culture, and retail center that is inspiring, innovative, exciting, and a sought after destination. A bustling county seat, with major attractions of its own and major attractions nearby. A downtown that is comfortable, historic, and diverse, as well as clean, attractive, well-maintained, and safe. An area of great stores, great restaurants, and great customer service – where customers know they will be treated right. A great place to live and work, a place you’d like to have your kids grow up, a place where our kids stay after they graduate. A place where residents and business people work together and where there is a tremendous amount of pride. The place you want to live, the place you choose to put down roots – Downtown Monticello – a proud community and the gateway to the Catskills."
That is the premise of the Downtown Monticello Market Analysis and Economic Enhancement Strategy 2001. The report was put together by the Virginia Consulting firm of HyettPalma. Doyle Hyett presented the plan at a special Village of Monticello Board Meeting held on Thursday, February 8, at the Neighborhood Facility in Monticello.
Approximately 80 people came out to hear Hyett present the report to the board. Not only were village residents and officials present, representatives of the Sullivan County Planning and Community Development and Sullivan County Legislator Chris Cunningham were in attendance. Hyett pulled no punches and stated that, though it would take a great deal of hard work, their goal is attainable.
“There are lots of opportunities here,” Hyett told the packed room. “It will not happen overnight. It will take time.”
Hyett arrived an hour prior to the meeting and handed the approximate 150-page document to village officials. Hyett stated that his firm was still making adjustments to the document that morning. Village Clerk Edith Schop made copies for officials and handed them out during the meeting. Monticello Mayor Gary Sommers told the crowd that the board would review the document and will discuss it in further detail at the next village board meeting on Tuesday, February 20 at 7 p.m.
Hyett pointed out that there are many positive factors going for Monticello. Besides housing county government offices, a plan is in place to bring an artist loft community and entertainment attractions to downtown Monticello. He pointed out that the focus should be on enhancing downtown over the next three to five years. He suggested an aggressive marketing plan to get the word out and change its image.

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