ORANGETOWN, N.Y. -- Each year, thousands of students from across the country travel to New York City on school trips. Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building top every itinerary, but one suburban business owner is hoping to add Rockland County to the list of 'must see' sites.
When large groups come to New York City, they often book lodging across the river in New Jersey, due to cheaper prices, ample parking and easy access to the city. However, Kate Coffey, president of Tappan-based EDUtrips believes the Rockland's blend of history, natural beauty and convenience make it a hidden gem for school groups visiting the area.
Coffey originally founded her Rockland business to help school groups book regional 8th grade field trips, but quickly expanded in geographical scope. Today, the booking company connects students and schools with educational opportunities across five continents. The trips provide everyone from middle schoolers to MBA students with the chance to experience the wonders of the world with an educational twist.
However, when helping domestic groups book accommodations in the New York area, Coffey noticed that Rockland County's hotels and attractions weren't seeing a boost. "I began to think, 'Why can’t we get school groups to come up here and use our hotels?'" said Coffey. "There are thousands of kids coming to visit. What can we do to get them up here?"
Today, Coffey is working with local businesses, historical societies and the Rockland Business Association to create an itinerary showcasing the best of the historic Hudson Valley. The river's importance during the Revolutionary War, George Washington's homestead as well as West Point will serve as major draws to the area, she believes. "School trips will often take day trips from the city to West Point, but head back that evening," Coffey said. It's her goal to change that. By showcasing the area's rich history and natural beauty, the Tappan resident hopes that students from across the country will visit and understand the importance of Rockland County in the creation of a nation.
For more information on the current trips provided by EDUtrips, visit their website.