Community, Arts, and Business Meet in Catskill, NY
The Cats Are BACK!
Sometimes you get an idea. You find a connection between seemingly disparate dots and create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts and also great for the parts within that sum. That’s what The Cat’n Around Catskill campaign has been doing for years in The Village of Catskill, and that’s what we at Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty like to think we did using our technology and the Catskill Cats this year.
15 years ago, the town of Catskill was not the household name it is today. Downstaters knew The Catskills but, the charming Village of Catskill? Never heard of it! It was one of Upstate’s best kept secrets. Overshadowed by nearby Hudson to the Northeast and Hunter and Windham Mountains to the West, Catskill was only on a few people’s radar. Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty Founder Joan Lonergan said, “Catskill is the next big thing,” daily for years (spoiler alert: she was right). Back then, residents of Catskill loved it for the same reasons they love it still – The Village has beautiful buildings, it’s walkable, and it has the exact right mixture of boutiques, restaurants and offices to make it feel like a home town rather than a town that runs on tourism. But, it’s still a nice place for tourists to visit! Because of all this niceness, Catskill and its surrounds has been the secret haven of an impressive arts community for a good long time.
15 years ago, members of the Heart of Catskill Association connected the dots for The Village of Catskill. They had a town worthy of visiting that also needed visitors to support it, they had a community of artists willing to donate time and talent to a worthy cause, and they had nice wide sidewalks that would wear color well. Cat’n Around Catskill was born! Every year, The Heart of Catskill Association obtains around 50 fiberglass cats. They’re 2 foot tall, 3D, feline invitations to creativity! The Association invites artists to submit designs for the cats, and then they select 53 designs from the submissions. Selected artists receive their cat and toil away through the winter and spring making them fabulous. Sometimes the designs are about the town of Catskill, sometimes about the Hudson Valley/Catskills region, sometimes they’re just for fun (and funny to boot)! When finished, the cats are put on pedestals all over town just before Memorial Day weekend. They remain there through mid-September and then are auctioned at the “Cat’s Meow Gala”. This year the Meow Gala will be held on September 18th. Tickets for the well-loved community event are $25.00 and can be purchased in advance here, or in-person at The Greene County Chamber of Commerce or The Wine Cellar. What do the artist’s receive in exchange for all their time and talents, you ask? The chance for a little glory. The community votes not only for their “Favorite” cat, but also for the “Most Artistic”, “Most Original”, the cat that “Makes You Feel Good”, and the cat that “Looks Like The Most Work”.
What does any of this have to do with a local real estate company’s home marketing technology? At CBVGR we’re huge fans of The Catskill Cats. We’ve been sponsoring a cat and pathologically taking photos of all the cats for years! We love symbiotic community partnerships! We love having a pretty kitty right outside our office in Catskill and can’t wait for its arrival each year! We love the cats so much that CBVGR agents have started to sponsor their own cats. We love the cats so much in fact, that we wanted to immortalize this year’s exhibition in a 3D model!
Making a 3D Model of Catskill and Its Cats Using Matterport 3D Technology
We use 3D modeling technology to create models of the homes we list for sale. From anywhere in the world, an interested buyer can walk through one of the houses we’ve listed as though they were there in person. Buyers want to know everything they can about a house before they waste their valuable time going to see something that might be completely unsuitable. 3D tours allow them to experience a homes flow, layout, and character before they reach out to a real estate agent. 3D imaging was an invaluable tool for us and for our clients when pandemic concerns made showings feel like something buyers only wanted to do if they were already 99% sure about a house.
The type of 3D camera we use is built for indoor use. But the cats of Catskill presented an irresistible challenge to our photography team. Could we use the camera to map a town and feature the art installation there? Could we connect the dots between our beloved cats and our camera? We kind of had to know. Well, we did it!
If you can’t make it to Catskill to see the cats in person, or if you just like cool tech, check out the 3D tour.
We weren’t able to capture every cat (the one thing that we discovered is that capturing 3D outdoor spaces is very time consuming), but the tour gives you a good idea of the flavor of the installation and it gives you a tour of the downtown Catskill we all know and love. Start out right in front of our office and explore!
After we finished the tour we found that we still had a little old-fashioned nostalgia for our photos and couldn’t resist making a montage too. Enjoy! Congratulations to all the artists who created an incredible cat.
Want to tour in person? Here's the MAP.
Stop by and say hi at our office on your trip!
Amy Wallace - Marketing