Geoff Brault- Walkway Over the Hudson
Director of Marketing and Communications, Walkway Over the Hudson. Play-by-Play Broadcaster, Marist College Athletics
What attracted you to Dutchess?
I fell in love with the Hudson Valley while attending Marist College. Upon graduation, I spent several years working freelance and traveling quite a bit, but always kept my base in Poughkeepsie. I’m yet to find a reason to leave a place that’s within two hours from essentially every conceivable activity in the world.
How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role?
I’ve lived in Dutchess County longer than anywhere else in my life, and this is the first place I discovered a real sense of community. People here work together to accomplish big things – they’re forward-thinking, creative, and ambitious. It’s gratifying to be in a place with that kind of spirit, and it has certainly made me better both personally and professionally.
Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?
You mean when not trekking back and forth 212-feet above the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson, taking in the one-of-a-kind views on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge that you can’t find anywhere else? I can usually be found playing a round of golf at The Links at Union Vale, one of the top-rated public courses in New York State, then meeting friends for a post-round beer at one of our award-winning breweries. Seasonally, I don’t miss the Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival, and Dutchess County Fair – the second-largest in the state!
Favorite Dutchess County eatery?
It is very unfair to ask me to pick only one, and I’m glad I don’t have to. The food scene here, highlighted by the Culinary Institute of America, is world class. There’s a reason the New York Times AND Esquire Magazine have hailed the Hudson Valley as “the Napa Valley of food”. You won’t find a sandwich in your lifetime better than the one at Rossi’s Deli. For a casual night out with fare that’s anything but, Mill House Brewing Company. Trying to impress? Head to Rhinebeck and sit down at Terrapin, Gigi Trattoria, or Willow.
What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time?
How varied your options are. Whatever you’re into, you can find it here. We have history at the FDR Estate, Vanderbilt Mansion, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, and the like. We have a burgeoning art scene highlighted by DIA:Beacon and the galleries on Main Street. If you’re outdoorsy, you can hike through mountain house ruins and up to fire towers, or enjoy kayaking on the river. Indoorsy people can spend a weekend at a five-star bed and breakfast and relax with spa treatments before sipping cocktails on a roof deck or riverfront patio. We have outdoor gardens, turn-of-the-century mansions, wineries, horse stables, NCAA Division I football and basketball, a professional baseball team, and even a zoo too!
Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess?
Stay longer than you think you should. Whatever is primarily drawing you to the area, there’s so much more to see and do and eat and discover just around the corner. You’ll never regret the extra night or two.
Think Dutchess caught up with Geoff during the COVID-19 global pandemic to talk about how The Walkway and Dutchess County businesses are ready to come together and bounce back from the crisis. Learn what he’s looking forward to as we begin to reopen.