Greene County Success Stories

Revitalizing a Rural Town at the Heart of Greene County, NY – The Cairo Development Foundation

Revitalizing a Rural Town at the Heart of Greene County, NY – The Cairo Development Foundation

Ask Margie Juszczak why she established Think BIG – A Tiny House Resort in the town of Cairo, NY and her answer is simple: the Cairo Development Foundation. Co- President Sherry True and Margie met at the Cairo Dog Park and began talking about Cairo, how unique the area is, and the endless possibilities available.

(She also learned that in Greene County, Cairo isn’t pronounced like the city in Egypt, it’s Care – Oh)

After careers in the New York Metropolitan area, Margie and her family knew they wanted a lifestyle business Upstate.  In fact, they already owned vacation rental properties in Ulster County. But in their search for the most desirable location for their new venture into a get-away destination based on Tiny Houses and Glamping, they considered three factors Cairo, NY has in abundance:

Town of Cairo as crossroads of Greene County Accessibility

The town of Cairo is the crossroads of Greene County at the convergence of NYS Routes 23, 32 and 145. Just 45 minutes south of Albany, and 20 minutes west of Hudson, Cairo is only 2.5 hours from New York City and less than 3 hours from Boston.

Just 5 miles off Thruway Exit 21 in Catskill, visitors catch magnificent views of the Great Northern Catskill Mountains as they take County Route 23B north through the hamlet of Leeds along the Catskill Creek.

Creek in Greene CountyAppeal

The nostalgic aspect of a Catskill Mountains get-away is making a resurgence among millennials living and working in urban settings.  Families have been coming here for ages, but a new group of couples and friends are opting to head north to the mountains as opposed to Long Island and Jersey Shore beaches during summer. Moreover, the expansion of outdoor adventure opportunities makes Greene County a Four-Seasons destination.

That short drive north is a big draw – as is that beautiful train ride along the Hudson, now that Ride Sharing companies like UBER & Lyft are in full operation upstate.

Street in Greene County NY Affordability

Both commercial and residential property costs are a fraction of those downstate, not to mention property and school taxes.  Investment dollars go much farther here, and operational costs make building a lifestyle business in Greene County truly achievable, when compared to rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

So, a prospective entrepreneur may ask: “There must be other towns with similar attributes.  Why Cairo, NY specifically?

The simple answer is the Cairo Development Foundation, whose vision is: to build a vibrant, creative and financially viable community while maintaining the rich history and culture of the area.

Cairo is a Diverse Town with an Eclectic Flair.Cairo Developmental Foundation

The goal of the Cairo Development Foundation is to fuse the old with the new.  To accomplish this, they partner with the Cairo Historical Society, the Greene County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, as well as the many artists and emerging businesses that make Cairo their home, paying homage to the history of the town, while keeping an eye on the future.

Since its founding in the Fall of 2016, Sherry True, Diana Benoit, Lysandra Braden, Kevin & Christie Hicks, and Stacey Poulsen have worked tirelessly toward their goal; identifying prospective properties for revitalization, obtaining funding for community placemaking efforts, and researching the types of diverse businesses that can grow and thrive across the 7 distinct hamlets that make up the town.

Most importantly, this team helps New Businesses navigate the Start-Up Process from Start to Finish.

Cairo Town Hall With the Cairo Development Foundation’s partnership with the Town, Co-President’s Sherry True and Diana Benoit are in a unique position to understand all the information required by the municipally when a new business comes to town. They, and other members of CDF, can personally walk you through the process.

The Town has also produced an eBook that you can download directly from their website from a great informational page on the location, the market, and the community

With their first year of operation under their belts.  The Foundation is moving into the acquisition phase of their plan.

Opening Your Business In Cairo NY

This systematic process involves procuring properties for revitalization along main street locations, and attracting the types of businesses that will build community destinations for both visitors and full-time residents.  Target Businesses include:

  • Unique Eateries (Brew Pub, Specialty Sandwiches, Comfort Foods)
  • Artisan Food Shops (Bakeries, Chocolatiers, Delis, Ice Creameries)
  • Galleries (Fine Arts & Handmade Crafts)
  • Parts & Repair (Bicycles, Appliances, Home/Hardware)
  • Printing/Shipping/Access (UPS store, Internet Café)

If you’re interested in finding out more about business opportunities in the Town of Cairo, NY – Visit their Town Page on

If you want to learn more about how to Make It In Greene, check out our free helpful business guides and contact the Invest In Greene team by email or phone at 518-719-3290.

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Topics: Success Stories