It’s just his second year of business, but for Hal Simon, owner of Fortress Bikes in Hurleyville, he admits he didn’t expect it to go this well.

Simon and his family have spent the last 17 years using their vacation home in Rock Hill, a hamlet in Sullivan County. But he said it’s always been a dream to move from Long Island to the Hudson Valley, full time. He said the right moment came in 2020.

“I was able to sell a house at a peak and I didn’t have to buy anything because I already owned this," Simon said.

But it’s not just Hal who’s decided to make a permanent home here.  

According to the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, this explosion of new residents is being seen across the valley. Data from a study by Pattern for Progress shows that the Hudson Valley gained a net of more than 33,000 resident from New York City in 2020. That included a net plus 1,062 for Dutchess County, 1,130 for Ulster, a loss of 32 for Orange and a gain of 762 for Sullivan.

Census data shows that Sullivan is the fastest growing county in New York state at 1.5%. 

Freda Eisenberg, the planning commissioner for Sullivan County, said that signs point to this influx of former New York City residents hasn't stopped after 2020.

“There’s a strong anecdotal sense, not confirmed by data, that we’ve had quite an increase," she said.

Eisenberg adds that she’s confident Sullivan is prepared for this growth, with jobs added to the county from the Resorts World Catskills Casino and Kartrite Waterpark, in addition to the county doing more to revive its tourism industry.

But there is concern with gentrification, so the county is looking at addressing the state of its housing, including by collecting information from residents for a survey that runs until July 31.

“Gentrification used to be a process that occurred slowly, over time," Eisenberg said. "Now, it’s occurring much more rapidly.”

For Hal, he said the move has been everything he hoped it would be, and more.

“I’m in this for the long term," Simon said. "I love the area, I love the people in the area. Like I said, this has been a dream of mine for a long time.”

That survey is available to Sullivan County residents at