Young money is fleeing the wild Hamptons for its quiet rival

By Lawrence Lewitinn, Yahoo Finance

The Hamptons, long the playground of America’s richest power brokers—and those striving to be them—is now facing serious competition from an old rival, according to data made available to Yahoo Finance.
Led by tech entrepreneurs, artists, chefs, and fashionistas, a new generation of New Yorkers with disposable income is increasingly running away from the Hamptons party scene to the state’s slower-paced Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain regions.

The Hamptons, a group of beachfront villages about 100 miles from Manhattan, are on the east end of New York’s Long Island and have become synonymous with wealth—and excess.

The lower Hudson Valley straddles its namesake river to the state capital of Albany, about 150 miles north of New York City, and was the playground of yesteryear’s robber barons and old moneyed families. The Catskill Mountains stretch roughly from the Hudson westward to the border with Pennsylvania.

Data compiled by location intelligence company Foursquare and exclusive to Yahoo Finance show a pronounced downturn in summer weekend visits by younger summer travelers from New York City and an increase in visits to the lower Hudson Valley and Catskills by that same cohort.

Millennials aged 20 to 24 years old increased their trips to the Hudson Valley and Catskills by nearly 55% in the summer of 2016 compared to the same time in 2012. During that same period, this same group decreased excursions to the Hamptons by nearly 46%.

Yet there was at least one group that increasingly took to the Long Island Expressway or the LIRR and headed east to the Hamptons—older folks. Those aged 55 and over upped their summer jaunts to the Hamptons by a whopping 141% in the last four years.

Women remain more of a presence in the Hamptons; some 61% of all New Yorkers who visited the area last summer were women compared to 54% of summer weekenders in the Hudson Valley.

Both the Hudson Valley and Hamptons have seen an average annual 8% to 9% net increase in summer visits from 2012 to 2016. The Hudson Valley, as defined in this study, included the entirety of Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Sullivan, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia counties.

Some of the shift has to do with a change in attitudes of the younger generation. A Harris Poll survey conducted last year shows 78% percent of Millennials say they prefer “experiences” over “things.”

And those Hudson Valley and Catskills Instagram-friendly experiences—such as a mountain hike, a kayak trip, or a dinner at an artisanal restaurant—are more appealing to a growing number of Millennials than, say, waiting to get past a velvet rope at a Hamptons club, notes Jennifer Grimes, owner and broker of Country House Realty.

“Especially in an area like this that’s so photogenic, it really lends itself to instant promotion of an area,” Grimes said. “It’s the visual component of this that I think is so attractive for so many people.”

Read the full story from Yahoo Finance.