LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)Long Island officials are rolling out  the welcome mat, encouragin residents and tourists to visit businesses and sites to help boost the local economy.

It starts with art.

As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports, artist Kara Hoblin spent weeks putting up an 8-foot by 10-foot mural called “The Long Beach Osprey Wings.” The osprey is the official bird of Nassau County. Inside the painted wings, you can see popular destinations on both the North and South shores.

“We picked like key elements, different places on Long Island that are landmarks, either historical or places you can visit,” Hoblin told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge on Tuesday.

Those places include Belmont Racetrack, Jones Beach, the Nassau County Museum of Art, and the Fire Island Lighthouse.


The mural was designed to attract more people to come check out the Skudin Surf Club on the Long Beach boardwalk, in addition to the other destinations featured.

“It’s so exciting that restrictions are being lifted. Things are starting to open. We have so much to see and do right here in our own backyard,” said Kristin Reynolds, president and CEO of Discover Long Island.

READ MORERoad To Reopening: Gov. Cuomo Says Days Of No More Capacity Restrictions For Businesses Are Fast Approaching

The message is to get out of your home, enjoy the weather, and shop and eat local.

“To attract more business to our downtowns. We know that of every dollar spent in your local downtown, 66 cents stays in the communities,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

Every dollar counts for business owners still recouping from the pandemic.

“Having the tourism, it really was effective as far as our main attraction, the boardwalk,” said Cliff Skudin, co-founder of Skudin Surf Club.

“Lately it’s starting to come back a little bit, little by little. We’re getting very excited. Usually Memorial Day is our big sendoff to the summer,” added Christine O’Connor, manager of Beach Bagel and Deli.

Local tourism officials say when you do come and take your selfie, make sure you hashtag it #DiscoverLongIsland to encourage other people to visit, too.

Natalie Duddridge