Tannersville’s tanning business collapsed in the mid-19th century. It was gradually replaced by the summer resort trade, which reached its peak in 1882 when the railroad came to Tannersville. However, the rise of the automobile in the early 20th century led to a steady economic decline, as travelers were no longer rooted to one spot for an entire summer.
Due to its close proximity to Hunter Mountain, it serves as the nightlife for skiers.
In the summer season, Tannersville is a destination for orthodox Jewish residents from New York City. There are currently four orthodox synagogues operating in the summer season. As well as a kosher supermarket on Main St.
Tannersville has experienced a revival in the 21st century. This can be attributed largely to the efforts of the Hunter Foundation. For example, the Foundation has implemented the town wide Paint Program — the vision of Elena Patterson, a local artist — with the help and support of Glenn Weyant who was acting mayor at the time, corporate sponsors, and local residents. The Paint Project involves painting downtown buildings in multicolored pastels, often with cartoon-like pictures on the shutters. It has attracted waves of tourists who come to see the dramatic paint schemes. The project prompted much attention when it was publicized in The New York Times in 2003. The project was also featured on NBC’s show Today, on CNBC, and on all three of the local Albany-based networks.