On April 2, 2022 the Daily Freeman newspaper of Kingston, NY published a piece titled “Two high end camping resorts in works in Saugerties”. The article was written by Brian Hubert. Here is a link to the page:
In case the article goes behind a paywall or is otherwise inaccessible, here is the text of the article as presented at 11:36am Eastern on Monday April 4, 2022. You can find a screenshot below the article. [EDIT We have inserted an edit to reflect the new number of tents applied for]
By Brian Hubert | firstname.lastname@example.org | Daily Freeman
PUBLISHED: April 2, 2022 at 3:06 p.m. | UPDATED: April 2, 2022 at 3:52 p.m.
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — State Route 212 is turning into a corridor of sorts for high-end camping, or “glamping,” with one resort set to open this year in Centerville and another proposed to open closer to Woodstock in 2024.
Autocamp Catskills plans to open later this year on the site of a former KOA Kampgrounds of America location on state Route 212 in Centerville. Autocamp Catskills offers a range of accommodations ranging from “luxury tents” and Airstream trailers and cabins to its “X-suites” with amenities more akin to a regular hotel suite. The suites will feature a private bathroom, a bedroom featuring a queen bed, a kitchen and living area with a flat-screen television and sofa with a fold-out bed.
“This is your basecamp for your next adventure,” the resort’s website said.
“Catskills marks our second East Coast property and we felt this vibrant, explorable region would be a perfect location for AutoCamp,” Neil Dipaola, CEO and founder of AutoCamp, said in a September 2021 press release announcing the resort. “We’re just a short drive up the Hudson from New York City and at the portal of hundreds of miles of hiking trails.
“We’re looking forward to sharing the AutoCamp experience with the outdoor community here,” the release added.
Like AutoCamp’s other properties in Cape Cod and in California, the Saugerties location will have a clubhouse, the release said. Inspired by Hudson Valley farms with a modern structure featuring traditional post-and-beam construction, it will feature a reception area, indoor fire pit, a lounge, and a general store as well as morning breakfast and coffee service, Autocamp said.
AutoCamp Catskills said it will offer guests regularly scheduled yoga and guided meditation classes, movie nights, fireside chats, and live acoustic music, adding it will also have a pool and hot tub.
Terramor Resorts is proposing a glamping resort off of Route 212 near the intersection of Glasco Turnpike that could open as soon as 2024. A subdivision featuring nearly two dozen homes was once approved there back in the 2000s. That project collapsed amid the 2008 Financial Crisis.
Jenny McCullough, Terramor’s director of brand and operations, confirmed the glamping resort operator is applying for a special-use permit with the town of Saugerties that would allow for 50 luxury canvas tents [EDIT from SouthPeakNabe: This application was later expanded to 75 tents] sleeping two to five people that sit on a platform off the ground. Terramore, a division of KOA Kampgrounds of America, currently operates one other location in Bar Harbor, Maine.
The tents, which will rent from $300 to $500 a night, feature in-suite bathrooms, walk-in showers, and king beds, she said. A heater and fan and insulated walls help keep air flowing, she added. Absent are the rustic cabins, RV campsites and even train cabooses found at KOA locations.
Pour-over coffee from local coffee roasters, blankets and other standard amenities will make for a comfortable stay for guests, she said.
The largest permanent structure, still in design phases, will house a front desk, check-in, and a small gift shop stocked with locally made souvenirs, she said. A small guests-only restaurant and bar will be open only in the evenings.
Outfitters, a gear lending station, will lend out gear like hiking poles for guests to hit the many nearby trails or even take out a canoe, according to McCullough.
The site will also have employee housing for its mostly seasonal workforce of about 50 people. “We’re looking to house anywhere between 60 percent to 80 percent of our employees,” she said. Only a property manager and food manager will be on staff year-round, McCullough added.
Terramor anticipates operating anywhere from seven to nine months a year, perhaps from mid-April or the start of May to the end of October, she said.
McCullough said Terramor is not a replacement for a now-shuttered KOA location at the site of the present-day Autocamp resort. This was a franchised location that closed before the Terramor concept was conceived, she said.
Terramor opened at a former KOA in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 2020 with both the 2020 and 2021 seasons proving to be successful, she said. Terramor plans to open more locations in the future.
She said the ratio of guests at Bar Harbor so far has been about 60 percent families and 40 percent couples with the opposite ratio during the shoulder seasons. About 20 percent of these guests bring dogs, she said.
Most of the guests came from across New England, Boston and as far as New York City and New Jersey, key markets Terramor hopes to tap with the Saugerties location, she said. Many guests are not necessarily campers and are seeking soft adventures like days outside exploring the area and participating in cultural events before returning by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., she said.
McCullough said they looked at several other areas around the Mid-Hudson Valley before settling on this site. “The location is close to attractions and the land itself has unique landscape features like beautiful old rock walls we plan to keep on the property,” she said.
The proposal has drawn the attention of, if not outright opposition of neighbors like Mark Pisani, who runs the South Peak Nabe WhatsApp group and whose property adjoins the proposed Terramor site. He said whileTerramor would be less-intensive than the never-built subdivision, neighbors he’s talked to still have concerns about the wells Terramor would need to sink, septic issues, and water runoff from newly paved roads within the site in an area with a high water table.
“The drainage is a big issue,” he said.
McCullough said Terramor is in communication with neighbors, including at a recent meeting where the business introduced itself and displayed a preliminary site plan.
“It was a very pretty presentation,” Pisani said. “We still have a long way to go in the planning process.”
More sessions are planned, McCullough said, adding that Terramor is working with wastewater engineers to finalize a septic plan.
Terramor is committed to being a good neighbor and not disrupting their ways of life, she said.
“We want to promote providing experiences in nature, not building tents in backyards,” McCullough said.
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