“Woodstock is a high-end destination that just draws you in,” says Michael Skurnick, one of the new owners of Woodstock NY hotel, restaurant and bar The Lodge. “And, the town itself has less then 50 hotel rooms available in the entire zipcode. Other then AirBnB’s, there just aren’t many places to stay. Woodstock has an absolute need for more lodging accommodations, especially upscale ones.”
This problem isn’t new: every summer, Woodstock’s population swells from about 6,000 people in the winter to 20-30,000 on holiday weekends. Even in 1979, The New York Times was on it, lamenting the lack of lodging, other than places like Twin Gables, the Woodstock Motel, the White Birch Motel, and our own Pinecrest Lodge.
Most visitors to Woodstock stayed out-of-area, in Kingston, Ulster and Saugerties, day-tripping in and out via Adirondack Trailways bus line or car. That is, until AirBnB came onto the scene. According to AirBnB, Woodstock went from having 43 listings in 2012 to a whopping 232 in 2016, making it possible for hundreds more people to stay right in town every night.
It’s been a boon for the local economy and for homeowners looking to make some extra money, but there are also lots of problems. News story after story after story has cited things ranging from lost lodging taxes, drunken renters, excessive noise, and even fireworks being set off as nuisance problems.
In a recent Daily Freeman article, Woodstock Town Supervisor Jeremy Wilber said, “In many instances, people come to party and they make a lot of noise… They don’t even realize they’re upsetting neighbors.”
Nine distinct houses/cabins that can be flexibly configured to contain one family, groups of friends staying in their own tiny home or individual guests sharing upscale accommodations are in the works. Pending town approvals and slated to be available in the summer of 2017, Lodge guests will be able to stay on a property that’s intimate and unique, a few minutes from the center of Woodstock, yet self-contained and tucked away in a beautiful camp-like, woodsy setting. It is a place that locals and visitors alike come and gather to eat, drink, play/listen to music and relax around the outdoor fire pit or the romantic indoor fireplace that dates back to the 1920’s.
“You really will get the best of both world’s with our property, privacy with convenience“ says Michael Skurnick. “Enjoy your time on our property, either in a luxurious house or room, on 6.5 gorgeous acres, just a few minute walk to/from town; visit the local art scene during the day, eat, drink, listen to music at The Barn, Cucina, The Station, Bearsville Theater, the new Colony or on our very own stage. Or relax around our pool, enjoy our on-site restaurant and always, whether planning your evening on Tinker St or here, wrap up your evening with a nightcap at The Lodge. Since you’re really staying right in town, but seemingly miles away from it all, guests can enjoy themselves and get the best of both worlds.”
It was imperative to the owners to keep the charm and uniqueness of the property, with modern updates. To take on the job of bringing the property up to speed, they’re working with Les & Jess Walker of Walker Architecture in Woodstock. Les is viewed as one of the fathers of the Tiny House Movement since 1987, writing books like Tiny Houses: or How to Get Away From It All, and Tiny Book of Tiny Houses.
The new tiny houses will signal a fresh start for the property, which went from lofty heights in the 1970s to a period of disrepute; culminating in a disastrous reality TV appearance and a legion of Internet commenters leaving bad reviews.
“It’s really a property that can’t be replaced or duplicated,” says Skurnick. “There’s a pool, a bar, a restaurant. While we have begun to renovate the inside of many of the rooms and brought a whole new vibe to the bar, restaurant and property, turning those cabins into something that’s high-end and appealing to tourists is going to fill a big need in Woodstock.”