WHITE LAKE MANSION
Revitalizing the Catskills
White Lake in Bethel, NY located in the Catskill’s “Borscht Belt” region is actually part of the town of Bethel, home of the infamous “Woodstock” festival in 1969 and now sporting the fabulous landmark destination at Max Yasgur’s farm, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. With the opening of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, came a slew of new eateries, café’s and shops, new homes on the lake with boat docks and manicured lawns. Most of these restaurants and business didn’t exist a few short years ago. Folks around here say they’re hoping the trend continues.
Denise Whipple, who manages the Boat Club Inn and Marina, said, “This whole row of buildings here was empty and decrepit and falling down. We have five restaurants now, we have an inn, we have a marina, we’ve got a little retail shop going in and a couple more on the way.” And local musician Stacy Cohen is planning on opening the areas first distillery with a new restaurant this year.
White Lake is a tiny hamlet of Bethel, about 4 miles from Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and about 90 miles from NYC on Route 17B in Sullivan County. It is a destination that thrives during the summer with the white sandy shores of the sparkling clear lake. As you enter White Lake from the west, the large towering hotel overlooking the lake, The White Lake Mansion, built in 1848, is the first building you will see. A sign of early prosperity and Greek Revival architectural complexity; now sits in a state of disrepair.
With the extraordinary growth that the Catskill’s are experiencing it is not surprising that long abandoned mansions are getting a new life. The old Concord Hotel in Thompson, NY will be the site of a $600 Million resort, casino, golf course, water park and the new home of the Monticello racetrack. At the Belleayre Ski Center, a $400 million dollar hotel and resort is in the approval phases to be located alongside the slopes on the mountain. And in Andes, NY, at the site of a 2000 acre Polo Field farm, the old Aknusti Estate, is a proposal from Aman Resorts developer to build a luxurious premium private Resort.
In White Lake, it’s the White Lake Mansion, with plans to tear down the decrepit White Lake Hotel and build a 58’ 4 story duplicate of the old resort hotel to house a conference center and restaurant. Additional buildings will be built behind it that will contain 112 hotel rooms and suites as well as a spa, gym and retail shops at a cost $16 million. Developer Pawel Efraimov, President of Globe Developers, stated that he has built some 20 luxury hotels in his career and currently owns one in Spain. When complete, in addition to tourism dollars, it will result in some 90 full and part-time jobs. It’s just going to be a wonderful renaissance for Sullivan County.
The White Lake Mansion Hotel & Spa, with just under 200,000 sq.ft of luxury and leisure will boast 112 units in a combination of condo-style ownership, time-share ownership,nightly, weekly or monthly hotel room suites with kitchenettes, and 1 & 2 bedroom suites. Plus 2,000 sq.ft of leasable commercial space, a Main Lobby Restaurant and Bar that overlooks White Lake, a banquet hall, conference rooms, a Café, small retail shops, an outdoor pool, and a 10,000+ sq.ft Full Service Spa! All on 6.51 Acres with a gated entrance, lush landscaped lawns, courtyards and a “rain garden” on the site of the old White Lake Hotel.
There’s much more to Bethel than the historic site of Woodstock, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the sand lined White Lake and the breathtaking beauty of the Catskill Mountains. The quaint village offers a wide variety of lakeside activities including dining. The Front Porch Café is an upscale dining. Located on the second floor of the restaurant is the lounge area, furnished with black and red showpieces of leather furniture, plush rugs and artful pieces on the walls.
The next restaurant along with way, on the opposite side of the road, is Buster’s BBQ. The ambiance and architecture of this restaurant, named after the proprietor’s dog, bring us back to the present day. Here the atmosphere is more casual, and the food is southern barbeque including such items as spare ribs and pulled pork. Lakeside seating on the deck is available.
Further along the way, again on the lake, the Lighthouse offers yet another option for White Lake restaurant goers. This establishment features an American-style menu and casual dining. Not only can you dine on the lake, you can also rent and dock a boat here. Parties are welcome.
The Bradstan Country Inn, another one of the older buildings on the southern side of Route 17B, is truly a local gem. The massive, three-floor, white hotel has a southern plantation appeal and features small white cabins beside it. The size of this structure reminds us of boarding house popularity and prosperity at the turn of the century. The Bradstan is a not only a bed and breakfast but a venue for famous cabaret singers. Cabaret performances are held on Sundays throughout the summer.
Of course if you’re looking to actually enjoy the lake, boat rentals are available. Payne’s Marina offers speedboats, paddleboats and jet skis for your tour of the lake. On a hot summer Sunday, the marina is packed and the lake is a vision of colorful sails and masts.
For more destination spots in the Catskills, view my articles. Are you looking to invest in the rapidly growing revitalization of the beautiful Catskill Mountains or perhaps relocating or buying a vacation home. CONTACT me, Kellie Place, “Upstate New York’s Real Estate & Development Expert”. Specializing in Residential, Commercial, Land and Development Properties.
Upstate New York’s Real Estate & Land Expert
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Century 21 Chesser Realty
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