CATSKILL — The Village of Catskill Planning Board has approved the site for the construction of a luxury houseboat resort to be located at the Catskill Marina on 101-103 Main St.
Developer Drew Carlin, who owns Ramshorn Hospitality, LLC, in New York City, said he hopes the first-of-its-kind concept will be a new tourist attraction for the village.
“I have been looking to put this houseboat idea into effect for a while,” Carlin said Tuesday at the planning board meeting. “I think there’s a bunch of uses for it, and I think a modular-style resort is a good one. We’ve seen success in this area with similar types of businesses, and we think it’s an unbelievably beautiful location. We’re very excited about it. I think people are going to love the idea of it. Staying on a houseboat has certain connotations to it, but we’re hoping to deliver a luxurious floating suite that will have nice views, and hopefully we’ll bring more tourism to the area and help out local businesses. We’re very excited.”
Ramshorn attorney Joe Catalano of Westerlo said the resort would have up to 18 boats, as well as a 3,000-square-foot on-land lodge which would house seven additional suites. Each houseboat would resemble a King suite hotel room and will be sided in wood tongue-in-groove. A centrally located, landscaped area would have a fire pit, covered pergola and patio for a swimming pool. Fence screening and landscaping between the resort and adjoining yards would create an “oasis” feel.
“The goal is for this to feel like a peaceful escape, to minimize the visual and audio impact to the outside world and to make it feel like its own little oasis when you’re on the grounds,” Carlin said.
Ashokan Architects of Kingston, the firm working on the site plan, is working with Greenman-Pederson Consulting Engineers of Albany to determine how to address the flooding that occurs along the Catskill Creek when there is severe rainfall. The developers are aware that the main lawn will occasionally flood and that the creek itself will sometimes not be hospitable to the houseboats, Carlin said.
“Certainly that’s a major concern for us because we don’t want to risk any damage to the stuff we’re building,” Carlin said. “We certainly know the Catskill Creek floods, and chunks of ice flow down it swiftly at certain times of year. Any marina design will keep that all in mind.”
The developers are still deciding the practicality of having a plunge pool on the site.
“It was an idea that we had toyed with, and I think it would be a benefit. It remains to be seen just how cost prohibitive it may or may not be and whether it’s something that doesn’t happen year one but maybe once we’re a little more established,” said Carlin.
Public reaction to the proposal was positive, with residents saying they thought the resort would be a great project for the village, especially since it would employ six to ten locals.
“It’s an original idea,” said Catskill Village Code Enforcement Officer Michael Ragaini.
The question of whether the resort would have a Payment In Lieu of Taxes has not been determined. Carlin said he is also unsure when the project would be complete, but the hope is for an opening in the summer of 2025.
While the idea of modular resorts has been brought to Greene in the form of a tiny cabin resort in Catskill and a tiny house resort in Cairo, the concept of a houseboat hotel resort is altogether new and has never been realized before, said Carlin.
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