Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
The Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a resort in Farmington, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The resort is owned by Maggie Hardy Magerko, president of the 84 Lumber Company, and was founded by Joseph Hardy.
The resort is named for Chief Nemacolin, a native Delaware Indian who in 1740 trailblazed a route through the rugged Laurel Highlands Mountains between what is now Cumberland, Maryland and Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania industrialist Willard Rockwell established a private game reserve on what is now Nemacolin Woodlands and named this property Nemacolin Trails Hunting Reserve in 1968. The Rockwells invited friends and business associates to hunt and fish on the hundreds of acres populated by silver fox, bear, and Russian white-tailed deer. A hunting lodge was constructed along with a golf course and airstrip. Lakes Louise (named after the wife of Mr. Rockwell's youngest son) and Carol (named after the wife of Mr. Rockwell's second son) were also added and Beaver Creek was developed and stocked into a trout fishing stream.
In 1979, the property was sold to Cordelia Scaife May, but was returned three years later to the Rockwell family when Kent Rockwell repurchased the property and opened it to the public. Joseph Hardy III, founder of the 84 Lumber Company, bought Nemacolin at an auction he attended in 1987 in the hopes of purchasing a few acres of woodlands near a lake or stream for his daughter, Maggie, who loved fishing.
As Hardy recounts, “I left the auction without that piece of property for fishing because I bought the main parcel and was out of money.” Hardy and his daughter, Maggie, promptly set about transforming the property into its present state – a 3,000 acre (12 km²) world-class resort, rated Four-Stars by the prestigious Mobil Travel Guide and Four Diamonds by the American Automobile Association (AAA). In 2002, Hardy transferred full ownership of the resort to his daughter, Maggie Hardy Magerko, who still serves as President and Owner.
In November 2006, Falling Rock hotel at Nemacolin received AAA Five Diamond status. Falling Rock is the only hotel in Western Pennsylvania to receive AAA's highest honor, and retained five diamond status for 2008 in November 2007. Also in 2007, Lautrec - a fine dining experience with French flair located inside Nemacolin's Chateau LaFayette hotel - became the first new restaurant in Pennsylvania in 13 years to receive AAA Five Diamond status for 2008. Lautrec is the only restaurant between Philadelphia and Chicago to have received AAA's highest honor. In November 2010, Falling Rock received a Five Star rating from the Forbes Mobile Travel Guide, making Nemacolin Woodlands Resort one of only six resorts in the world to have both Forbes-Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both lodging and dining.
On February 12, 2012 a fire destroyed the Mystic Mountain ski lodge. The cause is under investigation.
Joe Hardy promptly set about developing Nemacolin Woodlands into a world-class resort, expanding the Tudor-style Lodge, and building an annex of 68 rooms, together with a Conference Center and new lobbies. In the time since Hardy purchased the resort, major changes have been made to the former hunting club. Now sitting on almost 3,000 acres (12 km²), the following major additions have been made to the resort:
- 1987 - The Woodlands Golf Academy
- 1988 - The Woodlands Spa opened. Soon afterward, the Gazebo, Lake P.J., and the Panorama Pavilion were constructed.
- 1989 - The Lodge Annex was followed by the Townhouses on the Links.
- 1991 - The Grand Ballroom addition to the Woodlands Executive Conference Center was completed.
- 1992 - The Tavern and the Caddy Shack restaurants, Equestrian Center, Fallingbrook miniature golf course opened. Ground breaking for the Mystic Rock golf course that was designed by international designer Pete Dye.
- 1995 - Paradise Pool, a US$2 million larger-than-Olympic-size pool built to resemble pools from the Riviera and Hawaii. Also Mystic Mountain, a downhill ski area, an activities center, and Heritage Court, the resort's 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) shopping arcade.
- 1997 - Chateau LaFayette, modeled after the grand hotels of Europe, the French renaissance-style Chateau offers 125 guest rooms and suites.
- 2004 - Falling Rock features 42 rooms with 24-hour butler service and was designed by David Merritt, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's at Taliesin, who drew inspiration from Wright's Fallingwater, located about 20 minutes from Nemacolin Woodlands.
- 2005 – Woodlands Spa is expanded, adding 12 treatment rooms. Horizon Point meeting facility opens. Nemacolin ventures into downtown Uniontown with the opening of 30 East Main restaurant and the Nemacolin Collection designer clothing stores.
- 2006 – Woodlands World Outdoor Store moves to downtown Uniontown. Wildlife habitats are built, bringing black bears, elk, emus, Patagonian Cayvees, Australian wallabies, and zebra to the resort. Dogsledding is added as a winter adventure offering. The Golden Trout restaurant is closed, and reopens after a total interior and menu renovation as Autumn.
- 2007 – Marks the 20th anniversary of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. The Marina at Paige's Beach opens as the new location for paddleboats, kayaking and canoeing. The Canoe Museum – located at Paige's Beach – opens. Equestrian Center becomes new Wildlife Academy. Buffalos join the mix of Nemacolin's wildlife habitats – including a very rare, solid white buffalo.
- 2009 - The WildSide bowling arcade was added in the former woodlands world location
- 2011 - Nemacolin Woodlands received a license to operate 600 slot machines and 28 table games. The casino, to be managed by Isle of Capri Casinos, is expected to open in 2013.
- 2012 - fire destroys the Mystic Mountain ski lodge
- 2013 - The casino opened July 1, 2013.
Nemacolin Woodlands became host to PGA Tour event the 84 Lumber Classic in 2003. Contested on Nemacolin's Mystic Rock golf course, the event had a successful run at the resort before coming to an end in 2006. The four winners of the 84 Lumber Classic tournaments held on Mystic Rock at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort were:
Shortly after the 2004 84 Lumber Classic, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort broke ground on what golfer Vijay Singh dubbed, "the greatest clubhouse in America" - Falling Rock. In 2007, Falling Rock received the prestigious Five Diamond Award rating from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
On June 18, 2007, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort hosted the Mystic Rock Celebrity Pro-Am, a charity benefit for the CFFC (Community Foundation of Fayette County). Teams of three sponsors were paired with a PGA Tour golfer or celebrity athlete. PGA Tour pros Jason Gore and Pat Perez were in attendance, plus baseball Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, and other athletes from the Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins.