– follow –www.scribnerslodge.com
Who are you and what do you do?
I am one of the owners of Scribner's, a 38-room mountain lodge with Prospect bar and restaurant in the Catskill Mountains. Scribner's is a revamp of a classic 1960's motor lodge and the first project by Escape Hospitality, the company I founded with my partner, Marc Chodock.
We love a quick day trip to Hunter Mountain…tell us how you wound up there?
It's beautiful up here; wild, rugged, very close in distance from NYC, but a million-miles in feel. We are proud to be a part of a growing community of urban ex-pats creating interesting hotels, restaurants and brands upstate. Hunter and the Catskills are a great place to visit at all times of the year, and an even better place to live and to raise a family. My wife and I had spent about 15 years living and working in NYC hospitality and creative industries. At a certain point, it was time for my family and I to get out of the city, and mountain life has been wonderful so far.
Scribner’s is a great addition to the area - tell us a bit about the hotel, the vibe, etc.
Thank you. When Marc and I kicked off this project a few years ago, our vision was to create a fun place for our friends to escape the city to. We wanted a hotel that took hospitality seriously without taking ourselves seriously. Scribner's smells like fresh pine and woodsmoke, the way a mountain lodge should smell. We serve an old-fashioned cocktail made with burnt maple syrup. We have djs and music and other happenings going on. It's a place for guests to gather around the bar, take in the views, and reconnect with friends.
Winter plans for the hotel are obvious, but what can we look forward to this summer?
This winter, we've developed a popular apres ski scene early in the afternoons - our guests are tucking into a cocktail by the fireplace while the snow falls outside. For the summer, we're looking forward to activating our outdoor pool and our 20+ acres of mountainside and meadows. It stays light out past 9pm upstate in the summertime, and the nights are crisp and cool, so we're thinking bonfires, live music and lawn games under the stars.
Any destinations you have your eye on for future projects?
Nothing's planned right now. We've got a full plate with Scribner's first season, but we see a lot of opportunity in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.
What inspires you daily?
Our growing team of managers and employees who took a risk to join us on our little pirate ship on the mountaintop. They bring their individual personalities to the lodge each day and night to create something bigger than the sum of its parts.
What have you seen as the biggest change in hospitality?
I'm amazed by Instagram's expanding role in the travel industry. When I was getting started in hotels, the internet was new and it was the OTAs that were driving business. Today, just as many of our guests discover Scribner's through their Instagram feed as they do through an OTA or Google.
Who are you admiring in the industry?
Claus Sendlinger at Design Hotels and Nick Jones at Soho House. Each in his unique way shows that great hospitality is less about traditional service, and more about curating and fostering a community of guests, employees and partners who become stakeholders in the property.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully Marc and I will be growing Escape Hospitality beyond Scribner's, into a small collection of hotels and restaurants.
Back to New Orleans, Louisiana with my wife for some warm weather, live music and a few strong cocktails.