AutoCamp Catskills brings a fleet of Airstreams to former KOA Saugerties

Tent and air conditioning. (Philes McCabe photos)

If you pay any attention at all to the kinds of development issues that tend to provoke anger among citizens at city council and planning council meetings, you’ll know that proposals for building “luxury” resorts rank high on that list. Certainly, it is a relatively environmentally friendly business; But almost none of the locals can afford their prices, and there is no guarantee that wealthy people who come to stay in such places will spend so much in local shops and restaurants.

So it was with slightly jaundiced eyes that your humble reporter had her sights set on the newest of these luxury camps that will open in Hudson Valley One readers area. I was willing to dismiss it as just another manifestation of the onslaught of wealthy New Yorkers who, since the coronavirus hit, have been raising home prices in our neighborhood like never before. But I found myself unexpectedly bogged down in AutoCamp Catskills. Dear reader, they hosted me on Airstream. If you cherish childhood memories of staying in one of the classic streamlined mid-century aluminum trailers, you might as well capture your imagination.

Enjoying a fire pit behind the check-in building on a cold day.

Yes, housing the kind of visitors who love the concept of camping without all of its inherent inconveniences in comfortable, custom Airstream trailers is the specialty of the AutoCamp chain, which operates campgrounds in Yosemite, Joshua Tree and the Russian River in California and near Falmouth on Cape Cod. Another new site near Zion National Park is due to open next year. The Catskills repeat opened last Thursday, at the former Saugerties/Woodstock KOA Campground site on Route 212 near the junction of Blue Mountain Road, and is impressive.

AutoCamp Catskills hosts 87 rental units on two episodes. There are ten tents, suites, and cabins, each with their own selling points and pricing levels. Canvas tents on wooden pallets are the basic and affordable tents, which are unavailable in winter and lack private bathrooms (although the club’s shared bathrooms are the most luxurious). The renovated log cabins are the most spacious, sleep up to six people and offer a full-size kitchen. Suites are essentially “mini-houses,” with modern amenities designed to effectively fit into a very compact space, as you might find on a sailboat. One tent and four suites for the disabled.

Looking at the cabin entrance with sitting room and kitchen.

But the bulk of the accommodations available here, and the core of the AutoCamp brand, is made up of Airstreams. Although they retain the ancient visual appeal of their antique ancestors, they are a modern model, at 31 feet tall and exquisitely appointed. These units are specifically designed to have the most windows on the right side, and are arranged in the park so that the windows of each face the solid port side of their nearest neighbour, for maximum privacy. Built-in kitchens have two-burner stoves, microwaves, and half-size refrigerators. The bathrooms are spacious and interlocking. These RV units sleep three adults or two adults and two children, with a sofa that converts into a sofa facing a large flat screen TV in the living area and a queen bed under a skylight in the bedroom. If you’re coming with a larger group and really want to stay in the Airstream instead of the cabin, you can opt for the Base Camp setup, which pairs a trailer with a tent.

All types of units come with an extra “outdoor room”: a gravel patio with grill, picnic table, chairs, and benches, so you won’t feel cramped as long as the weather is cooperative. Air ducts, cabins, and suites have built-in heating/air conditioning systems installed in the ceilings, and tents have stand-alone heating/fan units. Most cabins and suites come with small wooden decks, some of which are roofed against the rain.

The caravan arrives for the weekend.

The campground environment is wooded, about half ever evergreen and half deciduous, with enough mature maples to warrant a wonderful display of foliage in the fall. There are nature trails and a small seasonal stream on the property, as you pass a large pond filled with water lilies on your way inland. There are free bikes to borrow in the roofed suite.

The social hub of AutoCamp Catskills is the sprawling Clubhouse, the glass sides of which fold back to allow in the outdoors. One end houses the aforementioned bathrooms for tent dwellers, and the other a large event space where a sumptuous buffet of fine horses is served. The oeuvres from the Neversink General Store were laid out on opening day. Several meeting rooms and a convenience store offering souvenirs and provisions – including DIY BBQ sets for cooking steaks or kebabs on the grill – on one side of the building, on the other side is the large main gathering space, with a bar, indoor fire pit and much more. of comfortable seats. It spills onto an outdoor patio with a larger fire pit behind it. An outdoor spa and children’s activity area is scheduled to be installed by the end of this year.

Cabin kitchen.

Most campers will take advantage of the plentiful tourist attractions available nearby, but a visitor looking for a soothing respite from stress can easily spend a fun week here without ever leaving the site. Live music, yoga sessions and wine tastings will be regular shows. Special off-site activity packages include temptations such as jungle bathing, rock climbing, climbing, and environmental education adventures for children.

While there are certain architectural features that unite all of the AutoCamp locations, the Clubhouse exemplifies the company’s goal of “leveraging the local language,” according to Sam White, project manager for design and construction. Local builders and landscapers were used, and sustainable features were incorporated. “We wanted to take advantage of the existing footprint as much as possible,” White explained. We do not use any pesticides or herbicides. The most important thing for us is education, to teach visitors the ethics of “leaving no trace”. ”

Incomplete tent erection.

Taylor Davis, AutoCamp’s vice president of brand marketing, explained that the company’s “target customers” are people who are attracted to the camping concept but may not be ready to confront it right away. “They are looking for an outdoor experience where they can bring their own equipment. We are giving them the gate experience.” “Airstream has this heritage brand recognition that makes it easy for people to get into that space. There is this airstream nostalgia that brings so many people here.”

Cabin accommodation.

It’s not hard to see the gravity. This can be a great place to direct out-of-town friends and relatives who are planning a visit and can handle prices ranging from $149 on non-seasonal weekdays to $475 on weekends.

AutoCamp Catskills is located at 882 Route 212 in Saugerties. For more information, send an email [email protected]Call (866) 921-7440 or visit https://autocamp.com/catskills.

Saugerties Council member Leeanne Thornton and supervisor Fred Costello talking with Sam White of Auto Camp.
The bed is in the X Suite.
Welcome and check-in building.
X Suite Building.

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