It’s always nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City (NYC). I spent this past weekend in Old Forge, NY in the Adirondack Mountains. Specifically, on Fourth Lake, which is one of the eight lakes in the Fulton Chain of Lakes .
I made the 5-hour drive on Friday from NYC to Old Forge, NY with friends who flew in from Miami for the weekend. The location (Old Forge, NY) was no mistake, as this was the 2nd Annual Real Estate Retreat. The retreat, made up of fellow New York University (NYU) Real Estate Graduate School classmates, was a non-sanctioned NYU retreat. It was the idea of fellow classmate Keir Weimer, who grew up in the Old Forge area, to host the retreat. His family owns a beautiful lakefront property in Old Forge, where last year, the inaugural retreat was held.
Last year’s retreat was smaller in size (approx. 5 people), but had tripled in size this year. Although an increase in size, space was not an issue due to Keir’s recent acquisition and rehabilitation of a nearby 30 room lakefront resort dubbed Great Pines. The website describes Great Pines as beautifully set on the shores of Fourth Lake on 13 private acres in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The property is situated on a hill with over 600 feet of prime waterfront and 360 degree panoramic views of both the beautiful lake and surrounding mountains. This description is accurate but a sight to behold in person.
Although a 5-hour drive from NYC, it took us approximately 6-hours to arrive at Old Forge due to a number of stops for food, gas, and restroom breaks. We arrived around 10:00pm and spent the first night dining at one of the property’s restaurants called the Lean-To. The Lean-To offers a casual dining menu, which is inspired by local ingredients and regional influences. The food and service were equally great. The interior décor was made up of local pinewood and the interior lighting fixtures matched the exterior lighting features as well. Thought was definitely given to how the exterior design impacted the interior finishes.
After dinner, we stepped outside on the deck to admire the reflection of the full-moon over the lake, while puffing on cigars and popping bottles of champagne to celebrate our gathering and Keir’s accomplishment of opening the resort.
I awoke Saturday morning to fresh coffee brewing and cinnamon covered donuts from the local Donut Shop. You would have thought I was a veteran police officer, the manner in which I dunked the donut in my coffee. Jokes aside, if you visit Old Forge, these donuts are a must try.
Later that day, we hit Fourth Lake for boating, swimming, jet-skiing, and paddle boarding. All of which culminated with a wonderfully filling dinner at Keir’s family’s cabin.
When darkness fell, we cozied up around the fire pit to roast marshmallows and make s’mores under the moonlight, while recounting stories of graduate school, recent travels, real estate news, and discussing where we thought the real estate market was headed. The latter may sound boring to some, but we love to talk real estate.
On Sunday morning, we prepped for a group hike up Bald Mountain. I packed my sneakers especially for this. It had been years since I’d gone hiking and I figured it would be a simple hike. The total distance to hike to the summit of Bald Mountain was shy of a mile and the ascent was about 500 feet. The hike started out simple enough as a deceptively easy walk in the woods, but soon we came to the steepest section where we had to climb a widely eroded trail up to the top of a descending ridge. My legs were burning and sweat was pouring down my face. Additionally, there were moments where if you took the wrong step, you could potentially fall down the mountain. Sounds scary, but I thoroughly enjoyed the risk and reward of reaching the top.
Following the hike, we drove into town for a victory meal. At the Tamarack Café, I dined on a double-cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake. After eating, we picked up some souvenirs and drove back to the resort to check out and depart to NYC. However, prior to departing the resort, I purchased a Great Pines branded sweatshirt to support my friend.
To surmise, this trip provided me with not only a much needed break from NYC, but it also enabled me to gather with likeminded real estate friends and discuss interesting deals that some of them were working on. For instance, one had just started a new job where she was managing the design and construction process of new stores for a well-known menswear brand. Another friend was in the process of assembling an all-female development team to construct luxury rental properties in Florida. A third friend quit his job and went into business on his own. His first acquisition is a residential waterfront property in Miami, which he is in the process of renovating to place back on the market. There are a plethora of other interesting projects my fellow alums are working on, but I won’t bore you with the details. You’ll have to wait and read about them in the newspaper.
While this trip was fun, it was also enlightening. It forced me to refocus on my short and long term goals. It allowed me to applaud my fellow classmates’ achievements, while setting the tone for my own endeavours. Proverbs 27:17: reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This couldn’t be more accurate. We all possess creative ideas and feedback that challenges each other. Cheers to a wonderful weekend.
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