Catskills hotel set to make a splash

MONTICELLO, NY—The Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark is being built on the newly opened $1.2-billion Resorts World Catskills campus. Set to open in early 2019, the resort will feature two acres of indoor water park space and a luxury hotel with 324 guest suites.

Ken Ellis and Arthur Berry III, co-owners of the Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark in Pennsylvania’s Poconos, are behind the $150-million-plus project.

This development provides an opportunity for them to “raise the bar” for family-friendly adventure. “We’re building upon the family-focused thrills and amenities that have made Camelback Resort & Aquatopia a premier destination in the Pocono Mountains,” said Berry. “The Kartrite’s location at the Resorts World Catskills property provides a unique opportunity for us to deliver a whole new adventure for guests as part of a true global destination.”

The resort is being built in the midst of 1,600 acres of wilderness in the Catskill Mountains. “The location is perfect for many reasons, especially its close proximity to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut,” Berry said. “The campus is easily accessible from Rte. 17 and is just 90 minutes from New York City.”

Aquatic Development Group (ADG) has been contracted to design and build the indoor water park. Inspired by the architecture of indoor water parks in Europe, the park’s unobstructed, column-free construction will feature a barrel-shaped transparent Texlon roof that will offer visitors natural sunlight throughout the year. “The Caribbean-like environment of The Kartrite Indoor Waterpark will allow our guests to be immersed in a vegetation-rich environment filled with tropical plants,” said Ellis, who is also CEO of ADG. “We want our guests to feel like they are outdoors. Creating the perfect atmosphere with natural sunlight and tropical vegetation is just as important to us as the waterslides themselves. The water park’s roof…will bathe visitors in natural sunlight, without the harmful effects of UV rays.”

The water park will also include a signature mezzanine designed with luxury cabanas. The resort will also include multiple restaurants, a spa, a ropes course and an arcade.

The resort gets its name from a character first introduced at the Camelback property, worldly explorer Kartrite Van Der Berris. “He is a fitting inspiration for the new world-class hotel and water park,” said Ellis. “The Kartrite brand personifies global exploration, and the cheeky, contemporary design will put an entirely reimagined Catskills back on the map for a new generation of family travelers. The Kartrite Hotel & Indoor Waterpark will be perfectly situated to exceed the expectations of the most discerning adventure-seekers from the New York metropolitan area and beyond.”

The Catskills area where the hotel is being built has a long history as a vacation destination for families, going back to 1824, when the Catskill Mountain House, America’s first grand resort hotel, opened, to becoming an area dotted with resorts for families seeking an escape from the summer heat of New York City before and after World War II, to the time represented in the film Dirty Dancing, as the area’s boom began to end.

The area is expecting a revitalization with the opening of the Resorts World Catskills in February. “Being located on the same campus as Resorts World Catskills is really exciting because it provides our guests with additional amenities, such as Las Vegas-style gaming and the Rees Jones golf course, to enhance their vacation,” said Ellis.

The resort is expected to create 600 permanent jobs and up to 250 construction jobs. “We are excited to be a part of the revival of the Catskills by offering families ‘a different adventure,’ he said. “We were inspired by the locale and will give a nod to the region’s historic past in the hotel and water park’s cheeky, contemporary design. The Kartrite will be a destination where families can have fun and relax in style, without the hustle, bustle and noise of the city.” HB