The Friar Tuck Resort Spa and Convention Center, along with a sprinkling of smaller motels, is tucked along NY-32 as it winds through Catskill. I had driven past the location a few times on my way back to Newburgh, making a mental note to come back to explore with my camera, and today was the day. The property was originally built in the 70’s, but fell into debt in the 2000’s before finally closing in 2010. While it has supposedly been purchased by a foreign development company, the buildings have started to fall into disrepair, and whatever initial moves were made to clear out the buildings have ceased. Some rooms were left as if the last guests had departed and housekeeping just simply hadn’t been by to refresh the room, others were cleared or stacked with remnants from the hotel.
The property is massive, so we mostly focused our attention on the main building and pool area (also because there was an idling truck in the lot and we thought it might be security…) Most of the doors to the hotel were locked, so I was losing hope that I’d get to explore inside until Chris found an open door on the main floor. While he stayed outside with his sketchbook, I disappeared for a better part of an hour with my camera and the light of my iphone. It was crazy to see what a huge operation the Friar Tuck must have been in its day. There were supposedly 500 guest rooms, and the main dining room had a capacity of over 1,000 (though now it seems to be taken over by pigeons). I walk through several bar and dining areas, but still didn’t come across the supposedly huge concert auditorium. The resort also hosted boxing matches and off-track betting, so I can only assume there are more hidden gems for the next time we visit.