Bear Mt. Inn

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Anonymous's picture

"Bear Mt. rides will become a little more difficult.

Bear Mountain – Two or three times each year, Robert and Kathryn Rocco of Middletown drive to the majestic inn overlooking Hessian Lake in Bear Mountain State Park. They spend a few hours at the inn's sprawling second-floor lounge, sipping coffee or warming up by the massive stone fireplace.
The beauty of Bear Mountain Inn's rustic Adirondack architecture, with its polished floors, heavy log and leather furniture and large picture windows, helps them unwind, they say.
The Roccos will soon have to pay for this pleasure.
The Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which owns the inn, is planning to convert the space into a fine dining restaurant.
The plan is part of a renovation and restoration project that's already under way.
""What a shame,"" said Robert Rocco, when he heard of the plan while sharing a coffee with his wife in the lounge Friday. ""This has been a landmark for years. I've been coming here since I was a child. That's the trouble, they commercialize everything.""
Since it was built in 1915, the inn's lounge has been open to the public. It's been a popular resting spot for visitors to the state park, who would sometimes come in with brown bag lunches or just sit by the roaring fireplace for free.
But now the park commission, which depends largely on public funds and donations, wants to use the space to generate revenue.
""One of our concerns with the inn is that it become viable economically,"" said park commission deputy director Ken Krieser. ""We need to do this to keep the inn in operation.""
Krieser admitted the proposal won't please everybody, but said the commission was trying to accommodate as many people as it could.
""You can't talk about just one thing in this park. We have to find niches for everybody,"" he said. ""If some people want fine dining, we need to find a niche for them.""
The renovation will cost an estimated $11 million. The commission plans to raise most of the money through fundraising. So far, it has raised about $3.5 million.
Krieser said the commission was hoping to finish work on the first floor by 2005. But he couldn't give a time frame for the start of work on the second floor.
""We are still in the planning phase,"" he said, ""and it will depend on how much funds we can raise.""
It's not been decided yet who the restaurant space will be contracted out to.
The inn's second floor already houses a banquet hall run by Inn Credible Caterers, which also runs the Inn at Central Valley.
Company officials could not be reached Friday.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
I guess the answer is to eat enroute

I've never actually eaten at Bear Mountain Inn, or even been inside, so I suppose I don't know what I've been missing. I've always eaten enroute to Bear Mt, usually in Stony Point, if I'm going up 9W. And I believe you can eat at Garrison or Cold Spring if you're taking the train back. I wondered which newspaper or other media this story came from, in case anyone complains about infringement of copyright.

Maybe the relevant authority concerned might like to resurface Perkins Memorial Drive to make the descents safer and easier.

Anyway, I can't wait to have a go at Bear Mt again this year.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Wishes do come true...

Anthony, you got the road resurfaced this year...

What's you wish for this year?

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

I tend to train frequently on Bear Mountain and in Harriman Park. I am actually glad to learn they are doing something with the Inn. Right now, its situation is similar to that of a typical New York State run enterprise: deteriorated physical condition, uninspired product, poor value.

Anonymous's picture
cat (not verified)
good food, waitstaff

I have to say, i disagree with John.

I had lunch once upstairs at the Bear Mountain Inn and it far surpassed my expectations. It was hard to get seated but once settled, instead of the overpriced and inadequate fare i had steeled myself for, i was soon tucking into a century-sized grilled sandwich with sinful fries, to the tune of about $8. The waiter was attentive with the water and even discouraged members of our party from drinking iced tea so they wouldn't dehydrate. The balcony was breezy and the whole experience, including the those-were-the-days WPA dilapidation, was near perfect.

Even though i'm usually running express to Harriman by the time i pass the BMI, it has always been nice to know it is there as a refueling option.

It's true, i base this warmfuzzy impression on one experience and probably would fail to exactly replicate it. But to remove the possibility of it completely is a sad thing indeed.

I did notice they have been less friendly lately towards cyclists' use of the facilities. How can we quell the rising tide of elitism (and anti-cleatism)?

Anonymous's picture
jk (not verified)

Who needs to lounge at the inn? My jersey pockets hold all the food I need in doing Bear Mountain.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Bear Mountain Inn to CLOSE

While enroute to view the Gemenid meteor shower Monday night (which was nice), I stopped at the Bear Mountain Inn.

The staff informed me that the entire building (hotel, bar, etc) will be closed for renovation for 2 Years, starting January 9, 2005.

Anonymous's picture
Cat (not verified)
Gemenid meteor shower!?!

I hope you didn't get charged (does Clear Channel own it yet?) to look at the meteor shower. Also that no portions were edited to provide a more wholesome and patriotic product.

As i did in January, i still think it's a shame about the Inn. Gotta enjoy things while they last.

Anonymous's picture
todd brilliant (not verified)
bear mtn. ride

while on the subject...check out the inn on new year's day with 15-30 other crazy cyclists. 6:45 am at engineer's gate in cp. get a card, do two laps in the park, take the quickest route to bear mtn., go into the inn to have your card signed by a hotel desk clerk, then return to the park. the first one back to the park wins...awsome bragging rights, i.e. nothing!

see ya there.

cycling trips