Although we will not be opening as a zoo, we are very interested in preserving what we can for the public to be able to visit and take a walk down memory lane. This will include but is not limited to free admittance to the 130 acre park for anyone who would like to come, walk and reminisce. We also intend on re-structuring the entrance to allow vehicles to enter the park, renovate "The Giraffe House" to become an Inn with the ability to host weddings and events and in the long term convert the majority of the property into a Campground and RV Park. A free admittance museum will be open to the public displaying memorabilia from the properties past, photos of The Catskill Game Farm's many years in operation as well as occasionally having old employees of the property offering workshops and tours for children or adults who would like to have a more unique look back at the properties history. For more details about each please see below.
It is important to note that donations are not going towards any of these projects, they are strictly being used in the interim to make the park safer for visitors who are currently coming to visit and providing a portolet for those to use during their time at The Old Game Farm.
We have begun construction!
The Long Neck INN
Photography by Andy Milford
We are converting the "Giraffe House" into an Inn with the ability to host weddings and events on the property. By profession, the owner, Cathy Ballone is a wedding planner (Cathy's Elegant Events, LLC) and would be able to manage all aspect of this business. There have been many previous visitors to the park who have shown an incredible interest in being able to come stay in such an interesting an unique converted structure. The rooms will be named for animals which once lived on the property giving guests the ability to stay in rooms such as "The Giraffe Room" or the "Rhino Room" filled with tasteful decor depicting each creature. The main level will remain as original as possible even keeping the large front doors as 'shutters' for more energy efficient doors inside and preserving the still obvious ware marks where giraffes once rubbed their heads on the walls.
With weddings becoming extremely popular in the Catskills and Hudson Valley Cathy often gets requests for 'unusual' and/or uniquely historical locations for couples to get married, this would be an ideal location. The plans would include being able to get married in front of the B&B, hold their cocktail hour either in the main level of the building or outdoors, then the main receptions will be held tented on the property either near the Inn or in what once was the lower feeding grounds where so many children and families could once walk among the animals at The Catskill Game Farm.
The Old Game Farm Campground
We are also seeking 1.5 million to convert the remainder of the property into a Campground and RV park. Something this property offers that many other campgrounds lack, is space. The plans have us keeping as many trees and infrastructure as possible to invite people to enjoy the outdoors and the history of the property. The layouts include a separate section for Seasonal Campers (RV owners who rent their space out for long term use) to give them there own community area where they can stay separate from over night campers. There will also be cabins throughout the property for guests to enjoy. We will plan on keeping with the theme of the properties history with roads named Giraffe way, Rhino Road and similar touches throughout the park.
While doing this we would also like to make the campground educational for children and families. We have been working with local organizations to create different types of programs we can offer to reconnect children and families to nature. This would include workshops where people can learn about such subjects as how to make maple syrup, honey harvesting and beekeeping, making candles from scratch and other types of nature based workshops.
How you can help!
The best way the average person can help is simply by talking about us and what we are trying to do. Within the 6 degrees of separation there is someone who can make these plans coming to life. Like and share us on Facebook, talk to you friends and co-workers simply help get the word out there!