THE CATSKILL GAME FARM HISTORY
Once considered America's greatest zoo, The Catskill Game Farm housed over 2,000 animals with tens of millions of people having visited during its 73 year history.
The Catskill Game Farm opened in 1933 and was the first privately owned zoo in America and later became the largest.
The zoo housed thousands of animals such as lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes and kangaroos. It even had a pen to feed the animals.
From the very beginning, The Catskill Game Farm was a popular destination and became a yearly tradition for many families.
It was a unique experience where lifetime memories were made. It was the only place you can get swarmed by deer in the feeding pen or see an entire zoo freeze in its tracks when the lion roared.
In 2002 The Catskill Game Farm was the birthplace of Youtube sensation "April the Giraffe"
Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties and dropping attendance The Catskill Game Farm closed its doors in 2006
The property has been abandoned since 2006 with its infrastructure, paved walkways and many animal shelters still in tact.
The property was purchased in 2012. The new owners renovated the Old Giraffe Barn into a state of the art Boutique Hotel while still maintaining the nostalgia of The Catskill Game Farm.
"The Long Neck Inn" opened its doors in 2019, where you can stay at the Old Catskill Game Farm and explore the grounds.
The Catskill Game Farm was purchased in 2020 by a group of private investors with ambitious and exciting new plans for the property while maintaining the significance of what it once was.
The future of The Old Catskill Game Farm is bright, with Mr. Blauner planning to provide more adventurous activities to guests, such as mountain biking, archery and miniature golf, in addition to the upscale accommodations currently offered. Plans are also in the works to provide a relaxing mountain home for a litany of animal life, including horses, peacocks, poultry and bovines.
Mr. Blauner is intent on continuing the legacy, as well as preserving this hallmark of midcentury American attractions. The opportunity to witness nature reclaiming a property that was once so abundant with life—both human and animal-- is inspiring and encourages the new owners to recreate a sense of wonder and excitement for future guests.
The Old Catskill Game Farm is able to boast not only an impressive property with beautifully upscale accommodations coupled with top-notch hospitality, but also a talented and hardworking staff to compliment it. The staff includes two Paul Smith’s College graduates, Ian Palmateer (’07 ORM) as on site Head of Security for The Old Catskill Game Farm and Inn, as well as Kristin (Bell) Forster (’05 HRM) as Administrative Assistant/Guest Relations. The housekeeping department is headed by Starlyn Palmateer, who is assisted by Iris Nusom. Starlyn and Iris go above and beyond to provide guests with an unmatched level of cleanliness and hospitality during their stay.
The Old Catskill Game Farm Inn is spearheaded by Moshe Toledo, who acts as both General Manager and live-in Innkeeper. He has continued the Inn’s tradition of offering guests a warm and friendly welcome, as well as working hard to provide a relaxed and inviting environment throughout the duration of their stay.
The Future of The Old Game Farm
You can learn more about the history of The Catskill Game Farm on Abandoned America.