Catskill Mountain News

The Roxbury Plans Major Expansion Dedicated to “Whimsical Elegance”

September 20, 2006
Groundbreaking Held for New Two-Story Wing, Spa Facility and Deck
by Trish Adams

Building on the success of its “Contemporary Catskills Chic,” The Roxbury Motel will expand to offer its lodgings to twice as many travelers. “As we grow, we’re developing some irresistible new amenities and design features that will set The Roxbury experience apart really from any other hotel in the world,” said proprietor Greg Henderson of Masserson Properties, Inc. “We will be exploring some ideas in design concepts and ‘guest room experience’ that will add a new whimsical twist on the old-fashioned, cookie cutter hotel room.”

In the short two years since it opened its chartreuse-lime doors, The Roxbury has been anything but cookie cutter. In fact, The Roxbury’s whimsical turn on retro motor lodge has become a trip in and of itself, attracting visitors from around the world to its playful, contemporary mountain digs. 

Turning people away almost every weekend has become the only un-fun aspect of Joe Massa and Henderson’s joint dramatic venture.

At Monday’s groundbreaking for the $800,000 project (complete with chartreuse and orange shovels, the Roxbury’s signature colors), the heavy equipment was ready to go. The Roxbury hopes to have construction closed in by the winter and its new addition in full swing by early summer. To that end, Massa and Henderson are employing a construction manager, Paul Waddington, to keep the process humming along, and they will also rely on local contractors and building professionals who they’ve worked with successfully in the past. The expansion was designed by Alfandre Architecture, a New Paltz-based firm whose mission statement emphasizes “buildings that blend with (their) local and regional historic, village, or natural context.”

Henderson explains that the “new expansion will be much in keeping with the charming but dignified character of the hamlet of Roxbury itself.” The 4,400 square-foot addition is designed to echo the simple elegance of the current Roxbury exterior with white columns, black shutters and more of those cheerful, limeade doors. The new wing will be positioned to keep guests’ streamside and mountain views intact while offering them easy access to a spacious, landscaped back lawn. 

New accommodations will zero in on what The Roxbury’s guests have clamored for: larger suites to accommodate families and groups and more intimate studios for twosomes. Two interconnected suites on the top floor of the new wing will be able to accommodate parties as large as 12, while the five rooms on the first floor will maximize open floor space for Euro-style intimacy. With 10-foot and 11-foot ceilings and open floor plan designs, the loft like feel in all the rooms is designed to provide expansive contrast to a typical “motel” experience while sacrificing none of the cozy factor.

Connecting the new addition to the existing Roxbury will be two special features unique to this corner of the Catskills: a luxurious spa and sauna facility complete with a toasty fireplace on the lower level and on the upper level, an expanded outdoor deck with its own fire pit for year-round relaxation, wine-tasting and mountain views. The first floor spa center will feature a large octagon-shaped, sunken super-jet hot tub, Finnish sauna room, bathroom and shower facilities and a private massage and treatment space for the wide variety of holistic therapies offered on site. Massa and Henderson hope that the spa facility will become an asset to the local community as well as a special treat for their guests.

“Greg and Joe prove that you can be smart, successful and still be the nicest guys in the neighborhood,” said Community Resources Director Peg Ellsworth. “They’ve worked hard and we know this expansion will reflect their inimitable flair and irrepressible sense of fun.”

The Roxbury has already topped hotel and lodging “bests” lists worldwide with its self-created genre of funky, comfy, boutique hideaway. For Massa and Henderson, there is no wizard pulling levers behind the curtain of The Roxbury’s high occupancy rates, but rather a ton of research and a splash of well-applied marketing savvy.

“This is a great example of a creative new business that has become a big player in the local economy through hard work and smart marketing. We’re happy to have played a role in its success,” said Alan Rosa, director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation. CWC has given Masserson Properties two substantial low-interest loans.

Most of the financing comes from Delaware National Bank of Delhi. DNB Vice President of Business Development Lewis Kolar called The Roxbury expansion “a fabulous project for Roxbury and badly needed. Greg and Joe have a great track record and we’re thrilled to be financing this exciting project.”

While Henderson and Massa work hard to promote all the traditional Catskills pleasures nearby—skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking, golfing, antiquing, and auctions—they’ve made The Roxbury a destination in its own right. Look for more of that theatricality with this expansion, with key aspects of the design kept as tantalizingly under wraps as those little green men in Roswell’s Area 51. 

“In creating The Roxbury several years ago, we challenged ourselves to create an indoor experience that resonates with the high drama and ‘oooh’ factor of the spectacular Catskill landscape all around us,” said Joe Massa. “Now we can amplify, or perhaps I should say ‘wow-ify’ on what our guests have enjoyed the most and keep coming back for. I can’t say more about that creative percolation at present,” Massa added with a grin, “But I do promise you will not be disappointed.”

Photo Caption: CAN YOU DIG IT? The grooviest lodgings in the Catskills, The Roxbury Contemporary Catskills Lodging, is going to double its fun with an expansion slated to open in spring 2007. At the groundbreaking Monday afternoon, Roxbury owners Greg Henderson and Joseph Massa (with green and orange shovels), were joined by friends and supporters of the project, including (from left) Bill Willis of the Delaware County Department of Economic Development, The Roxbury Housekeeping Manager Hope Tone-Pah-Hote and her son D.J., Roxbury Community Resources Director Peg Ellsworth and her associate Karina Walker, excavator Dave Cowan, Construction Manager Paul Waddington of CM Solutions, Assistant Construction Manager Wolfgang Schlemmer (hidden behind Greg), Roxbury Town Supervisor Tom Hynes, CWC Director Alan Rosa, JR Lawrence of Mang Insurance, Lew Kolar of Delaware National Bank, The Roxbury Manager Leslie Black, and Roxbury Building Inspector Bill Walcutt. – photo by Trish Adams