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Upstate Update: Gardiner Takes Steps To Shut Down Controversial Glamping Site; Saugerties Glampground Withdraws Application; Poughkeepsie’s Academy Food Hall

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Town Of Gardiner One Step Closer To Shutting Down Controversial Glamping Site

The Town of Gardiner has taken steps to shutter operations on a glamping site that environmentalists have long opposed. The Gardiner Town Board recently passed a resolution denying the Awosting Club application, citing pre-existing code violations, including illegally running a lodging business, illegally constructed geo-domes, and illegal water supply and sanitation system.

The resolution also says the applicant has not included a state-mandated environmental assessment form with its application.

The Awosting Club, which rents geo-domes for overnight stays and a has a lodge for events, has operated an illegal “glampground” on the Shawangunk Ridge for several years, the town says.

Glamping, or glamp grounds are becoming a popular addition to the hospitality landscape in the Hudson Valley, particularly in Ulster County.

Einstein Dome

Awosting Club’s website advertises rentals ranging from $225-$300 a night for geo-domes to $1,650-$2,000 a night for the Okawega Mountain Lodge.

Complaints about the glamping business have been rife through the years, with environmentalists and nearby residents raising concerns about the club’s footprint, particularly its ecological impact to the Palmaghatt Kill.

Awosting Club’s owner, Camilla Bradley, has said the resolution was “filled with misinformation. We can come to solutions together … or we can go to war.”

It is unclear what legal action the town will take next. The Awosting Club formally withdrew its campground application in a letter Camilla Bradley’s attorney, Allan Rapplyea, sent the town on the morning of Feb. 7 — the same day the Town Board voted to deny the application. But Rapplyea says the Awosting Club’s use of the land is a “lawful, pre-existing nonconforming use” of the grounds because Girl Scout camps and other camping sites were set up on the property in the past.

Bradley is the daughter of John Bradley, who tried in the early 2000s to develop more than 2,000 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge he owned into a housing development with 300 homes and a 300-acre golf course. Activists fought for years, spurring the “Save the Ridge” movement. The State of New York ultimately purchased more than 2,500 acres of the would-be developer’s property, which were added to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Awosting Club sits on a portion of the original Bradley property.

Terramor Outdoor Resort, a Glampground, Withdraws Application in Town Of Saugerties

Also in glamping news, Terramor Outdoor Resort has pulled its application to develop a glamping site along Route 212 in the Town of Saugerties after environmentalists had been fighting the plan. The plan, which was pending before the town planning board, was officially withdrawn in a February 8 letter. “After careful evaluation, it was determined that the project did not meet criteria across several key benchmarks to warrant moving forward,” the company wrote.

Glamping is becoming an increasingly popular hospitality option in the Hudson Valley, particularly in Ulster County. But it also pits hotel operators against environmentalists because glamping sites are typically proposed for — or in the case of glampsites such as the Awosting Club in Gardiner — are operating on environmentally sensitive lands. A group known as Citizens Against Terramor coalesced to fight against the proposal.

Poughkeepsie’s Downtown Gets a Boost With Multi-faceted Food Concept At The Academy Food Hall

Two previously vacant buildings in Poughkeepsie have been transformed into The Academy Food Hall, a community space at 33 Academy Street that includes several eateries, a food market, bar, and an event space.

The project, designed by Amanda Baxter, of Baxter Built, is also one of the partners of The Academy Kitchen. The opening of the market represents a continued effort to bring renewal to downtown Poughkeepsie.

The Academy Food Hall is open daily. The restaurant lineup includes Smoke 33, Valley Taco, East-West, Hudson Hopworks, Cafe + Grill, and the Newburgh Flour Shop. Opening soon, the Market will sell local produce, meat, cheese, and other essentials.

Smoke 33 is a barbecue stand that sells smoked meats, house-made rubs, sauces, and sides. Valley Greens specializes in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options with fresh salads, grain bowls, and cold-pressed juices. East-West serves up ramen, rice bowls, bao, dumplings and stir fries.

Hudson Hopworks sells canned and bottled craft microbrews along with draft beer. The Cafe + Grill has comfort food favorites like burgers, fries, and fried chicken. Lastly, The Newburgh Flour Shop is a family-owned bakery offering artisanal breads, pastries, and wedding cakes.

Beyond the Food Hall, Academy Kitchen is a 75-seat American-style bistro.

Keepsake, an 8,700-square-foot venue, is located on the second floor, is primarily a wedding venue that is also rentable for business and special events.