Mayors Of Magic Invite Town to Illumination of The Roxbury at Stratton Falls – A Thank You

Catskills Places, Travel Blog

“Orange! Blue! Lime Green! And there is illumination!”

Footage of the countdown

On a chilled November day, with the dreariness of winter looming and the promise of seasonal depression’s return, I decided to don my favorite boots and camera and actually leave my house. 

The reward was quite magical. I made it just in time to witness the “initial illumination” of the Roxbury at Stratton Falls. I watched as Dracula’s Fangs and the Terrazza of the Titans and The Faerie Forest simultaneously came alive, not to a traditional countdown, but to a countdown of colors, those of the property logo.

Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination with owners Greg and Joe on balcony
The Mayors of Magic, Joe Massa and Greg Henderson
(I think I came up with this term, but if it has been already coined to describe Greg & Joe, please let me know)

Beforehand, the Mayors of Magic (owners Greg Henderson & Joe Massa) stood on a balcony and thanked the gathered townspeople, contractors and friends for supporting their dream of two and a half years: The Roxbury at Stratton Falls – a sequel to the world-renowned motel, The Roxbury. Finally coming to fruition, the couple highlighted their gratitude for the “magical fairies in a fairy forest,” their employees. 

“The most important group we are to thank, because, without them, we are nothing. That is our staff,” said Greg. (I decided right then and there, if I ever needed a job, I will be sure to knock on one of their lime green doors.)

Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination Mansion House
The Mansion aglow, where fantasy and history collide

Next was a prosecco  toast. If that doesn’t cheer one, what will? Oh – perhaps the whimsical music floating through the air, emanating from invisible speakers. Or, the happy hugs from friends you almost forgot you had. That happens in these hills – we hunker down and forget there exists friends that are actually happy to see our face on something other then a mobile screen.

Overall all, the general effect was one of transportation to a scaled-down version of a Magic Kingdom experience. Here, in Delaware County, in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.

Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination Terrazza of the Titans cottage
Terrazza of the Titans

For me, the Mountain Girl, the way cool part of the invitation was being welcomed to explore the grounds. Stratton Falls has always been off limits, a road-side capture, through obtrusive, low hanging branches. Access to the bottom of the cascade has always been on private property. And still is. When I heard  the Roxbury’s expansion included the falls, I wondered, as I always do, how one can own water, and the explorer in me was quite miffed. I don’t like being told where I can’t go. On the other hand, as a property owner myself, I understand there is a certain stewardship expected, with safety and liability playing key roles.

So Saturday afternoon, I descended the perfectly placed steps, steadying myself on the rustic log railings, winding past the rock faces dripping with icicles, along a path that could very well have been there forever. I heard the sound of  water rushing over a cliff, and chuckled as I passed the strategic seating areas, an invite to romance or rest. I didn’t feel the cold, or care about the burn my legs would feel on the return trek. Like a bride reaching a groom at the end of a long aisle, I reached the falls, breathless and excited.

Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination stairs to fall
Stairway to the waterfall
Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination path to falls
This path, a magical feat of engineering
Romantic seating – or just to catch your breath
Roxbury_Stratton_Falls_Illumination Stratton Waterfall
Finally, the falls

I almost missed this! I clicked away, finding an angle that kept me (mostly) dry. For a waterfall chaser, this is the penultimate moment, capturing a coveted falls at water level.

Sure, my photo shoot was rushed. This is the reoccurring punishment that a procrastinator self inflicts. I had to scurry back to the top, because I knew the illumination was due to happen. I followed the amplified voices of the Mayors of Magic, reaching the edge of the crowd just in time.

Yes, I made it.

And so did they. These hoteliers, creators, imagineers, they made it too. They made it happen. So many dreams are conceived in these mountains, not many make it to full term. On good weather days, anything seems possible. So we make plans and then Winter comes and good intentions grow as cold as the plunging temperatures. As a food and lodging writer, I have seen a high percentage of the Catskills businesses I report on end within their first three years. Sad but true. But this place, this place has staying power.

I guess what I am trying to say here is this. Despite the minuscule jealousy I may hold that I will most likely never have millions of dollars backing my dreams, and despite the speculation that such a fanciful design could fit into our landscape, I am grateful this place exists here, just a seven minute drive away. It is proof that dreams do come true, and hard work pays off. I am grateful I got to walk to the bottom of the waterfall. I wish I had seen the inside of the fanciful cottages and the restored mansion for myself, but that’s what social media is for.

Lastly, thank you to Greg and Joe, Mayors of Magic, Stewards of Stratton, for the marvelously fantastical and purely magical execution of your vision, and for inviting the community to join the experience.

Tap link above for a look inside the fantasy cottages

Book The Roxbury at Stratton Falls

Book The Roxbury Motel

To book by phone, call 607.326.7200

*****

Mountain Girl NY

Rebecca Andre wears many hats as a photographer, food & lodging writer, reporter, web designer and poet living and working in a lovely Delaware County hamlet with her husband and daughter. She promotes local businesses and musicians, and can be reached at MoonflowerRA@gmail.com – All photos within ©Rebecca Andre unless otherwise noted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s