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Tradition & Experience
Introducing the Emerson, an extraordinary destination offering the reassuring sense that one is no longer part of the outside world. Make yourself at home in one of our 53 exceptional guestrooms and suites. Enjoy comfort food favorites at the Catamount Restaurant. Or indulge in one of the soothing treatments at our Forbes Four-Star Spa. Outside, the picturesque Hudson Valley will complete this perfect environment of total harmony. View this video to learn more about why the Emerson is the ideal getaway destination.
In 1836 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Nature,” an essay inspired by the serene beauty of this area. The publication of “Nature” prompted the American Conservation Movement, which led to the establishment of the 600 square-mile Catskill Forest Preserve that surrounds the Emerson.
Where the resort now stands was once The Riseley Flat, a thriving dairy farm built in 1840, and a barn built in 1860, which is now The Country Store. In 1874 trains began stopping at this site daily, bringing hordes of visitors for their first taste of the Hudson Valley. For many, that first taste was of the ice cream, made fresh at the Riseley dairy.
Though the cows have since moved on, the historic buildings have been lovingly restored for modern use. One of the most remarkable adaptations is the 64-foot high barn silo that was turned into the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. Sadly, the Cockburn House, which was the location for the former Inn, was destroyed in a fire in 2005. However, with more than 40,000 square feet of new construction, including 26 guest suites, a new spa facility and expanded meeting/conference space, the Emerson today has emerged more impressive than ever.
Our Executive Team
Although a resident of Massachusetts, Emily has owned a home in the Catskills since 1971. She partnered with Dean Gitter in the development of Catskill Corners and the Emerson Resort & Spa because of her commitment to sensible development in the region and her desire to create employment opportunities for local area residents.Emily is a long time supporter of many Catskill institutions including the Belleayre Conservancy, the Catskill Mountain Foundation, The Mountain Top Historical Society and the Haines Falls Free Library. She is an educator and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bard College and Chairman of the Board of Overseers at Bard College at Simons’ Rock.
Emily attended Quaker schools in Philadelphia before earning an AB degree from Vassar College and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As Chief Executive Officer of Emerson Resort & Spa, Naomi Umhey develops all aspects of the property’s strategic planning while overseeing its management, finance and program initiatives.A long-time Emerson team member, Naomi has mastered every facet of the property and surrounding Mt. Tremper area. She began her career at the Emerson in 1996 as a part-time sales associate in the onsite Country Store. Over the next seven years, she quickly moved up the ranks, holding positions such as Merchandise Buyer, Store Manager and General Manager. In 2003 she was appointed Operations Manager to oversee Emerson’s entire maintenance and operations branches while continuing to act as the liaison between its Managing Partner and retail division. She was promoted again in January 2009 to Chief Operating Officer before accepting her current position in June, 2009.
Naomi’s strong leadership skills and remarkable acumen for motivating, mentoring and nurturing
A graduate of Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York with a Bachelorss of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration, Heather Gockel began her career as a receptionist with the CPA firm of Sperry, Cuono, Holgate & Churchill. Showing great promise, Heather quickly advanced in the ranks and soon was given a Staff Accountant position in charge of computerizing financial records for the local municipality. The opportunity to work closer to home presented itself with an offer of employment at the original Catskill Corners which later became the Emerson Resort & Spa. With tenure of over 12 years at the Emerson, Heather’s knowledge of the hotel’s history, growth and accounting practices is invaluable. Heather has held the position of Controller for the Emerson since 2005 and additionally is influential in the development and handling of Human Resources policies and procedures. With a long history of involvement in local community and charitable causes, Heather also serves as a Judge in the nearby town of Roxbury.
Tony Lanza brings a wealth of managerial and sales experience to the Emerson. He has an innate ability to grasp the dynamics of a business and make it relatable to the public, resulting in a natural increase in sales. He is a veteran of the ski industry, with early beginnings as a ski instructor culminating in over 35 years of experience that includes Belleayre Mountain from 1999 – 2012. As Superintendent of Belleayre, Tony increased Belleayre’s annual visits from 71,000 to 183,000 and increased annual sales from $1.7 million to $6.2 million. Tony’s humanitarian efforts and community activism have garnered a multitude of accolades including Delaware Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year; a Spirit of the Catskills award; numerous accommodations by the New York state senate; and Governor’s Citation. He has also been honored by the New York Stock Exchange and rang the opening bell in recognition of his work with wounded warriors and adaptive children. He is particularly proud to have raised over $100,000 for local charities during his tenure with Bellearye.
Lori Fulford is another local resident who has made the Emerson her home. Lori brings an education in business, management know-how and an organizational flare gleaned from raising two young boys. With experience working for Victoria’s Secret and Clinique, Lori knows how to make people feel beautiful. Her Emerson career began in 2009 when she joined the team as Administrative Assistant to both the Public Relations and Sales Directors. Recognizing that Lori was capable of more, management promoted her to Spa Manager in 2012. In her current position, Lori has streamlined procedures, implemented programs designed to attract new business and developed a staff of gifted therapists committed to nurturing and rejuvenating their clients Lori aspires to providing health, wellness and beauty programs targeted to meet the individual needs of each and every guest