Nemacolin Blog
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Art Collection
Berlin Wall- A Gift of “Royal” Proportions!

Today marks an important day in British history: The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton! It’s sure to be a joyous celebration. So, why so blue? Oh, you were not invited? Well, make yourself feel better by making a far less expensive trip to Nemacolin where our staff will treat you like royalty.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort abounds with all the pomp and circumstance that a Royal Family enjoys with our own whimsy - we have our own castles and butlers, carriages and chauffeurs, equestrian activities, world class chefs, valuable family antiques and art, and entertainment for the whole family.

As you arrive to our Chateau Lafayette you might not expect to be in the presence of royalty, but you just might be! Did you know that Nemacolin has been host to numerous celebrities, not only in the sports and entertainment arenas, but also to actual royalty? One such notable figure is Lord Peter Palumbo.

Lord Palumbo, a former friend of the Royal Family, is also a dear friend of our founder, Joseph A. Hardy III. In fact, Mr. Hardy is so proud of his friendship with Lord Palumbo that he proudly displays a photograph of him in a place of honor in our Chateau Hospitality Suite, home of the Hardy Family’s “Lord of the Manor” memorabilia. That image is an iconic photographic, which shows Lord Palumbo with the late Princess Diana.

We are not sure if Lord Palumbo will present a gift to the new future King and Queen of England; however, he once presented a gift to our Lord Hardy! That gift is a section of the Berlin Wall. Our piece of the Berlin Wall is one of two sections once owned by Lord Palumbo. Both sections were painted by graffiti artist, Idiano (formerly know as Jürgen Grosse), an ex-East-German artist whose work appears in museums, public and private art collections, gardens and art galleries worldwide. Indiano painted 223 wall segments in just 7 months, many of which portray his “Totems”. Our segment clearly shows his totems as artistic symbols of peace. The second section owned by Lord Palumbo can be viewed today at Kentuck Knob, his Frank Lloyd Wright property located just 15 minutes from Nemacolin. To see this and other treasures be sure to ask about our daily complimentary Art Tour.

So, don’t be blue if you’re not attending the Royal Wedding… just stop by Nemacolin Woodlands Resort where we will treat you like royalty- because you are our honored guests!

*Be sure to view our Hospitality Suite to view the Hardy Family’s “Lord of the Manor” memorabilia and the image of Lord Palumbo and Lady Diana, and our portraits of other royalty on the second floor of our Conference Center, such as this 1500’s portrait of Henry VIII.

*Our section of the Berlin Wall can be viewed along Hardy Blvd near the Animal Habitats.

*Other items in the Hardy Family Art Collection once owned by Lord Palumbo include our Pitcairn Mailwing at the Pride & Joy Airplane Hanger and our vintage Harley Davidson motorcycle at the Woodlands Auto Toy Store.

Brenda Girod
Art Collection Specialist
Hardy Family Art Collection

Art Collection
“Little Bird” Meets “Fat Bird”… An Unexpected and Rare Bird

“It’s a Bird”… “It’s a Plane”… “No, wait! It’s Fat Bird!”

Fat Bird? But, what’s Fat Bird?

Fat Bird is the name for the logo and mascot used by Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. A rare bird indeed, Fat Bird, does not actually represent any particular feathered friend; although, one could argue two origins of Fat Bird with good evidence: it is a whimsical interpretation of 1) the original Nemacolin Resort Logo, or 2) the famous sculpture “Little Bird” by Fernando Botero. No matter which argument you take, you would not be wrong.

Interestingly enough, the original logo for Nemacolin was a bird. That original logo, with a bird mid flight encompassed by circular text reading “Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa”, can still be found in the original Lodge section on the Lodge Circle’s entry doors. That bird representation, as recalled by many of our most seasoned guests, is reminiscent of Pennsylvania’s state bird: the roughed grouse. This was a fitting choice for the resort’s first logo as Nemacolin was originally a remote and private hunting lodge, and whereas the grouse is a crafty creature able to conceal itself in its surroundings for privacy and for protection from hunters. Just like the grouse, families and business professionals alike have flocked to Nemacolin’s private sanctuary to escape the rigors of everyday life. Not to mention that our Fat Bird too physically resembles the roughed grouse. The State of Pennsylvania’s Symbols Manual describes the birds as “distinguished by its plump body, feathered legs, and mottled reddish-brown color”- sound familiar?

On the other hand, we would not have our Fat Bird if not for our owner, Maggie Hardy Magerko, and her father, resort founder, Joseph A Hardy III; their appreciation for fine art; and their joint sense of humor. See, Mr Hardy has long been a patron of the arts. In fact, his Art Collection, which is displayed resort-wide, is an eclectic representation of his tastes. Both Maggie and Mr Hardy also enjoy a good laugh, which is evidenced in many of the pieces in the family’s collection. Perhaps most humorous in the Hardy Family Art Collection, however, are the works by Fernando Botero.

Botero, a Columbian artist, is well known in the art world for his “inflated” images of people, food, and animals. His work often pokes fun at masterpieces frequently studied in art history- likely inspired by his studies in Europe. A prominent theme in Botero’s work is the image of a bird. One such bird entitled, “Little Bird,” was created in bronze in 1988.

At some point after its creation, Maggie (likely with her father at the time) saw Botero’s “Little Bird.” The irony of such a large and heavy sculpture being referred to as ‘little’ no doubt struck the Hardy’s as humorous. Imagine, there sits a 3,000+ lb., overweight to say the least, bird… and it is being referred to as “little?” … well, there is nothing little about it. And, with no known meaning: there is sits, irony intended for whimsy sake, solely for the viewers’ enjoyment. As the story goes, Maggie loved it and wanted it to be used at the resort somehow.

With Maggie now in charge of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, the focus seemed to become an increasingly family friendly resort. Botero’s bird seemed to embody the whimsy of the new Nemacolin. A place that offers something for everyone, Nemacolin was becoming as rare a bird in the resort industry as Botero’s “little” bird was to the art world.

A bright businesswoman, Maggie knew that Botero’s work carried a copyright, which would make it nearly impossible to use “Little Bird’s” exact image for the resort’s new logo. But, living under the motto of her father, “nothing is impossible,” Maggie found a way. Therefore, as passed down from curator to curator, the story tells that Maggie took an image of “Little Bird” to wildlife artist, Barney Boller, and challenged him to create his interpretation of a “big, fat bird” thus resulting in our logo’s name: Fat Bird.

Boller created a Mother Bird and 100 smaller bronzes. Each of the bronzes were signed and numbered by the artists and were readily made available to our guests for purchase. Many guests have taken us up on the offer, from a lady in Kansas to President Bush, senior. As time when by, more and more Fat Birds hatched, in a number of mediums and sizes. Today you can buy fat birds in soap and chocolate; made of precious stones, valuable metals, and stuffing; and printed on just about everything from key chains to cookies!

So, on your next visit, tip your hat to Botero’s “Little Bird” as you turn into our main entrance, and smile as our Mother Fat Bird greats you at check-in in the Chateau Lafayette Lobby. And, next time you pass a new guest wondering, “What’s Fat Bird”, you can know with confidence and say, inspired by the words of our owner Maggie herself, “Fat Bird is Nemacolin’s mascot. He is fun and whimsical, just as are the expectations of Nemacolin’s guests.”

Brenda Girod
Art Collection Specialist
Hardy Family Art Collection

Field Club, General
Introduce Your Passion To The Next Generation...

I always think it's great when people want to get their young ones involved with fly fishing early. As I am out on the waters with them, I take a moment and think “this is the future of this great sport.” So if you are passionate about Fly Fishing, introduce your passion and try to get as many kids involved as you can. Regardless on how you do it, being bluegill on a pond or trout in a stream, these are going to be the next generation of conservationist to keep our sport going.

Mike Steiner
Fly Fishing Supervisor
The Nemacolin Field Club

General, Gourmet
Pan-Asian Meets Five-Star!

2010 was an exciting year for Falling Rock Hotel at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. The year welcomed a new chef, introduced new dining and lodging concepts and was awarded the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award. With a new year, it is time to push on, continue to grow our offerings and execute the "above and beyond" attitude our guests expect.

Beginning this season the Food and Beverage team at Falling Rock will release a Pan-Asian concept for Sunset Terrace, a glamorous outdoor dining facility featuring panoramic view of the Laurel Highlands, soothing sunsets and exquisite service.

The infusion of Pan-Asian cuisine will add new excitement, flavor and flare to Nemacolin's existing Restaurant Collection. This new dining venue will be available for lunch and dinner starting Memorial Day Weekend 2011.

Guests will be able to experience all types of Asian fare at Sunset Terrace, as our Food & Beverage team will blend ethnic traditional cuisine with contemporary aspects. The menu will feature a wide array of offerings and will include appetizers, soups, salads, entrées and sushi, all of which can be enjoyed with beverage pairings to compliment one's taste.

We hope to see you this summer. Pamper your palate with great food and eclectic drinks and enjoy this new restaurant concept at Falling Rock.

Chef Seth Mahler
Chef De Cuisine
Falling Rock Hotel

General, Sales and Marketing
Creative Cake Challenge

Teambuilding is one of the most requested subjects when we work with clients at the resort. We are great at delivering an experience that is memorable for the participants, and that is what matters the most.

Why do we say that?
Our clients tell us.

Recently we had a group from one of the most prominent universities in the country at the resort. We channeled the Food Network and put together an out-of-the-box teambuilding activity at their request, an event that the entire group could participate in at the same time. After a deep discussion in regards to the goals of the programs, we put a twist on one of our popular programs and properly declared a "Creative Cake Challenge!" Each group was given all of the necessary supplies from food coloring to pastry tips and the challenge was to create a "Spring" themed cake while racing the clock. Under the supervision of our award-wining Chefs, the group designed, created and decorated their cakes, which were then judged by our very own Resort Pastry Chef.

The end?
Well one team was declared the winner; however, all felt like winners after participating in one of the best teambuilding experience they have ever experienced. We always enjoy when a client tells us that.

General, Golf
Remembering MY Hero – The Dave Wieger Memorial Golf Event

November 2, 2007, Red Lobster in Greensburg, PA. My wife and I have just sat down at our table. My phone rings. It’s my brother. I answer, he talks. My heart drops to my feet, my face turns pale white, my wife looks at me with a questioned glare. I look back at her with a tear in my eye. My best friend from high school was killed in action in Balad, Iraq just a day earlier.

Air Force Special Agent, Staff Sgt. David A. Wieger lost his life protecting countless other soldiers and civilians on Nov. 1, 2007 in Iraq. Born and raised in North Huntingdon, PA, Dave came from a very humble, happy home… a typical Pittsburgh family; work hard at what you do and you will succeed. Dave was beyond successful. He worked his way through the ranks while in the Air Force and eventually was invited to become a Special Agent with the OSI (Office of Special Investigations). Not just anyone is invited into this elite team… only the best of the best. Dave thrived in this new position; he loved the danger of it. He aided in the capture of over 20 individuals responsible for terroristic threats/actions while in Iraq. What eventually took Dave’s life was what he tried to fight… a road side bomb otherwise known as an IED (improvised explosive device). What an ironic turn of fate…

Fast forwarding to present day, The Dave Wieger Memorial Golf Event, which is entering into its fourth year, is continuously growing. It is on the brink of becoming a nationally publicized event thanks to The Folds of Honor Foundation with which all proceeds from The DWMGE are donated to. The FHF provides post-secondary education scholarships to children of fallen or injured soldiers. This was a carefully researched foundation due to the fact that Dave loved being around children and teaching them. While in Iraq, he would visit different towns and give the kids’ crayons and books; soccer balls and other toys. It’s not all guns and grenades over there… Americans are making a difference in a positive way and that is exactly what Dave, on his own time, set out to do while in that foreign land.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, May 28th at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort once again. Due to the increasing popularity of this charitable event, we have opened both Mystic Rock and The Links for participants. The 2011 event will include a presentation by Major Ed Pulido, VP of Public Relations and Veteran Affairs for Folds of Honor. Major Pulido is a former soldier who had his leg amputated after encountering a roadside bomb in Iraq – the same scenario that cost Special Agent Dave Wieger his life. Major Pulido’s two daughters are Folds of Honor scholarship recipients.

Anyone and everyone are invited to play in this event. If you are interested and are willing to join us for a fun day of golf, food and brewski’s, please visit or the Nemacolin Events Calendar or contact me directly at 724-309-4405.

to view a video tribute!

Thank you for your time.

Ryan Carmen
Golf Operations Manager
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Bring Back The Bunker...

Wouldn’t it be fun to see the greenside bunker really be a hazard again? The way it is now, most top level players would rather be in the banker than on the grass that surrounds it. The shot has become a fairly easy task. The sand is such good texture and so well cared for that a player simply hits a few inches behind the ball and up it goes on the green for a tap-in par! Add to that the 60-degree wedges available now, and the bunker is anything BUT a hazard! Why have bunkers at all if they are not hazards?

Professionals and top amateurs actually aim to get in bunkers when they know they can’t reach or get on a green. This drastically changes course strategy, and bunkers, once regarded as a place NOT to be, have become a safe haven; not to mention the cost of maintaining them for the individual facilities and the time it takes players to rake them.

What if we left them alone? How would golfers handle un-raked, unkempt greenside bunkers? Well I have to believe that area would again be a place to be avoided. Would tour players be firing right at hole locations tucked behind bunkers if they knew it was a mess in there? Would they wail away on a par-5 thinking, “the worst thing that happens is I’m in that bunker”any longer? I don’t think so. Might be fun to see how strategies and scores might change.

Notice I said nothing of the fairway bunker. Fairway bunkers are still enough of a hazard that they are avoided at all cost; (which is the definition of a hazard anyway). Golf course architects still use them to intimidate players on the tee, make them play AWAY from the bunker, not hit AT it! So we continue to rake and maintain those. But let’s bring a herd of buffalo in on Wednesday after the pro am, have them stampede through the greenside bunkers and don’t rake them until Monday morning when the members play again! Only kidding about the buffalo, but I am serious about golf course strategy once again being a part of tournament golf. It would be fun to watch!

Dennis Clark

PGA Master Professional
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort