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Meet Kira!

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort would like you to meet the newest member of our Wildlife Academy family... meet Kira!

Kira is a Bengal Tiger and is approximately six months old. She currently inhabits the Wildlife Academy Nursery and will reside there for the remainder of the winter. In Spring 2012, Kira will be relocated to a larger outdoor enclosure as part of our Animal Habitats. Currently, guests can meet Kira on our Safari Tour or Nursery Tours.

General Bengal Tiger facts:
  • Bengals are the most common sub-species of tiger.
  • They are native to India and other portions of Southeast Asia.
  • Tigers are the largest member of the cat family.
  • Bengal tigers are carnivores (meat eaters).
  • They are solitary (meaning they live alone, not in groups).
  • Tigers usually hunt at night and will drag their kill to a safe place, such as up a tree, to eat it. They can consume more than 70lbs in one sitting and will then not eat for days.
  • They are excellent swimmers.
  • Each tiger has a pattern of stripes unique to each individual (just as our fingerprints).
  • Bengal tigers are usually brownish-orange with black stripes however, there is a rare mutation that produces white tigers.

Kira will make special appearances at our Holiday Wild Animal Shows. For more information, please contact our Wildlife Academy at 724.329.6961.

Karen Brindle
Wildlife Academy Supervisor
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Some Healthy Tips To Get Through The Holidays...

Everyone knows that the holidays can consume quite a bit of our energy and time. However, the season of giving doesn’t mean you have to give-up on your workout routines and/or your healthy lifestyle goals.

Our Fitness Supervisor, Susan Pelfrey, provides us with some tips to stay on track as we navigate through the temptations and stresses of the holidays.

  • Stay committed to your workouts. This may mean cutting back on some days but don’t cut out all days! Make three cardio sessions a week your goal. Studies show we can maintain our current fitness level even if we reduce the frequency. The secret here is we must maintain the intensity of the workouts. Therefore, going from five to three workouts each week during the holidays will not undo your good deeds from the summer and fall as long as the intensity is the same.
  • Introduce multi-joint exercises to save time in the weight-room. Examples: lunges with shoulder presses, wall squats with bicep curls, push-ups over an exercise ball or walking planks on the Bosu.
  • Continue to be aware of calorie intake. This time of year we are tempted with office goodies, family favorites, weekend parties and very little will power. Set yourself up for success by not skipping on meals throughout the day.
  • Make a check list of goals for the day. For example: I will not shop through lunch today. I will eat five veggies and five fruits today. I will only have 5oz of wine at the party tonight. I will shop with a list. I will allow myself 150 calories today that are totally guilt free. You get the picture.
And, our favorite rule to live by... remember, it is the holidays, so don’t try and be perfect. Enjoy this time of year. Just make smart choices and be willing to hold your ground. Come January 1st it will have been so worth it!

Do you have any tips that you live by or would like to share to help others continue their healthy lifestyles throughout the holiday season?

Susan Pelfrey
Fitness Supervisor
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Visiting our Resort? Did you know Nemacolin offers complimentary Fitness Classes to guests 16 years and older. Click Here to download our Fitness Calendar.

General, Gourmet
The Nemacolin Gingerbread Dollhouse Debuts...

Whether it is our life-size Gingerbread House or a sprawling Gingerbread Village, one thing is for certain, the arrival of our sweet display will greet our guests during the holiday season. This year, the Food and Beverage Team at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort toyed with the idea of a Gingerbread Dollhouse. Over 220 hours later the dream became a reality and the Gingerbread Dollhouse has finally been revealed for all to smell and see.

This year's Gingerbread display included the following ingredients:


A special thank you all our Associates who helped:




Want to see more images? Visit our Facebook Page to see our Album!

Associates of the Month
Congratulations To Our Associates Of The Month

Each month, Nemacolin takes the times to recognize and honor our associates that embody the Nemacolin spirit and live the Nemacolin culture. These associates have given 110% and the Resort would like to thank them for their time, dedication and efforts.

Preparing for your next Nemacolin Woodlands Resort visit? Take a moment and memorize these faces. If you see our stars out and about during your next visit, please join us in congratulating them for their recent award.


Heart of the House:
June King - Woodlands World

Leader of the Month:
Mandy Burnsworth - The Wildlife Academy

Front of the House:
Rick Burchaianti - The Woodlands Spa

Rising Star of the Month:
Bill Reicholf - Engineering Department

Zumba Fitness Joins Our Novemeber Fitness Schedule

Please join us in congratulating Fitness Instructor, Christina Lee for earning her license to instruct Zumba Fitness®. Classes will begin this Saturday, November 5, 2011, at 9:00 am in the Woodlands Spa Fitness Center and continue each Saturday through November. Nemacolin Fitness Classes are offered throughout the week and include workouts such as Yoga, Pilates, aerobics and much more. The Fitness Classes are complimentary, change monthly and are designed for individuals 16 years of age and older.

Zumba Fitness® has become the latest "fitness-craze." More than a fast-paced Latin-inspired dance-fitness program, Zumba Fitness® has become a "fitness-party." Lee explains,"It is fun and exciting. There is just something about the music and energy that makes this not your typical fitness class."

Click Here to download our November Fitness Schedule. For more information, please contact the Woodlands Spa at 800.422.2736.

The Winners Have Been Announced...

Halloween is quickly approaching and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort takes the time each year to create our own spooktacle with an Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest that is open to our Associates. This contest has become quite competitive over the years with Departments planning their entry well in advance . Winners are determined by associate votes and the categories include: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Most Scariest and Most Creative.

Check out our 2011 entries and award-winners. Thank you to our associates for their time and effort. Until next year... (cue the witch laughter and lightening!)

The Favorite
- Engineering Department

Most Creative
- Props Team

Most Scariest
- Laundry Department

The Woodlands Spa Team

Turfgrass Department

Carolyn Wilmonth, Falling Rock Food & Beverage Team

Activities Department

Human Resources Department

Associates of the Month
Congratulations to our Associates of the Month!

A BIG Nemacolin thank you and congratulations to our Associates of the Month. Thank you for your hard work, commitment to excellence and above-and-beyond attitudes. We appreciate you and we know our guests do too!

If you see these Nemacolin Stars during your next stay, be sure to tell "Congratulations" on being named Associates of the Month!


Rising Star
Valerie Stark – Purchasing Department

Back Of The House
Terry Hager - Turfgrass Department

Front Of The House
Karrie Kamp – Activities Department

Leader of the Month
Amanda Pompe – Tavern Restaurant

Fall Foliage
Happy Fall!

We rang in the New Year with a blistery Winter, greeted Spring, kicked-off Summer and now are welcoming Fall. Seems as soon as we say hello to a season, we are turning around and saying goodbye. However, it is always Fall that makes us slow down, take a deep breath and realize, "wow, here we are in another season of fun." We know that the saying is true, "times flies when you are having fun," but we also think that there is something else about Fall.

It has to be the beauty of the season. Surrounded by the mountains of Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands, rolling hills as far as the eye can see, and colors that pop against the bright blue sky. Warm tones of red, orange, green and yellow are scattered perfectly throughout. It is almost as if Mother Nature got out her crayon box and touched up the horizon. But it isn't just the colors. It is also the feel that Fall naturally brings. The smell that lingers in the crisp air. It is a season that feels alive, warm and inviting.

So, take the time this Fall for a much needed break. Even if it is to hop in your car and drive. Leaf peepers... We are not quite at peak but it is still worth a drive!

Happy National Customer Service Week!

Happy National Customer Service Week!

We really do not need a special holiday to recognize our loyal guests and devoted associates, but since the first week of October is designated National Customer Service Week, we thought we would take the opportunity to shout-out our gratitude.

Thank you to our guests! YOU make what we do FUN. YOU make us strive to be the best and to push ourselves to be better. YOU make us proud of the service we provide each day. Thank you for choosing Nemacolin as YOUR resort.

Our guests return year after year not only because of our abundance of activities, championship golf, world renowned spa and award-winning dining options, but because of our associates! While it has been great to be honored throughout the years with industry leading awards and to be known as a travel destination that has something for everyone. What really brings our guests back is the way our associates make them feel. We receive emails and letters weekly from guests thanking us for their experience. Not one letter is received without the mention of our service or a reference to an associate by name. Think about your own travel experiences. The places that keep you coming back year after year. Why? We imagine it is because of the feeling you experience when you arrive and even more importantly how you feel when you leave.

What other ways are we celebrating National Customer Service Week?

Nemacolin is offering a chance to win a Complimentary One Night Stay
in the Chateau Lafayette or Lodge*

1 - Follow @Nemacolin

2 - Contest runs October 4 - 9, 2011. Ending at 11:59 pm on October 9, 2011.

2. Tweet this message exactly:
Follow @Nemacolin & RT WIN a 1-NT Nemacolin Stay in honor of Customer Service Wk! #contest

CLICK HERE for Contest Rules.

General, Gourmet
Buying Local This Fall Season

Brent Wertz, Vice President of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort shares images from his recent trip to a local Western Pennsylvania Auction. Nemacolin supports the "buy local" approach by visiting local auctions weekly to purchase produce needs for the Resort. This past week was pumpkin week and the resort was able to purchase many to decorate and prepare the Resort for the fall season.

Check out the video below of Chef Wertz when he was interviewed by WJAC TV at the Auction. Because of the water damage / flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and this season's other Tropical Storms, many Pennsylvania farms suffered large pumpkin crop losses. However, local farms near Nemacolin were spared.

Nemacolin Chef Is An Auction Addict... Buying Local Is A MUST!

There is nothing like the local produce grown in Western Pennsylvania. This time of year the tomatoes are ripe, corn is super sweet and the onions are memorable. Yes, a memorable onion, who would have thought it to be possible? But as I walk the rows and rows of fresh local fruits and vegetables at local auctions while buying produce for all Nemacolin's restaurants, sometimes I think that the onions are so good that they look like they were photoshopped. That is what farmer attention and genuine caring for their products produces... it can be amazing.

There are countless reasons why buying local food is both rewarding and delicious, including enjoying the taste of fresh food, improved health and nutrition, environmental stewardship, and support for family farms and rural communities. But for me, and the many Chef's at Nemacolin it’s all about the unmatched flavor that the Laurel Highlands can add to a vegetable. The earthy garden that can make a huge difference between a red tomato and an Amish farmer grown tomato that was picked that day. In some cases, they might not be perfect, but when you put your nose close to them and bask in that natural fantastic smell of a freshly picked beefsteak tomato bursting with juice, there is no comparison to what you might find in a grocery store. I attend and buy from two to three rural auctions a week searching for the best of the best for our guests and get to meet some fantastic people along the way.

Developing a relationship with local farmers gives me an "in" with our local food system. At produce auctions I meet the farmer who has devoted his life to the vegetables he is holding and get incomparable insight about the growing seasons, upcoming crops, and often, take a tour of the farm our food comes from. There is nothing like rubbing elbows with the folks responsible for the food I serve and it allows me in some cases, to form fit crops to my needs and the needs of our guests.

Another significant reason to buy local, is to keep food miles to a minimum. "Food miles" refer to the distance a food item travels from the farm to your home. This all comes down to a Chef caring intensely about what they serve, getting the absolute best, and building strong connections to local area farms that are trying to survive.

I was speaking to an Amish gentleman this week about the comparison of his tomatoes to those grown in far-away places and he summed it up in a very short but meaningful manner. “Chef, relative to tomatoes from far and near it’s simple… gas ripens theirs and God ripens mine.” Hard to argue with a hardworking man who is so in touch with his product he absolutely dares you to compare.

Chef Brent Wertz
Food & Beverage VP, Executive Chef
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Sweater Vest Versus ( and?) Cardigan

“No, it’s a cardigan but thanks for noticing.” Ah, one of the greatest lines in cinema history. 1994, Dumb and Dumber. Completely not golf related, but still ridiculously funny to me.

I don’t know exactly where I planned on going with those first few sentences, but the gist of this blog is to help you decide the begging golf attire question… sweater vest or cardigan? Big decision, I know! We are slowly climbing down the downward spiral to cooler temperatures and have to start thinking about fall fashion on the golf course.

I’m not talking about drenching yourself in a bright orange polo with an even brighter orange pair of pants with “matching” orange shoes and an even brighter orange hat. Which, I should mention is brighter than the bright orange pants. That’s a bit much to see on TV let alone in person. Let’s be a bit more congenial towards your fellow golfers and dress a little less loud. (On the other hand, if you can pull off the Loudmouth golf pants, hey, go for it!)

To me, the big decision for this fall is sweater vest or cardigan. I am a big fan of sweater vests. Always have been and always will be. But where did this newly popular cardigan come from? I’m a fan… but please don’t tell my sweater vests that are safe and secure in my closest eagerly awaiting to be released with the cool temperatures ahead. In fact, one of those sweater vests just might have the chance to be broken out this week (high of 71 degrees in the mountains). I’m not going to lie, I have missed that extra layer! I’m perplexed though…wearing a cardigan is a brave move, at least for me. The last time I wore a cardigan was in elementary school and it was not by choice. Do I free up a hangar in my closest for a nice, new cardigan? (Maybe if I start smoking I can pull off a cardigan?)

Ah, this is more the look I am going for…a classic look, but young. At this point, it’s not sweater vest VERSUS cardigan… it is sweater vest AND cardigan. Now the big decision is, do I start accumulating the same amount of cardigans as sweater vests or stay true to what I know? I’ll figure it out as time goes on I suppose (or until my wife goes shopping for me next).

I don’t claim to be an individual with vast fashion knowledge. Heck, I wear socks with sandals and horizontal striped Polo's with vertically striped pants and I don’t think twice about it. But what I do know is that if you don’t play golf well, at least dress like you know how to play. That’s my mantra and I hold true to it ‘till the very end of each season. Then I break out my tan cords for the winter. The End.

Ryan Carmen
Golf Operations Manager
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

General, Retail
A Make-Up Made Just For Our Guests...

We are always on a constant search for new and better products at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort to enhance our guests experience and make them feel special. When it comes to make-up, that same philosophy applies. For over a year, our spa make-up artists searched for the perfect make-up, sampling over ten brands. After much research, we decided that Nemacolin could do it best by offering our own make-up – a make-up made just for you, our guest.

Every person has their own unique characteristics that they carry with them… it is their glow, presence, their AURA. Our make-up with its’ defining skin tones and colors allows your individual aura to shine.

Welcome to the world of minerals …where makeup delivers flawless coverage and acts as skincare. Rediscover the beauty of your skin with this collection of 100% per minerals. Made from the finest ingredients our ready to wear line gives your face the feeling of freedom. Unlike other makeups, you won’t find parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances. With so many colors to choose from in foundation, shadow, blush and lipstick you can create a variety of looks for every occasion! Whether it’s a party, an evening out or your wedding day, our artists will create a look that makes you special in every way.

So step into our spa and let our professional make-up artists work with you to bring out your inner aura. After a private consultation, step into our Spa Boutique to take your favorite colors home with you. The Woodlands Spa offers make-up applications, and lessons on how to apply. Our Spa boutique carries specialized pallets designed specifically for your skin tone (warm, cool, or neutral) and if those don’t appeal to you, our make-up artists can help you create your own. We also sell an on-the-go starter kit that has all the necessary items you’ll need for travel.

Elaine McKulka
Director of Retail

Lori Shubert
Director of The Woodlands Spa

My Experience At The James Beard House...

The James Beard Foundation is a New York-based national professional non-profit organization named in honor of James Beard. The Beard Foundation promotes the culinary arts by honoring chefs, wine professionals, journalists and cookbook authors at annual award ceremonies and provides scholarships and educational opportunities to cooking hopefuls.

The James Beard House is an invitation only restaurant that allows up and coming Chefs from around the world to showcase their cuisine amongst a setting of foodies, writers and peers. So, imagine my excitement when the call came in.

In a young cooks career, there are several notable things that you set your sights on because the people you look up to - your mentors, your peers have told you that these are the things that matter most. "James Beard" is a name that has been tossed around by nearly everyone I have worked for in the last 10 years. Therefore, when that invitation came there was no containing my or my team's (Lautrec Restaurant) excitement.

So, I guess the story begins back in December when the phone rang and the invitation was extended. A few weeks later the date was set and then the mental part of the preparation began. The menu slowly formed itself with some of the best dishes we have prepared over the past year in Lautrec. Then the wine tastings began in order to select the most perfect pairings.

Six months seems like a long time to prepare for a dinner of 80 but the time flew by and before we knew it the time had come to prep, pack and load up the 15 passenger van for New York City. My team and I packed the 5 extra-large coolers to the brim and settled in for a 7 hour drive North. Of course, when we finally arrived in New York City the first thing all of us wanted to do was eat and eat we did! Then an early bedtime followed by a 7 am wake up call and off to the James Beard House we went.

We hit the ground running by 8 am and began prep as soon as we stepped foot in the kitchen. Being in that kitchen, cooking where notables such as Jean George, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and so many others have cooked was unbelievable and humbling. Getting to see the corn wallpaper that my former mentor Patrick O’Connell picked out in the hallway was a reminder of the honor that it was to be a part of something so special.

We prepped for most of the morning and then took a break for lunch and a quick hike up to the Empire State Building. We prepped vigorously through the evening and began plating the Hors d'Oeuvres for a 7 pm reception. Each and every guest made their way through the small kitchen to greet the staff and catch a glimpse of what was in store for their evening. Everything started out relatively slow but once it got started, it got started. Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup was pre plated and after that it was a blur, we did what we know how to do and cooked, cooked very well. Lautrec Signature Papardelle with Confit Farm Egg, Chilean Sea Bass with Caviar and Lobster Sausage, Elysian Fields Lamb with Summer Veg, a cheese course and then the slow down once again with the final course, Strawberry-Rhubarb Consomme. Everyone did an amazing job with the event going better than I ever could have expected. The teamwork was amazing!

The clean up then began but was short lived because it was time for the question and answer portion of the evening. Now for those of you that know me, public speaking is not my favorite thing to do, honestly I would rather cook for a million people then have to stand up in front of a group of people and speak, but it had to be done. Questions were answered, relationships were made and Holly Smith (Director of Wine & Spirits at Nemacolin) and I received our certificates for being a part of such an incredible organization and evening. We all left the house that evening feeling proud and accomplished but more importantly blessed for being honored in a way that we will all remember for a very long time. Definitely a trip and experience of a lifetime.

Click Here to view the Event.

Chef Kristin Butterworth
Chef de Cuisine, Lautrec
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Some Shopping Therapy After Your Adventure Session

You climbed our treacherous rock wall…survived the plunge on the Fat Bird Flyer and you tackled our amazing new Off-Road Jeep Driving Academy. The next adventure on your to-do list should be to check out our NEW year round Adventure Shop.

Conveniently located on the first floor of the Nemacolin Woodlands Adventure Center, our new Adventure Shop has everything you will need to meet your next outdoor challenge from the latest in outdoor and ski apparel to healthy snacks and beverages. Featured brands that you will find at the Adventure Shop include Quicksilver Girl, Mammut, Spyder, Mountain Hardware, Merrell, and Jeep Official Merchandise.

Coming this winter, we are pleased to announce that we will add to this already impressive lineup by featuring products from Patagonia, Roxy, and the exclusive North Face Summit Series.

So relax and enjoy all of our outdoor activities in your new fashionable gear!

Mark Santore
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Retail Operations Manager

Here’s To Andrew Jackson…

I never expected to see the day when the price of my morning cup of coffee would be neck in neck with the price of a gallon of regular unleaded but it’s rapidly approaching. As someone who has a slight (ok…major) problem with control issues, I despise the fact that I have no option but to pay the asking price or part with my second favorite beverage. I have already contacted my credit union to see if I can open a grocery club. My thoughts are that I should be able to save enough from a month’s worth of paychecks to purchase a week’s worth of groceries and maybe have a little leftover for a few of life’s little pleasures like pretzels or ice. In short, just as gray is the new black and 50 is the new 30, twenties are the new fives! Many (ok…many, many) years ago when I opened my first bank account, I remember cashing a five dollar check to have spending adequate money for the week. Now, it costs three dollars to get five and a crisp fifty might see you through til Wednesday, provided you don’t need to fill your tank so you may very well be surprised at the number of things you can do at a luxury resort while saying goodbye to just one Mr. Jackson.

If you are the active type and crave the great outdoors, you can navigate the indoor and outdoor climbing walls, play miniature golf, disc golf and receive additional discounts by purchasing an Adventure Pass and you’ll still have enough change to swing by PJ’s and enjoy a scoop of hand dipped ice cream.

If you feel artistic but haven’t quite found your medium, one cool twenty will provide a unique canvas with equipment and 200 rounds of Target Paintball.

If you like the gun but hate the paint and prefer Sporting Clays, that same twenty dollar bill pays for shotgun rental at the Shooting Academy.

If you are into nature but prefer the passive approach, part with a twenty and hop on the FatBird Express Train to see the property and the Wildlife Habitats.

If you happen to chip a nail during your outdoor experience or believe that the great outdoors isn’t all that great, a crisp Andrew Jackson can snag you a pretty polish change at the Woodlands Spa.

If you are thirsty and need to move indoors for a cool drink, wander into The WildSide and help yourself to a couple of cold domestic drafts, my first favorite beverage, a dozen delicious wings and keep the kids busy with game tokens all for less than twenty bucks.

If you find wine more appealing than a frosty beer (I guess it could happen), you and your special someone can each enjoy a glass of our house wine at the lobby bar and still keep it at an even twenty.

If you think that chocolate is one of the basic food groups, take Mr. Jackson to the Tavern and indulge in a Fudge Brownie Sunday and add the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee for dessert.

If your culinary tastes tend to be more international, you might want to introduce good old Andrew to the Pan Asian menu on Sunset Terrace and dine on house fried rice and spring rolls.

And if you think I can’t go on and on, you don’t know me very well but take my word for it, you can experience a great deal of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort with Mr. Jackson as your traveling companion. Of course, we invite you to bring Mr. Franklin along for the ride just in case you come across the perfect sweater in one of our fabulous retail shops.

Zelma Kassimer
Director of Marketing
Nemcolin Woodlands Resort