Nemacolin Blog
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Associates of the Month, General
Thank You, Associates!

It is that time... when we come together as a Resort and thank our Associates for their hard work and dedication.  At Nemacolin Woodlands Resort we pride ourselves in delivering the very best in customer service.  While not every position at Nemacolin is considered a front-of-the-line position, meaning that an associate interacts face-to-face with our guests, it is still our philosophy that every associate's #1 job is our guests.  No matter the weight of their interactions, an associate's work each and every day does have an impact on the guest's experience. Please join us in congratulating our Associates of the Month and take a moment to learn more on why they were recognized.

Amber Kassouf - Retail
"Amber has taken on more responsibilities regarding our resort inventory and our receiving areas. She has implemented new procedures on transferring product and processing of damages that have been really effective"

Jamon Lehman - Woodlands Spa, Salon
"Jamon is a very hard worker and is always up for whatever challenge is thrown his way. He owns every moment and creates lasting memories for his guests."

Josh Gray - Food & Beverage, Autumn Culinary
"Josh has stepped up and knocked it out of the park the past three months.  We were down a team member and Josh has done a tremendous job from working extra days and hours."

Kanya Knox - Banquets
"Kanya goes above and beyond what she is expected to do.  She always is ready to jump in and assist whatever department needs help, while also managing one of the biggest departments on property."

The Holidays are Upon Us at Nemacolin

As you drive through the entryway and on to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort property, you can begin to see signs of the holiday season.  In fact, our Engineering team has been hard at work outlining the main drive with our Christmas lights display.

The holiday prep work is not limited to just outside.  Our crew is hard at work decorating for the holiday season, and you can see them scattered about the property, turning Nemacolin into a winter wonderland. Inside the Chateau Lafayette, a tall tree already stands in the lobby, beautifully decorated.

The Chateau Lobby will soon be full of decorations, including our famous annual gingerbread house display. Yum! This year’s theme, a large sized train, should be baked, iced and ready to view (no eating!) by Tuesday, November 26th - just in time for Thanksgiving.

Walk through the hotel and into the Lodge and you can see the beginnings of the grand décor that will soon encompass the hallways and lobbies.

You can even catch a few more trees popping up throughout the way. Some will have a theme within their ornaments and garland. This tree stands with a particular, hand painted character:

Located in the Library, a Santa Mr. Hardy wishes you Happy Holidays!

We have approximately 20 trees that will be located around the resort, including a Poinsettia Tree, the flowers of which we grow here in our greenhouse. We have other themed trees as well, including our Animal Tree, representing the wildlife that lives on Nemacolin's property.

The holiday cheer is beginning to show here at Nemacolin, and we officially kick-off the celebration with our Annual Light Up Night on Friday, November 30th, where you can view all the décor in grand fashion as we mark the season with hot chocolate, carols, and of course, the lighting of our tree in front of our Lodge.

We don’t stop there. Learn more about all of the events we have planned this holiday season:

Click Here to view the Thanksgiving Weekend events listing.
Click Here to view the Christmas Week events listing.
Click Here to view the New Year’s Eve parties and events.

We hope that you can visit Nemacolin Woodlands Resort with family and friends at this time of year to enjoy all we have to offer, from the lighting to the dining. We look forward to having you.

Associates of the Month, General
Scarecrow Contest Winners Have Been Decided!

It is that time of year, when spooky traditions are shared...

We test our nerves and assess our bravery by entering historical locations that have been declared "haunted."  We don our best or worst attire for the chance at the coveted title of "Most Creative" or "Scariest" costume. Once a tradition that dates back to Medieval times, where the poor would visit homes of the wealthier in order to receive pastries and gifts in exchange for promised prayers for the deceased, is now known as trick-or-treat and a competition for young to survey the quantity and quality of candies that fill their baskets. It is a time when the artist in us all, strategizes just how intricate we can go when pumpkin carving and then realizes before you can begin, someone must be willing to remove the stinky, gooey, guts and seeds that fill the inside. We huddle together under a blanket, with hands over our eyes, peeking through our fingers at the scary movie we wish we never turned on, and then sleep that night with the lights on.

And, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort we get competitive and collect flannels and props, all for the chance to be declared the winner of our Annual Scarecrow Contest.  Scarecrow Contest?  Yes!  And it is a tradition that is hopefully an obvious sign of the spooky holiday we celebrate, as these creatures take over a space and greet our guests.  We even make the contest interactive, as we welcome our guests to join in on the fun, and leave the voting up to them!  Sometimes the "scariest" wins and other years the winner is the team that successfully was able to add some humor.

This year five departments competed:  Activities, Conference & Catering, Engineering, Laundry and Turfgrass.  They all brought their "A" game with well thought out creations, complete with a yellow brick road (see below).  Some made guests jump and others provided a nice chuckle, but when the voting ended we had new winners to announce.

1st Place - "Zombie" by Laundry

2nd Place - "Save The Pumpkins" by Engineering
3rd Place - "Dorothy" by Conference & Catering

Activities Department

Turfgrass Department

A special thank you to all of our recent guests that were able to join in on our Halloween tradition and fun.  We appreciate your votes!  Also, a big thank you to our departments for participating this year.

For our winners... bragging rights only last one year and like all traditions, they only get better with time, so we look forward to the surprises that are in store for next year.

Do you have a favorite Halloween tradition? If so, share below!

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

We may often boast the wonderful awards that our resort has earned throughout the years from AAA Five-Diamonds to Forbes Five-Stars.  However, the real stars that always make us beam with pride, from ear to ear, are our deserving associates.  Each month we ask our associates to nominate each other for the following awards:  Associate of the Month - Front of the House, Associate of the Month - Back of the House, Rising Star and Leader of the Month.  From peer reviews to superior praises, our associates join together and highlight some fantastic moments of customer service, teambuilding, dedication and much more.  All to show gratitude to our Nemacolin family members.

Colleen Clay - Banquets
"Colleen is our Banquets Captain which at times can be very difficult. She does a great job at keeping our guests happy and our standards in place."

ASSOCIATE OF THE MONTH - Front of the House
Andrew Null (Woodlands World) - Not pictured
"Andrew accomplishes more in a few days, than many do in a whole week!  His work ethic is rare to find these days and I hope others will begin to follow his example."

ASSOCIATE OF THE MONTH:  Back of the House
Tina Davison (Accounting)
"With recent personnel changes, Tina has taken on work that was once split between two people.  She has done this with a good attitude, efficiently and consistently, all while learning some new skills."

Loretta Jordan and Sonya Sellong (Not pictured) - Housekeeping
"I want to nominate Loretta and Sonya together for the outstanding job they did on redecorating our Associate Ladies Bathroom. They took it upon themselves to find all the decorations and paint the space. What an amazing transformation of that bathroom! It just shows what committed, caring managers they are and how lucky we are to have them."

Front Desk
"From the busy summer, with the opening of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin on July 1 to the busiest Labor Day Weekend we have had, I am very proud of this group and everything they have overcome in the last few months."

If you have a Nemacolin Woodlands Resort vacation planned over the next few months and you happen to be so lucky to run into one of the following associates, please join us in congratulation them.

Fall Foliage, General
Conclusion of Peak Week at Nemacolin

I went out Monday to take some snapshots of the waning tree branches before the rain (and possible snow, but we won’t think about that) hit Farmington. It was a beautiful day and the leaves almost seemed to sparkle in the warmth of the sunlight.  It then that I realized... Peak Week is nearing an end. It was harder to find the types of shots I wanted, with full bright branches reaching overhead. The foliage is darkening into maroon, burnt sienna and dark gold instead of the bright reds and pinks and oranges that I was capturing before. It’s almost as if the leaves are settling into their places; first, young and excited that their time was here, now, seasoned professionals that have calmed into the true colors of fall. Many have already retired to their resting places, littering the ground.

As you tour the resort, you will still be able to spot a few green, full oak and hickory trees. The warmer temperatures over the past week or so have kept the late bloomers at bay, but after this week’s cold front, they may quickly burst into color in order to catch up with their counterparts. The fall changes and color, however, are far from over in Pennsylvania. A drive to or from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort will display many different levels of foliage depending on the destination. The higher elevation of the Laurel Highlands cause color change a week or so before the surrounding lower elevation counties in Southwest and Southeast Pennsylvania. Right now, the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions are just beginning to enter into their Peak Week. If your drive is to or from Northern Pennsylvania, the area is already far past full color and prepping for the winter months ahead.

The colors are beautiful here, right now, and there is no better time to come visit us.

Christina Petrilli
Assistant Marketing Manager
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Fall Foliage, General
Top 10 Places to Leaf-Peep at Nemacolin

Mid-October means we are in peak Fall Foliage season here in the Laurel Highlands. The colors are most vibrant now and tree branches are beginning to look bare as the temperature drops. So, I’ve searched the property for the best places to take in some of the most beautiful views around Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Whether you are vacationing with us or visiting for the day, be sure to check out these fantastic spots over the next week.

Top 10 Places to Leaf-Peep at Nemacolin:

10. Out a Chateau Window
A perfect place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee is looking out a Chateau window onto the Laurel Highlands mountains. The pops of fall color will surely enlighten you and assist in your morning wake-up fix.

9. The Walking Trails
Catch a nice day and enjoy the scenery on foot with one of our various walking trails.

8. Off-Road in a Jeep
Drive into the woodlands for a view of the foliage deep within grounds.  Our Off-Road Driving Academy's 20-miles of terrain welcome you to a rugged, muddy adventure.


7. On Horseback
You can’t get any closer to nature than this! Duck under the Fall leaves that hang low on branches, as you take mount and guide through two-miles of trails with our Backwoods Trail Rides.

6. The Nemacolin Field Club
Whether you end up at the Shooting Academy or on a Guided Fishing Trip, you are bound to be enjoying the views of the great outdoors.

5. Animal Enclosures
Trade in the Savannah for Pennsylvania foliage when you take your family on a Safari Ride, right here at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

4. 40’ Ropes Course
See a bird's eye view of the best colors of fall as you balance your way through our Ropes Course 40 feet in the air.

3. Apex
Sit back, relax and enjoy a casual meal paired with a great view at our restaurant, Apex.

2. One of our Two Golf Courses
You have just two weeks left to play your best golf on either one of our championship courses, Mystic Rock or The Links.

1. Fatbird Flyer Zip Line
Cameras are not recommended on this trip, but it’s a sight you’ll never forget as you zip down 1,060 feet of line, catching a bird’s eye view of the surrounding foliage.

Christina Petrilli
Assistant Marketing Manager
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Fall Foliage
Fall Foliage Is Nearing Peak

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for Pennsylvania is predicting October 11 - 17 as the Peak Fall Foliage week in the Laurel Highlands. Which couldn't be any better timing with our Annual RocktoberFest event scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 2013.

If you have driven throughout property lately you will notice the fullness of color along the horizon.  These splashes of  beautiful warm colors are not accidental nor sporadic, but attributed to the tree species and their characteristic colors.
  • Oaks - Reds and Browns
  • Hickories - Golden Yellow or Orange
  • Maples (differ by species)
    • Red Maple - Scarlet Red
    • Sugar Maple - Orange
    • Black Maple - Yellow

Try to identify the species as we highlight some of our favorite Fall Foliage images from this Week! 


And, if you have yet to make time for Fall Leaf-Peeping in the Laurel Highlands, please plan a road trip soon.  As quick as the colors presented themselves, the season will fade, and we all know what season is just around the corner!

Field Club
Fall Fishing in Pennsylvania

Fall fishing can be some of the most productive fishing of the year.  As the water cools from the "dog days of summer," the fish become more active, looking to bulk up for winter.  This allows us to use multiple tactics to target hungry trout.  Some of your most productive subsurface fishing happens during this time, streamer and nymph fishing usually will produce the best.


Target hungry, aggressive trout by throwing your favorite streamer pattern.  This technique works well in the fall because our Brown and Brook Trout are starting the spawning process.  Both species will eat these larger meals to gain energy that is lost due to spawning.  They will also eat these larger patterns in fear that they are trying to eat the freshly dropped eggs.

If streamer fishing is not your cup of tea, you can always go with your favorite nymph patterns under an indicator.  I, personally, like a large stonefly pattern with a small egg pattern fished in tandem.  This also coincides with the spawning activity.

If you enjoy the colors and cooler temperatures of fall; hopefully, these few tips will keep your line tight when fishing this season.


For more information or to schedule a Fall Fishing Guided Tour or Lesson, please contact the Nemacolin Field Club at 724.329.6770.

Tight Lines,
Mike Steiner
Orvis Operations Manager
NSCA Level 1 Sporting Clays Instructor
Nemacolin Field Club