The historic Western Hotel, in the bucolic hamlet of Callicoon, is preparing to change hands for the first time in almost 50 years. The iconic 19th century building has been a hotel, restaurant and gathering space for this Delaware River community. Like many anchor properties in rural towns, it has lain dormant for some time. But recently Irene Nikolai, with her commercial real estate background, saw the possibilities in the property. In the ballroom, for instance, she envisions arts programming, film screenings, performances, dance classes and much more.
Nickolai relocated from New York City in 2011, with a story reminiscent of many city transplants. She was taken by the natural beauty and charm of Western Sullivan County, and opened Callicoon Trading, a lifestyle shop featuring locally made products and art, located directly next to The Western. The possibility of bringing the neighboring property back to life became a daily consideration.
Led by Nikolai, the plans for The Western have become something of a collaborative effort, with local community members advising on everything from arts and culture programming to community outreach, and lauded local chef, Henning Nordanger, consulting on a farm-to-table concept lounge and restaurant that will highlight products from the area’s agricultural bounty.
The community is invited to join in via an upcoming Indiegogo campaign, an international crowd funding website that helps entrepreneurs. Nikolai said, “Reaction to the sale has been overwhelmingly positive; the community wants to see this succeed, and I want everyone to feel like they can play a part in this exciting project.”
The Indiegogo campaign will launch on May 14. Participants in the Founders’ Circle will be rewarded with a plaque in the ballroom or have a cocktail named after them, for example. Support of the project will range from $20 incentives and up. To see the campaign, click here. For more information call 845/887-9017.