This article is reprinted with permission from Escape home, A newsletter for anyone who wants to be a second homeowner.Subscribe here.. © 2022. all rights reserved.

In the countryside of southwestern New York, there is a small lakeside town named Chautauqua. There are less than 200 people living there all year round. Early summer, vacation homeowners and their Airbnb
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When guests arrive, the population will grow to over 10,000. During the peak season of July and August, the lakeside towns are home to more than 100,000 people, most of whom attend annual meetings of cultural, artistic, recreational and pagan spiritual events. increase.

Have you ever heard of Chautauqua? You are not alone. It is described as a “hidden utopia” and “cultural oasis” hidden in one of the most rural corners of the northeast. Chautauqua is an Iroquoian word meaning “a bag tied in the middle” or “two moccasins tied together” to describe the shape of the lake. Molly Kadi of Escape Home has a scoop.

Mecca of art and culture

The town is best known as the home of the Chautauqua Institution, which hosts summer rallies and invites headline speakers from around the world to discuss issues on a variety of topics.

The institutional session “encourages conversation and encourages consideration of performance and creativity, curiosity and values,” said Tom Becker, who was the president of the Chautauqua Academy for 13 years before retiring in 2016. increase. There really isn’t such a thing in the whole world. “

Founded in 1874, Chautauqua Institution is known for creating the concept of continuing education for adults and mixing vacation learning in rural environments with entertainment, culture and politics. This concept spread throughout the country and became known as the “Chautauqua Movement”.

Rust Belt favorites are gaining popularity

But in recent decades, the lake resort community has been little known except for neighbors in Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and the nearest metropolis.

Stephanie Novink, who lives in Cleveland, has been in the area since 1967.

“When I was a kid, my parents and many other people who lived in our area had campers, permanent campers, in a place called Camp Chautauqua,” she says. “It was really small at first, but it’s getting bigger and bigger.”

In recent years, Chautauqua has been the focus of attention from a variety of visitors and villa buyers, including Snowbird, who wants to escape the heat of Florida and Arizona. Some vacation homeowners come from far away from Australia and South Africa. This is usually because there is some connection to the facility or there are friends and family involved in the facility.

However, the largest new group of villa buyers is from New York City. “It’s been discovered by New Yorkers because they’re looking at value,” says Karen Goodell, a real estate agent at ERA Team VP, who has sold homes in Chautauqua for 40 years. Like an ever-growing number of clients, Goodall lives in New York City and spends the summer in Chautauqua.

Family fun

The “value” mentioned by Goodell includes the ability to purchase a gate pass or ticket that provides access to hundreds of events, classes, performances and recreational activities during the facility’s nine-week summer rally. This summer, the weekly Gatepass costs $ 550 for people over the age of 26 and $ 185 for people between the ages of 13 and 25. Gatepass allows individuals to attend almost any event offered by an institution. There are programs for adults and children. “It’s the best deal around,” says Goodell.

“If your grandparents, your parents, your brothers, your niece, and your nephew are on vacation somewhere. This will be the place you all have. [enjoyable] “Experience,” says Becker.

“It’s very, very family-friendly, and that’s what I like about it,” Novinc agreed. “It’s just fun at home.”

In the summer of 2020, when the Covid-19 precautions closed most of the economy, the agency canceled the summer event for the first time since its inception. Last summer, educational institutions were running programs with about 60% capacity.

This summer, Chautauqua hopes the program will be back in full swing. The event calendar already includes performances by singers Sheryl Crow and Harlem’s dance theater. Lecture by author and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria and Brookings Institution’s Transatlantic Foreign Policy Expert Constante Stelzenmüller. Both will be part of a series of lectures entitled “What should America’s role in the world be?”

Chautauqua Real Estate: Something for Everyone

Most Chautauqua homes range from $ 500,000 to $ 700,000, but Chautauqua Lake homes, which are 19 miles long and 41 miles by the lake, are quite expensive. Last year, lake houses sold between $ 1.5 million and $ 3 million, Goodell says. Condos are also available and are much cheaper, often starting in the $ 150,000 to $ 250,000 range.

Some vacationers stay only for a few weeks at a time, while others stay throughout the summer. However, Goodell believes that Covid-19’s loose policy of working from home may allow some homeowners and renters to start staying for longer periods of time. “It was more accepted as a method of operation,” says Goodell. “I really think Chautauqua and other communities like us will benefit from this new way of working.”

This article is reprinted with permission from Escape home, A newsletter for anyone who wants to be a second homeowner.Subscribe here.. © 2022. all rights reserved.