The Woods At Bear Creek – Family Resort, Franklinville, NY

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By Sharon Turano


Area families will soon be able to come together to experience a wilderness vacation by visiting the Woods at Bear Creek Family Resort.

The Woods at Bear Creek is a 750-acre resort that is set to open in the spring. It will feature 16 “glamping” climate-controlled cabins with hot showers, 12 “glamping” tents, more than 12 miles of nature trails, activities, events and the future possibility of an upscale recreational vehicle park, along with more cabins and tents.

Construction of the site, located minutes from Ellicottville is set to begin in October, so weddings, conferences and banquets can also be held there by fall.

The site of a former Buffalo Jewish Community facility, where hundreds of children experienced camping, the Woods at Bear Creek was purchased in 2011 by Entrepreneur and Business Developer John Hutchins. He will serve as resort chief executive officer and be joined by the management team of Ken Pawlukovich, president; Jim Henzler, vice-president of operations; Ronn Tritto, vice-president of marketing and development, and Robert Irwin, facilities manager. All have experience in the entertainment, hospitality or marketing fields, but have turned their attentions to the new endeavor.

“Hutchins’ passion is to have glamping motivate area families to come together for a wilderness vacation that provides plenty of opportunity for family fun and bonding,” said Tritto.

“The Woods at Bear Creek will offer the region an additional lodging and tourism experience,” he said, adding resort officials will reach out to Ellicottville-area businesses to collaborate and partner on package deals and activities, while offering a unique outdoor experience.

That experience is all about glamping, which, they report, is “a growing global phenomenon” that combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a home or hotel.

“Glamping allows travelers to experience nature without the hassle of finding camp space, carrying their tents and erecting and taking down their own tents,” said Tritto.

“Its fresh air in absolute leisure,” he said.

Tritto said the management team’s focus is to provide guests with a relaxing vacation, along with get-a-way experiences that will create lifelong memories.

“Turn off the cell phone, add a do-not-disturb sign to your text messaging, set aside your child’s DS and explore the tranquility and beauty of Ellicottville,” he said, adding the resort presents a perfect setting to reconnect and bond.

In fact, reports the resort’s website, exhilaration is “the feeling you get when the only thing coming between you and your Smart Phone is a zip line.” In addition to that zip line, featured activities include hiking, wildlife tours, a 20-acre spring-fed lake with its fishing, kayaking and canoeing, an Olympic-sized pool, tennis courts, athletic fields, skiing, horseback riding, a drive-in movie theater, campfires, massage therapy and more. There will be themed weekends, concerts, wine and beer tasting, fitness weekends, hayrides, reunions, weddings, girls’ night out packages and more.

Meals will also be available in casual and formal dining settings, along with all-inclusive meal packages from which campers can choose. Other guests are also invited to dine without camping in the restaurant that overlooks the lake.

For more information, visit