Maggie Hardy, 84 Lumber, Nemacolin

Maggie Hardy

Real Life Magic

Editors’ Note

Maggie Hardy has been a part of Nemacolin since its beginning in 1987, continually reinvesting her creativity and innovative imagination into Nemacolin for more than 35 years. Since 2002, she has been leading the team as owner and CEO of Nemacolin, and she has overseen 84 Lumber since 1992. Her energetic approach, aggressive goals, and spirited vision have been critical success factors in the operation and growth of the resort. She inherited her father’s mindset that “nothing is impossible” and has embraced that perspective to make “Real Life Magic” a part of Nemacolin’s approach in curating one-of-a-kind, elevated experiences and luxury stays for guests and members. With recent resort recognition in Vogue, the Daily Front Row, Golfweek, Golf Digest, Forbes Travel Guide, Condé Nast, Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Architectural Digest, and other publications, Hardy’s leadership has positioned Nemacolin to become a world-class destination for luxury travel. In her personal time, Hardy enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, fitness, and spending time with her son, PJ, and her dogs, Tootsie and Ajax.

Resort Brief

A getaway like no other, Nemacolin (nemacolin.com) has been creating magical moments in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands since 1987. The four-season playground is nestled on more than 2,200 acres in southwestern Pennsylvania, showcasing a range of Forbes Travel Guide’s award-winning accommodations from the grandeur luxury of The Chateau and the modern sophistication of Falling Rock to the elevated luxury of The Grand Lodge (opening Fall 2023), The Homes, and The Estates. With magic all around, Nemacolin comes to life with show-stopping dining and lounges, two Pete Dye-designed championship golf courses, award-winning Woodlands Spa and Salon, Holistic Healing Center, Orvis-endorsed fly fishing, and a collection of outdoor activities. Highlights include snow sports, shopping, wildlife experiences, art tours, magical seasonal events, and fun for all. Nemacolin celebrates and inspires with 35,000 square feet of space for meetings and special events, bringing the most magical moments to life from weddings to corporate retreats.

Falling Rock at Nemacolin

Falling Rock at Nemacolin

Will you discuss the history of Nemacolin and how the resort has evolved?

The history of Nemacolin begins with my dad, Joseph A. Hardy III, founder of the 84 Lumber Company. In 1987, he set out to buy a few acres near a lake or stream for me because I loved fishing and spending time in nature, and he wanted me to have a place where I could fish and enjoy the outdoors. Instead of purchasing a couple of acres, my dad fell in love with a former family hunting reserve, and he purchased a large portion of land with a lodge. This was the beginning of something truly magical, a lifetime project he and I shared in together.

Nemacolin has evolved over time, and in 1995 we added the Mystic Rock golf course, a staple of Nemacolin that went on to host the PGA Tour from 2003-2006. In that same year we also added a ski area, adventure center, and PJ’s Ice Cream Parlor, fondly named after my son PJ. Then in 1997, we opened the resort’s second hotel, The Chateau, which honored the 10th anniversary of my family’s ownership of Nemacolin.

As Nemacolin has continued to grow, we opened Falling Rock hotel in 2004 as the clubhouse for the PGA Tour’s 84 Lumber Classic. Since then, it has become a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel – suffice to say our team at Falling Rock truly knows how to deliver luxury.

Nemacolin’s true evolution began in 2014, when we launched a $30 million resort-wide renovation. This project was a huge milestone for Nemacolin and at the time it was one of the largest ventures in the resort’s history, however now it doesn’t even come close to what we’ve accomplished and continue to build upon over these past three years and into the future.

We opened The Peak in 2021 with the intention of providing guests with a hub of adventure offering a year-round pool, entertainment stage, luxury cabanas, and indoor and outdoor recreation. In 2022, we celebrated the 35th anniversary of Nemacolin and earned 22 Forbes Stars for the third year in a row. Then in May of this year we opened Wisteria, which includes associate housing, a market, pub, and rec center. It’s a community that was specifically built for our associates.

This fall, The Grand Lodge will open which will be absolutely amazing. Back in 1987 when my dad first discovered Nemacolin, there was this picturesque old lodge on the property which we are reimagining with all-suite accommodations, butler service, and surprises behind almost every door. The original lodge is an important part of Nemacolin’s beginnings and is the heart of the resort. We are excited to continue honoring this heritage by ensuring the lodge is a part of luxury hospitality for years to come.

The Grand Lodge at Nemacolin

The Grand Lodge at Nemacolin

What have been the keys to Nemacolin’s growth and leadership in the industry?

Nemacolin’s growth and leadership in the industry can be attributed to the passion and commitment of our associates as well as our unique approach to luxury hospitality. Nemacolin is truly unlike any other resort – we are a family, and when it comes to luxury hospitality, we think outside the box. It is this sense of whimsy and creativity that continues to make Nemacolin such a memorable and magical experience for our guests.

Nemacolin’s focus on luxury, fun, and extraordinary experiences is innovative and contemporary. We are a leader in the industry because we continue to be at the forefront of the conversation by listening to the needs of our guests and associates. With five incredible lodging options: The Chateau, Falling Rock, The Grand Lodge, The Homes, and The Estates on property, we leave nothing more to be desired. My own personal travel influenced much of the lodgings on property, and it is through experiencing fashion, art, and culinary creations on my travels that I’ve been able to appreciate what others are doing to provide luxury services and take note of the direction trends are heading in. This attention to detail and forward-thinking is a key aspect of Nemacolin’s evolution and leadership in the luxury hospitality industry.

How do you define the meaning of a true luxury hospitality experience today?

A true luxury hospitality experience in this day and age is all-encompassing – it begins with stunning rooms and suites and goes above and beyond to include incredible restaurants, state-of-the-art amenities and wellness services, world-class activities, and much more. The truth is a luxury hospitality experience today means leaving no detail unnoticed. At Nemacolin, we look to inspire, delight, excite, anticipate, surprise, and take care of every guest and member visiting the resort. When you walk into our lobby, guests are inspired by the whimsical floral arrangements by acclaimed designer Ed Libby. We offer indoor and outdoor activities, world-class golf, clay shooting and fly fishing, a long list of wildlife adventures, retail shops, and art classes, with more than 84 choices during every guest’s stay. At Nemacolin, a true luxury hospitality experience means providing guests with unforgettable stays. Every corner of the property holds special surprises for our guests, and our associates go above and beyond to help our guests experience their own bit of magic.

How critical has it been to build the team at Nemacolin?

Building the team at Nemacolin has always been incredibly important to us – the Nemacolin family is made up of our world-class associates and the wonderful guests and members who frequent the property. Nemacolin was my dad’s passion project and a lifetime venture that we shared in together. In 2002, I assumed leadership of Nemacolin, and the Nemacolin team has continued to expand with my son, PJ Magerko Liquorice, serving as the vice president of brand strategy. The majority of the associates who work at Nemacolin live within a 45-minute radius of the resort, so Nemacolin is a true reflection of our surrounding community. The associates are the heart and soul of Nemacolin, and supporting our team members is incredibly important to us. Our associates contribute and maintain excellent service for our guests and members every day, and the magic of Nemacolin would not exist without our associates supporting our mission. We recently launched one of the nation’s largest residential communities for resort associates, Wisteria, in support of our associate family. The team at Nemacolin begins and ends with our associates, and they were my inspiration in creating Wisteria and my hope is to provide a welcoming neighborhood that will continue to develop a wonderful community of associates. Nemacolin would not be what it is without its associates, our team Nemacolin, and as we continue to expand and grow, we look to do the same with our associate family as well.

Will you elaborate on the creation of Wisteria and how it will support the well-being of Nemacolin’s associates?

Family is everything to us here at Nemacolin. We have been welcoming guests and members to the resort for over 35 years, and as our family has grown, what has remained at the center is our associates. I am inspired by my associate family, and my vision for creating Wisteria was to ensure that all our associates have a wonderful neighborhood to call home. My hope is that Wisteria will be a home base and community for our associates, which provides them with greater housing options, a full-service market, a state-of-the-art rec center, and casual eats from The Pub. Many of our associates have traveled to join the Nemacolin team and are far from home. By listening to the feedback of our associates on the market goods that are sold, and the pub dining options available, we hope to provide them with a taste of home cuisine right here at Nemacolin. With Wisteria, we want them to feel that this is their home, away from work, and equipped with all the best amenities to return to in the comforts of their own space.

What are your priorities for Nemacolin as you look to the future?

I’m excited about the future of Nemacolin. We have a lot in store and in a couple of months we will be unveiling The Grand Lodge, an all-suite, elevated interpretation of the resort’s original lodge. We have invested in a thoughtful reimagination of the original lodge to celebrate the heritage of the property while also creating a contemporary build of the historic space. The accommodations are going to be breathtaking. The Grand Lodge will feature 56 butler-serviced suites, personalized amenities, new restaurants and bars, and new spaces for guests and members to enjoy. The moment guests arrive under a glass porte cochère, they are greeted by a dedicated butler team. The stunning lobby features a grand split staircase, crackling fireplace, sumptuous furnishings, and upscale decor infusing the luxurious and magical elements that Nemacolin is known for. The Grand Lodge reimagination is a bridge between the treasured antiquity of Nemacolin and the future landscape of hospitality and luxury. In pursuing this transformation, we hope to provide guests and members with a relaxing and revitalizing space that will honor the property’s history. In the following months, we are also reimagining our notable Italian restaurant, Barattolo, and The Tavern, as the property continues to evolve and our vision grows.