Does 30 minutes from Manhattan apply? https://www.outdoors.org/destinatio...and-betsy-corman-amc-harriman-outdoor-center/
I expect many folks did not even know about this facility as its fairly new. I ran into AMC employee awhile back and she made the comment that that facility was sort of an albatross, definitely not on the agenda for a staff member that was hoping to move up in the organization., somewhat like the Mohican Center in New Jersey.
Years ago on VFTT someone published a confidential long term planning document for AMC. They were in quandary for the long term, the demographics were that the membership was going to decline rapidly yet there was a large potential source of funds from bequests and estates of older members if they could keep the long term wealthier members engaged and that meant upgrading and building new facilities that were border line "glamping" compared to the AMC tradition. The Highland Center was one such project and the Maine Wilderness Lodges were created from older sporting camps substantially upgraded to be higher end supplemented by new construction. The huts are effectively a cash cow that have benefactors just waiting to donate. The club would maintain the primitive experiences as much for image as for actual attraction to the older members and the club would invest in youth programs to attempt to reduce the demographic slide or at least give the illusion of trying to stop the slide.
Whenever I run into long term outdoors people near or in retirement (boomers), especially couples, the universal script is they may have roughed it while backpacking, canoeing and biking years ago, but now one spouse or the other has decided that they want more luxurious accommodations these days, if they do not get it from AMC, there are plenty of other commercial enterprises who are willing to supply them. Hut to hut with a private room, heat and hot water with a service to move their gear so they dont need to carry it seems to be the desired experience. The other spouse who still would love to get out in the woods with a backpack agrees to it in order to keep the other one happy and they just go along for the ride and hope the retirement funds hold out.
BTW the facility in Harriman does go against the AMC's reported policy internal policy developed after they almost lost the huts to invest in land they do not own or control (outside of the existing White Mountain Huts). This Harriman Facility is on long term lease and the major upgrade of Camp Dodge is also on WMNF land but arguably Camp Dodge would fall under "part of the AMC hut system".
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