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Monday, April 30, 2007

Peek'n Peak Resort

Findley Lake Business Renamed 'Peek'n Peak Resort And Spa'
4/29/2007 - By NICHOLAS L. DEAN

FINDLEY LAKE — With the opening of Peek'n Peak's new spa, the Findley Lake resort has bumped ''Conference Center'' from its name to promote the many offerings of its newest addition.

From facial and body therapies to massages and waxes, The Spa at Peek'n Peak is a a full-service day spa with both high end and affordable offerings.

''A typical day at the spa depends on the number of services you get,'' said Kelly Sholtis, spa director. ''A lot of people do package deals where you can combine a 50 minute massage with an aroma therapy treatment and then add on other selections from our menu.''

With an average of seven selections in each of its five major categories, the spa's menu is large and diverse in the types and styles of its offerings. For instance, in the way of massages there is a deep tissue massage, a sports massage, a swedish massage, a hot stone massage and more. Similarly, there are different types of facial therapies, body therapies and multiple options for waxing and grooming.

According to the spa's guide, a spa stay is intended to soothe the body and soul. As such, the spa offers a full range of ''feel good'' and ''results oriented'' treatments for the ultimate spa experience.

''The Spa at Peek'n Peak offers several wonderful treatments to follow an afternoon of golf or skiing at the Peak,'' said Chip Day, vice president of brand management. ''It's also a great destination for those who just want to spend the day relaxing in a beautiful, tranquil setting.''

Facial treatments at the spa use the Dermalogica product line. Sparitual Signature Therapies are also offered, which use subtle aromatherapies and all natural, vegan ingredients to ''energize specific Chakras to balance the body.

''Our product lines are very affordable, so it's not so high end that people around here won't be able to afford it,'' Sholtis said. ''As far as the facility goes, it's just amazing here.''

According to Paul Kiebler, owner of Peek'n Peak, the 5,200 square foot spa is only phase one of the resort's plans for a larger spa. If the market shows demand for it, Kiebler said a 12,000 square foot addition may soon be added to The Spa at the Peak.

''We're just excited about the spa,'' Kiebler said. ''I think it turned out really nice and the feedback that we've gotten from the public and everyone else has been really positive. We're excited to have it here and to have the support from the county and everyone in the county.''

The Spa at Peek'n Peak is located at The Inn at the Peak and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the spa is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Gift certificates are available and the spa does accomodate both large and small groups as well as parties and private events.

In an effort to increase visitorship to the resort during the summer, Peek'n Peak will be offering weekend events for most every weekend during the coming months. From an Iron Chef event to a classic car show and first ever poker tournament, Peek'n Peak officials said they are excited about the various types of programming they plan to offer this summer.

The Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa is located at 1405 Olde Road in Findley Lake and can be reached by calling 355-4141. For more information and to see, visit
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Midway Park

109-Year-Old Park Provides Memories, Fun For All

 Midway Park Preps For Summer

Midway State Park employees prepare for the summer season. See additional photos at P-J photo by Loren Kent
4/30/2007 - MAPLE SPRINGS — First opened in 1898, Midway State Park is one of the oldest continually operating amusement parks in the country, and park administrators are preparing for another exciting season.

A family owned and operated entertainment center throughout much of its history, Midway became part of the state park system in 2006, making it the newest state park in the Allegany region. Recently, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced it is seeking seasonal employees for Midway to assist with park activities.

''It may only be early spring, but preparations are well under way to welcome guests to Midway State Park this season,'' said Michael J. Miecznikowski, general park manager. ''Midway State Park will continue to offer the same friendly atmosphere that people have come to love.''

Applications are now being accepted for seasonal summer employment for ride operators,arcade hosts and grounds crew. Anyone interested in employment is asked to call 386-3165 or stop by the park office Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Employment interviews will continue through May 15, with orientation and training expected to begin on May 19. The park is located at 4859 Route 430, three miles west of Bemus Point at Maple Springs.

''We have a wide range of people who traditionally work at the park,'' Miecznikowski said. ''There are school teachers, bus drivers, retired folks and teenagers all looking for summer employment — we welcome everyone to apply.''

Maintaining The Family


A Western New York native, Miecznikowski often visited Midway Park with his children long before becoming general park manager.

''For many people, Midway Park is known for its great, old-fashioned fun atmosphere,'' Miecznikowski said. ''People are able to step back in time when they are here. For many people, return visits spark memories from their early childhood and we want to keep that going.''

Midway State Park will continue to welcome company picnics and corporate outings, according to Andy Hillman, park manager. Nearly all of the features that made Midway a popular local icon will remain as it begins its first season under state ownership.

''The arcade will remain along with most of the historic rides and attractions,'' Hillman said. ''In fact,there are more than two dozen rides here and many are historic treasurers.''

One such historic masterpiece is the park's vintage carousel, a 1946 merry-go-round built by the Allan Herschell Company of North Tonawanda. The antique carousel features 30 horses and two chariots with the horses placed 3-abreast on its deck.

The current carousel, with its brightly painted ''jumping'' aluminum horses, was brought to Midway Park in 1968 from Owasco Lake Park in Auburn, N.Y. It replaced the park's original Dentzel carousel which had occupied the park's lakeside roundhouse since 1928.

''I enjoy seeing people coming to the park with their children as families,'' Hillman said. ''The excitement on children's faces as the watch the rides or win at the arcade games is really great.''

Midway Between Jamestown and Westfield

During the late 1800s the Jamestown & Lake Erie Railroad introduced a ''trolley'' line between Jamestown and Westfield with a popular stop at a steamboat dock located near the community of Maple Springs. It was at this site that Midway Park was opened on July 12, 1898.

The actual electrified ''trolley'' between Jamestown and Mayville came into existence in 1914 under the direction of the Jamestown Westfield & Northwestern Railroad Company. The trolley could whisk visitor from Jamestown to Midway in under 30 minutes. Throughout this era, local steamboats also brought visitors to Midway Park at a more leisurely two-hour pace.

Today, state park officials hope to renovate and preserve the facilities at Midway State Park and will be working on infrastructure upgrades in the immediate future. Midway Park has a long, rich history on the shores of Chautauqua Lake, but state park officials are looking forward to its best days laying ahead.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Upcoming Chautauqua Events

Upcoming Events:
Wine and Cheese Weekend, May 5-6, Chautauqua Wine Trail
Lucy Desi Days Festival, May 25-27, Downtown Jamestown
Baroque Music Festival, June 8-10, 1891 Fredonia Opera House
Strawberry Festival, June 9-10, Merritt Estate Winery
Western Family Fun, June 10, Sinclairville
Bluegrass Festival, June 16-17, Lakeside Park, Mayville
Peek'n Peak Charity Classic, a PGA Nationwide tour event, June 25-July 1, Findley Lake
Jamestown Jammers Baseball, season begins June 19, Jamestown
Lily Dale Assembly, season begins June 29
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Chautauqua County Music Scene

Benefit Season Continues Today
 Remote Islands will play Mojo's tonight with the band Rhubarb. Expect idiosyncratic pop music with whimsical left field flourishes, like Buffalo Springfield mixed with Animal Collective and Pere Ubu.

Submitted Photo
4/20/2007 - I keep humming ''Summer in the City'' by The Lovin' Spoonful because I'm so eager for the season to arrive. But even more than the warm weather, sandals and t-shirts, I'm looking forward to the many outdoor musical events sure to make this summer a hit in Southern Chautauqua County. After kicking off last weekend, benefit season continues with three more worthwhile events happening for families and charity today, Saturday and Sunday in Jamestown, Kennedy and Hartfield. Details on those events and more are in this week's edition of The Late Night Spotlight. And there's not even any 4/20 jokes.

¯ SPOTLIGHT ON A TRIO OF BENEFIT EVENTS — The Mercers will headline a benefit event for homelessness tonight at the Hartfield Bay Cafe. Organized by the band's front man, Farin Kautz, the show will also feature performances by Flood The Shoreline, The Deception, Jeff Warner, Tribe Vendetta and Addictive Tragedy.

''I had read this amazing story about a guy named Brad Wills. He pretty much founded a little homeless community for a bunch of homeless individuals squatting in New York City,'' Kautz said. ''It really inspired me and I decided to put something together to give back to the homeless community.''

Located at 6040 Lake Road in Hartfield, the Hartfield Bay Cafe can be reached by calling 753-7711. For more on the show or The Mercers, visit

Fliers for the Brandon Matjoulis Benefit Show describe the concert as an event ''for a fallen friend and gifted musician.'' Scheduled to start at noon on Saturday, the day-long benefit will feature several local and regional bands. Proceeds from the event will go to the Matjoulis family.

Singer and lyricist in the band Aniasin, Matjoulis passed away in late March. At 22 years old, Matjoulis had just returned from a month-long tour with his band. The tour took the metal band to Florida and several other states. The all-ages show is being held at the Kennedy Fire Hall and costs $10. Bands playing the event include Canto V, Zero Point I, The Audience, Discidium, I Am Frankie Scrapmetal, Everything Ends, D Lyrix, Blue Mountain Railroad Band and Fatal Mishap. For more on the Brandon Matjoulis Benefit Show, see the article in today's paper.

On Sunday, there will be a benefit for Bruce Fry at the War Vets in Jamestown. Both Two For Flinching and Porcelain Bus Drivers will perform as part of the event. Proceeds from the event will go to help the family of Bruce Fly with medical and burial expenses which result from his long fight with cancer.

¯ THE PLACE TO BE THIS WEEKEND — When Colin Pate, guitarist in the band Remote Islands, e-mailed me about his show tonight at Mojo's, he described his group's sound as being somewhere between Simon and Garfunkel and Can — which immediately piqued my interest. Listening to songs from the group's debut CD, ''Smother Party,'' it's easy to hear what he meant.

Remote Islands bury idiosyncratic pop songs under layers of indie rock in the vein of Animal Collective, Olivia Tremor Control and Pere Ubu. While its easy to see that they could pull off straight-forward songs, the band chooses to break its melodies into pieces and pile on the random noise — making their songs more like interesting aural pastiches than actual songs.

From the band's bio sheet: ''In the album, we are taken through many a curious journey of the post-adolescent psyche and the whimsical ruminations of a brilliant new songwriter.''

The band will play Mojo's tonight with Rhubarb. For more on this concert and others happening in the area, visit

¯ FIVE OTHER THINGS FOR THIS WEEKEND — Close your eyes, spin in a circle and spit. Chances are, if you're outside in Southern Chautauqua County, you're likely to have hit a bar or club with a live music event happening this weekend. Don't feel like spitting? Then dig the following five options:

5. Two For Flinching will play Shawbucks tonight. 4. Ice Pick Mary will play Carol's Silver Dollar tonight. 3. Deja Blues and the Bruce Peterson Project will play the Infinity Cafe tonight. 2. The Porcelain Bus Drivers will play the Sherman Hotel tonight and will play Shawbucks on Saturday. 1. David Allen Coester will play the Intermezzo Coffeehouse in Fredonia on Sunday afternoon and will then play the Jamestown Unitarian Church in the evening.

¯ DELICIOUS DRINK OF THE WEEK — I Googled ''Spring Drinks'' and found a recipe for ''Rum Swizzle.'' To make a Rum Swizzle, mix two ounces of rum with one ounce of lime juice and one teaspoon of superfine sugar. Add in two dashes of bitters and a bit of club soda, stir well and serve the drink on ice in a highball glass.

¯ COMING NEXT WEEK — The Bruce Peterson Blues Project will perform a tribute to Aretha Franklin and Derek Trucks at the Reg Lenna Civic Center next Friday. The event is supported by the New York State Music Fund.

¯ QUESTION OF THE WEEK — Tara Leigh Patrick was born today in 1972, though she's better known by another name. Do you know the Hollywood name of this Playboy poster and Baywatch alumna who has been romantically linked to everyone from Cypress Hill front man B. Real and Dennis Rodman to Tommy Lee and a member of Jane's Addiction? In answer to last week's question, Camp Nobebosco in New Jersey is the real, operational camp where the ''Friday The 13th'' movies were filmed.

Nick Dean is a Post-Journal staff reporter. Comments on this column can be sent to Suggestions and items for submission can be sent via e-mail or by calling the newsroom at 487-1111, ext. 251.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chautauqua County

Development Czar Promises More Help For Upstate New York Cities

 A Shift In Thinking

Lee Harkness, Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. executive director, far right, speaks to Daniel Gundersen, Empire State Development Corporation co-chair, second from right, during a meeting with local leaders Wednesday at the DJDC offices on Third Street. Mike Sullivan, Chautauqua Institution public relations director, third from right, and County Executive Greg Edwards look on. P-J photo by Patrick L. Fanelli
4/12/2007 - Daniel Gundersen, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's pick to coordinate economic development in Upstate New York, speaks enthusiastically of a shift in thinking that is taking place in Albany.

During a trip to Jamestown on Wednesday, Gundersen described the state economic development mechanism as one that used to favor New York City at the expense of upstate communities, and he said restructuring that mechanism can make it easier for upstate urban areas like Jamestown and Dunkirk to turn the tide on economic stagnation.

''There wasn't enough advocacy done on behalf of upstate,'' said Gundersen, who Spitzer appointed to co-chair the New York City-based Empire State Development Corporation.

The agency used to be chaired by one individual, but Spitzer split that position into two — one for Upstate New York and the other for New York City. Along with the other co-chairman, Patrick Foye, Gundersen has more than 350 employees at his disposal and he says he is ready to move as many as he needs to his headquarters in Buffalo.

''We are equals in all respects,'' Gundersen said of himself and Foye. ''It's our job to figure out what we need up here to be able to place the call and rattle the cage if we have to rattle the cage or transplant people to Buffalo if we need to do that to get the job done.''

Spitzer also appointed Gundersen to head the state Department of Economic Development, which is based in Albany and employs more than 250 people.

''You put all that together and we ought to be able to figure out what it's going to take. When you say you have a need, you can call Ken or you can call me to bring these resources to bear to make these things happen,'' Gundersen said, referring to his chief operating officer, Ken Schoetz, who has a cabin in Stow.

Gundersen's trip to Jamestown followed seven weeks he spent traveling throughout Upstate New York. He says after speaking with local officials in communities from Chautauqua Lake to the Hudson River, he has learned there is a wealth of opportunity in Upstate New York that sometimes needs only a phone call to tap into.

''Often times, all it takes is a little bit of encouragement,'' Gundersen said. ''Maybe there are plans and strategic development initiatives that have been under way, and they just need a little bit of encouragement — sometimes a shove, sometimes a push or pull — from Albany or from elsewhere.

If I can do a little of that, I'd be more than happy to be part of your team.''

Gundersen also described the need to shift the state's economic development mechanism toward small businesses and make it more responsive to entrepreneurs.

''Our programs were designed years ago. The economy has changed. The local communities have changed. We don't have enough programs to support small businesses and entrepreneurial development,'' Gundersen said.

He was also critical of the federal Small Business Administration, which operates Small Business Development Centers throughout the nation, describing some of these centers as unresponsive.

''In some areas of New York state, (Small Business Development Centers) have not been as responsive as they need to be,'' Gundersen said. ''We need to have our resources in Albany aligned a little bit better with the needs of our businesses today.''

Aside from making economic development programs more responsive, Gundersen did not list specific strategies — but he spoke in broad terms of a shift in thinking in Albany that he believes will one day translate into better policies and programs across the state.

''Before this, all major decisions would go to New York City or to Albany,'' Gundersen said. ''What we have done already in the last few weeks is tell all the regional offices: 'No.' You turn westward. You look to Buffalo. You look to Upstate.''
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Chautauqua Real Estate Market is Stable

Experts Call Area Housing Market 'Stable'

 Real Estate Season Approaches

A ''For Sale'' sign sits in front of 239 Forest Ave. in Jamestown. As the busiest time of the year for the real estate market approaches, real estate officials say the housing market remains strong.

P-J photo by Patrick L. Fanelli
4/11/2007 - The first day of spring has come and gone, and with it the opening bell of the busiest time of year for the real estate industry.

Despite widespread fear the national housing bubble is about to burst, local real estate officials say the market is stable, citing only a small decrease in the number of homes sold and an increase in selling prices across Chautauqua County.

''It's a good time to buy a house,'' said Earl Johnson, Chautauqua County Board of Realtors president.

The New York State Association of Realtors recently released figures showing a 6.3 percent decrease in sales last year across the state, but the 101,131 single-family homes sold in 2006 was only 3.1 percent less than 2004 figures. Real estate officials say that means the housing market is slowing down, but is still strong, noting the 2006 figure is still the third-highest on record.

''Clearly, there was no 'bursting bubble' in the New York housing market in 2006,'' said Charles Staro, NYSAR chief executive officer. ''As evidenced by the third highest sales total on record, the New York housing market is healthy and we expect it to remain so as we proceed through 2007.''

The Chautauqua County housing market showed similar results, reaching its peak in 2005. A total of 1,049 homes were sold in 2006, according to NYSAR figures — a decrease of 4.9 percent from 2005 and 3.3 percent from 2004.

''It is encouraging to know that in 2006 Chautauqua County experienced a smaller-than-statewide decrease in the annual number of sales of existing single-family homes,'' Johnson said.

Statewide, the median selling price was $248,500 — a 2.8 percent decrease from 2005. In Chautauqua County, the median selling price was $71,500 — a 3.6 percent increase from 2005.

Median selling prices are lowest in the rural areas of Western New York. Only five counties in the state registered a median selling price below $80,000, and four were in the region — Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Wyoming counties. The fifth was St. Lawrence County in northern New York.

''It is fantastic news that our median selling price showed a gain rather than decreases experienced statewide as well as in many parts of the country,'' Johnson said.

Prices are affordable, according to Johnson — but best of all, they aren't going down, which would be good for buyers but terrible for sellers.

Randy Holcomb, assessor for Jamestown and numerous towns in southern Chautauqua County, describes the housing market as stable.

''We've seen about the same amount of appreciation we've seen in the last two years,'' Holcomb said.

He indicated that the increase in the median selling price across Chautauqua County was largely driven by appreciation in specific areas.

''I think it is the same everywhere else except in higher-end subdivisions, lakefront parcels, and I think the Chautauqua Institution had a higher appreciation rate, but it is nowhere near what it was three years ago,'' Holcomb said.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Peek'n Peak

Findley Lake, NY - The Spa at Peek'n Peak Resort and Conference Center, a new full-service day spa at the western New York ski and snowboard resort, will open for the first time on Sunday, April 15. The Spa, located at the Inn at the Peak, offers the latest treatments to soothe body and soul, including massage therapies, aromatherapies, facials, body treatments and wraps, as well as special spa packages.

The Spa at Peek'n Peak also offers SPARITUAL signature therapies, which use subtle aromatherapies and all-natural, vegan ingredients to energize specific Chakras to balance the body. Various SPARITUAL treatments target body, scalp, hands and feet. The spa will also feature facial treatments using the Dermalogica product line, free of mineral oils, lanolin, alcohols, dyes or fragrances. In addition, the Spa offers elementals, a total body wellness program, which provides weight management, nutraceuticals and customized online meal planning.

Spa treatment hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Gift certificates are available. The Spa also accommodates small or large groups for parties and private events.

"The Spa at Peek'n Peak offers several wonderful treatments to follow an afternoon of golf or skiing at the Peak. It's also a great destination for those who just want to spend the day relaxing in a beautiful, tranquil setting," said Chip Day, Vice President of Brand Management at Peek'n Peak.
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