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Rudy's View: Live Like a Rockefeller (5/25/2001)

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Just last week, I found out what it costs to live like a Rockefeller. It starts at about fourteen hundred dollars a night. That's the least expensive of the 11 rooms you can check into at The Point, a luxury resort in the Adirondacks, about a three-hour drive from Albany. It once was a Rockefeller camp.

Both the words "room" and "camp" aren't quite accurate. There's not a tent in sight, and each room is like a studio apartment minus the kitchen. And minus a TV and phone, too. Some have fireplaces so big you could park a VW inside. This is luxury the way Ralph Lauren paints it in his catalogues. Except the fire is always set for you, your meals are all gourmet. The bar's always open and the drinks are free. Well, included in that nightly rate.

I was a guest of the resort for two nights. I hiked the woods, admired the view of Upper Saranac Lake from my bedroom, I thought how nice a honeymoon or special occasion spot The Point is. And that IS the point of luxurious resorts like the Aman chain around the world or some of the hotels on Caribbean islands such as St. Barts: For a price, you can shut out the world and perhaps celebrate a milestone in life.

In the case of The Point, tourism has saved one of the classic examples of Adirondacks architecture. Of course, not many people today can afford anyplace on the scale of The Point - um, myself included. But enough guests can check in to keep intact a reminder of a lifestyle born at the turn of the last century -- when captains of industry could build their dreams.

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