Nemacolin: America’s Most-Talked About Resort

Get to know the dynamic duo behind the Pennsylvania playground

This article appears in V131, available for purchase now

Nestled in the enchanting western woodland area of Farmington, Pennsylvania, is a place that could give Disney World a run for its money. Nemacolin is a mad hatter’s merge of fantasy and reality which sprawls over 2,000 wooded acres in the bucolic Laurel Highlands. Off the grid, you feel like anything could happen—and it just might.

Offering woodland adventures, Michelin-level dining, and decadent all-night escapades, the palatial property with ultra-chic residences is one of the most luxurious playgrounds in the country—but, surprisingly, it didn’t start out that way. The now glamorous and over-the-top resort was founded by Joseph Hardy, founder and CEO of the 84 Lumber Company, after seeing the then 400-acre property up for auction in 1987.

Maggie wears coat, skirt Versace, bodysuit ATM Boots Balmain, jewelry her own and PJ wears trench (over), umbrella Thom Browne Coat (underneath) Bottega Veneta NEMACOLIN Pants Moncler x JW Anderson

“We came up three days before the auction, and [my father] made no mention about buying a resort. He told my mom and me, and we both were really upset about the whole thing. He told me he bought me a resort to keep me out of trouble,” says Hardy’s daughter Maggie Hardy Knox, who runs the property with her son PJ Magerko, the VP of Brand Strategy. “I just wanted a little lot that I could fish in!” Under her and PJ’s magic wand, the resort bloomed into an opulent treasure beyond their wildest dreams.

Now, the once-humble and quaint abode has blossomed into a showstopping, grandiose kingdom of camp, which also offers exquisite refinement in art, architecture, and food—making this a peerless attraction for culture connoisseurs as well as weekend pleasure-seekers. “It really is unlike any other place,” says PJ Magerko. “You can’t go anywhere else in the world and experience all that we have in one place—a Parisian chateau, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired boutique hotel, a 1950s ice cream parlor, a world-class art collection. I say this humbly—there really is no competition in that way, especially [it being] so close to New York.”

Even beyond the glitz and glam that the resort undoubtedly embodies and exudes, the heart-warming sense of family is ever-present throughout, giving the estate a special quality that evokes a familial sense of belonging. “It’s an extension of our home—it is our home. It’s a wonderful way to have families come here and feel part of the extended family and our associates do such a beautiful job in doing that,” explains Hardy Knox. “I would say at the core, it’s because we’re family-owned and continue to be very proud of that.” Truly, it’s a whole new world.


This article appears in V131, available for purchase now

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