The Voice of the Manor
We are happy to report that our new, upgraded Montauk Manor website has been completed and is now in service. Go to “montaukmanor.com” to log on. The Home Page opens with a breathtaking drone aerial view of the property. Rental information includes dozens of flattering photos of our attractive modernized rooms and information on what is special about The Manor. As with the former website, there is an additional separate page exclusively for homeowners. To sign in to the homeowner’s page, both the user’s name and the password is “owner” in lower case letters. The homeowner’s page has all previous Castlegrams going back years as well as approved minutes of all Board meetings, construction reports and documents, rental reports and statistics, etc. Our new website is definitely worth a look.
The Homeowners Meeting and Holiday Celebration on December 10th was quite a success and The Board is hoping to make it an annual event. The meeting included information and a vote on the proposed Transfer Fee (“flip tax”) and the Board of Managers election. The officers up for re-election ran unopposed. Lou Federico, President, Claire Ratusch, Secretary, and Herman Hochberg, Treasurer. The highlight of the day was the Holiday Celebration where everyone got to meet our new homeowners plus “catch-up” after two years apart due to COVID. The decorations by Bellman Patrick Lane, assisted by Chas Abarno, Miguel Escudar and Elias Mendoza were stunning and the gingerbread village by Shanique Martin and the “front desk girls” was a true work of art. The entire Grand Lobby had the warm feel of this most special season. The food, delicious and plentiful, was catered by our in-house Hilltop Restaurant and the wines were provided by Joe Forgione. A good time was had by all.
We are sorry to report that the Hilltop Restaurant will close as of April 1st. The Restauranteur who operates The Hilltop and also owns The Tauk restaurant in town is leaving the restaurant business. He has put The Tauk up for sale and is not renewing his lease with us. The Board is currently interviewing restauranteurs interested in leasing our restaurant and we hope to have a new restaurant open by the start of the summer season.
All required permits for the renovation of our indoor pool have been submitted to East Hampton Town. The structural ceiling repairs have been completed ahead of schedule, and we are waiting our final inspection from East Hampton Town to close out this building permit. Our permit for Tortorella Pools has been approved and we are currently working on a schedule with them to begin work. We are meeting with contractors to finalize bids for the structural architectural work this week and plan to begin work as soon as we receive our permit. As you were previously notified by letter in November, the work will probably require the closing of the east wing to rentals at certain times. There will be no construction on weekends when most off-season rentals occur. We will have more information as to when the grand re-opening of our pool and spa will be as the work progresses.
The Rental Program had a surprisingly good 2022 even without the indoor pool. There was a total of 18,696 room rentals which was an increase from 18,506 during pre-COVID 2019.
The Rental Committee had full day in-person meetings in April and in November. The Committee meets to plan for advertising and other initiatives which will increase rentals and rental income. The Committee also periodically inspects all units to make certain they are adhering to the standards of the program. As reported in an earlier Castlegram, the Board is evaluating suggestions from the Rental Committee to replace the bocce and shuffleboard courts, add pickle ball courts, and purchase cushions for the outdoor pool lounges plus a cushion storage shed. The Board will discuss when costs and funds are available. The “Murder Mystery ” weekends are back and are as popular as ever. There was one in November, a second in January, and a third planned for March. These are a big off-season attraction for rental guests. They are lots of fun and are usually sold out.
The proposed 2% Transfer Fee. (“flip tax”) was approved with a second round of voting. A “Zoom” meeting was held February 7th for homeowners who had not as yet voted and needed more information. The potential additional funds this source of income will generate should be helpful with our ongoing construction costs.
The Board of Managers