Creating An Experience

Fox Run Lodge

Taking time to make unforgettable memories is important for Stable Hollow owners, Henry and Leroy. For over 13 years, they’ve held an annual 2-day employee getaway to inspire and rejuvenate their team. As the business grew, so did the size of these events. Over one hundred people were attending by 2017. 

For many years, they searched for a property that fit their needs for Stable Hollow and to create an experience of their own — saving some history and preserving the past. The Stoltzfus’s wanted a place with some history. Maybe even a location that their team could restore. Suddenly, their opportunity arrived. In a most unexpected way.

The Backstory 

In 2016, the brothers and their families spent a weekend in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. They described their retreat dream to their taxi driver who was a stranger to them. He mentioned he had the perfect place for them two miles from where they were spending the weekend. They pursued the lead the following day. 

MaryLou — a retired woman — owned the 102-acre property. Her husband had built the foundation of their home before passing away unexpectedly. She didn’t have the property listed and had no desire to pursue selling. 

As the Stoltzfus’s envisioned the land’s potential, they searched for a partner to assist with the retreat’s long-term operations and convinced a cousin to join the team. As they explained their plan for the property to MaryLou, she bought into the dream entirely. She loved it. In six weeks, they had a buyer’s agreement. Everyone was in awe. It seemed God was involved in the whole thing. The team was complete, and the challenge was officially on!

Once a working farm, the land and buildings now lay in disrepair, grown up in brush. It was difficult to see the winding lane. But beyond all that, the team saw spectacular potential. 

They envisioned a place that could sleep 80 to 100 people and could be used for family, church, and business retreats — a place that could give back to the community. Privacy seemed unbeatable, along with beautiful wildlife sightings, including deer, foxes, bears, and turkeys.  

They explored the property, imagining what they could do. 

  • An equipment shed could become a conference room and bunkhouse to sleep up to 66 campers. 
  • The hay barn would make an ideal pavilion. 
  • The old milk house foundation would make an excellent shuffleboard pad. 
  • And the barn's stone foundation would be the perfect lodge location, and the silo beside it would make a fun viewing tower at sunset.

Also on the property, a mile from the road, was a block building used for ammunition storage during the Civil War. Rodents were taking over. The roof was in deplorable shape — buckets of snake skins needed to be hauled out of the building. But, when they saw it, they knew it would make the perfect getaway couples’ cottage.

Now to make it happen.

Unbelievable Teamwork

By the spring of ‘17, the couple’s cottage was open for business. The team was drafting plans for the main retreat and lodge. By mid-summer 2017, site work for the grounds and pond was well underway, and 2018 fall bookings were lining up for the future retreat center. They scheduled the first church group of 85 people for a weekend stay in September  2018. Due to a slow permitting process, construction didn’t start on the main lodge until May 1, 2018. 

The pressure was on. 

The team couldn’t wait to turn the Stable Hollow crew loose on the project. Initially, they planned to start site work in the fall of 2017 and work into the summer of 2018 on the restoration project. Suddenly, only four months remained. An additional guest showing happened when the basement walls were only framed, and the group wanted to use the retreat for an August wedding. So now, from construction to the appearance of their first guests? Only six short weeks.

 

As owners of Stable Hollow Construction, it was exceptional to experience the restoration on the customer end. It helped us to see things we’re good at and could get better at. We were proud of our team for pulling it off and adapting to challenges along the way. - Stoltzfus Brothers

One workday, 25 work vehicles parked on-site. The Stable Hollow project managers coordinated a wide variety of work — from drywall to electrical to plumbing. They were all there. And they accomplished the mission. Right on time. 

Marketing and maintenance details slipped into place. Henry manages the marketing side of things. A cousin, Jonas, deals with booking and scheduling. And his brother Leroy handles hosting and repairs. 

Fox Run Farm and Retreat was truly prepared for serving the public.

Visit Fox Run Farm & Retreat for more details and amenities.

Cottage guest reviews: 

We had a very pleasant time. The hot tub and fire pit were a plus since we are from NYC. We saw a turkey which was very exciting. Definitely consider staying here again. Very cozy and comforting! -Claudia, Couple’s Cottage Guest

We knew we would have a wonderful time as soon as we arrived! The cabin was very inviting, and great detail was given to all the little extras in the cabin. We enjoyed soaking in the hot tub despite the frigid temp outside. We feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Blessed that we found this little piece of HEAVEN! We will be back. -Karrie S., Couple’s Cottage Guest

Twenty acres are dedicated to the retreat. Thousands of people have stayed at the retreat. The lodge has witnessed three weddings. Many church and youth groups have spent the weekend. Three father/son retreats were a smashing success. The ownership team dreams of hosting educational seminars where people can grow spiritually and relationally.

If every person can leave with at least one good memory, Fox Run’s owners believe the hard work is entirely worth it.

Customer review

Building relationships is an important value for our team. We value the worth of others highly and want to see both our clients and our employees thrive. It’s our goal to nurture the skills and talents of our team, so they, in turn, can do the same thing for our customers

Stoltzfus brothers, Owners of Stable Hollow