“There’s no other place like it,” said Joe Schlim, managing partner of Water Gap Capital Partners LLC and CEO of Water Gap Wellness, an upcoming premiere drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Delaware Water Gap, Pa.
“We wanted to build a beautiful place of recovery that was different from all the rest – and when we drove up the hill to the old Water Gap Country Club, we knew this was it,” he said.
But what Schlim and partners didn’t know when they drove up the hill that day was that the project would face extensive vetting from local officials and residents that would push the project back by months.
“The opioid epidemic has reached record levels and we all know someone who has suffered from it or from other drug and alcohol addiction,” said Schlim.
“And when the process began to take a little longer than we expected, we got frustrated because we wanted to start helping people right away,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70,237 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2017. The states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose were West Virginia (57.8 per 100,000), Ohio (46.3 per 100,000), Pennsylvania (44.3 per 100,000), the District of Columbia (44.0 per 100,000), and Kentucky (37.2 per 100,000). https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html
In Monroe county Pa alone, 98 people have died from overdose in the past two years.
Water Gap Capital Partners LLC wanted to impact this local and national epidemic as soon as possible but the vetting setbacks have taken longer than expected. They wanted to be open and helping people sooner.
However, despite the wait, their impact has actually taken root in a rather unexpected way – one that is being felt in the families of the local community.
Since beginning renovations on the historic building in March, 2019, Water Gap Capital Partners LLC has upgraded the wiring, installed new walls and floors, replaced the HVAC and put on a whole new roof…
…and nearly all of these renovations have been performed by local contractors and vendors who go home to their local families every night and engage in our local Pocono community every day – schools, medical care, recreation, commerce, etc.
“We could have brought in other groups from outside of the area, but we wanted to give the work to the local community,” said Corey Miller, partner of Water Gap Capital Partners and Director of Operations for Water Gap Wellness.
“We wanted to be good local stewards,” he said.
In all, Miller contracted with 16 local vendors resulting in over 40 local jobs – and all before the center has even opened for business.
Contractors such as electrical, plumbing, landscaping, architect, engineers, lawyers, general contractors, painters, excavators, masonry, website and website hosting….are all local Pocono vendors.
“This is a huge project for our community,” said Lance Pulse, Superintendent for GAK Construction, the local contracting company in charge of the project.
“We hired 4 new guys just for this project alone,” he said.
“Every one of these guys are local – from here to Blakeslee,” Pulse said.
“Bobby – he’s out of Bangor, and Kenny – he’s out of the West End and a lot of guys live up there on the mountain,” he said.
“We truly appreciate the fact that the owners are hiring local, it displays a positive reflection of their character to not only create an establishment in our area for helping and healing others but to also hire local to help out the families that live here,” said Gary Folio, Managing Electrician from Hartmann Electric – the contracted electrical company for Water Gap Wellness.
Josh Staples of Staples Construction who is handling all the masonry and excavating work is thankful for the work right now. “Glad they’re keeping it local instead of out of town. I have two kids – 9 and 10. It’s great to be busy during this time of year for sure – especially with the holidays coming,” he said.
“We hope we can make a difference,” said Corey Miller.
“We’re humbled to be helping so many local people.” he said.
Ps- before construction even began, Miller quietly donated all the sheets, furniture and housewares from the 25,000 square foot 24-bedroom resort to charity.