The announcement did not seem real. Producers with The Biggest Loser television show decided to open another health and wellness resort, and it was going to Java Center.
“There was a lot of disbelief that it was happening,” Sandra Schoellkopf said. “People didn’t know how we were having this world spotlight on Java Center, N.Y.”
It was Schoellkopf’s persistence five years ago that made it work. As executive vice president of marketing for the Snyder Corporation, which owns Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Java (around 45 minutes south of Buffalo), the goal was to bring new customers to the secluded 300-acre property. After watching an episode of The Biggest Loser, Schoellkopf felt a health and wellness resort would be the perfect complement.
“The property is just a natural, wonderful setting,” she said. “People can have this breathtaking area to get away and make real life changes...a safe environment where they can let down their guard and address their health issues.”
The land already had three lakes, hiking trails and high-end accommodations. Now it also hosts The Biggest Loser Resort Niagara while also maintaining its former business as a conference center. It is one of three Biggest Loser resorts in the country. Many millions have been spent — $3 million in the first year alone — to build multiple gymnasiums, an aquatic center and high-end demonstration kitchen. There are personal trainers, nutritionists and an executive chef who creates organic meals that incorporate products from local farms.
The changing seasons create unique experiences for clients. Programs are held outside to teach people how they can stay active in the colder months. While the show mainly features individuals seeking to lose extreme amounts of weight, the resort caters to a diverse range of individuals and businesses. Athletes utilize it to maintain fitness goals in an offseason, or a company may schedule a day for employees and their families. The resort also works with Project Sanctuary, which helps veterans, active duty personnel and their families find balance after time in battle.
“It can be a complete body detox. People learn good sleep hygiene, stress management and a way to change their habits. It’s a reboot for many,” Schoellkopf said.
The Biggest Loser Resort Niagara is located at 1083 Pit Road in Java Center. Pricing starts at around $3,000 per week for a private standard room; specials and discounts are available. For more information, go to biggestloserresort.com/niagara.
Programs at the Biggest Loser Resort Niagara are customizable. Visitors can do a standard weeklong program, but the resort will also cater to shorter or longer stays. The typical weeklong program hosts approximately 40 people. Per week, on average, men lose about 5 to 15 pounds and woman lose 4 to 10 pounds.