Facilities at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat

Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat is closed during the winter months, and re-opens in early April for another exciting year to  host your event!  Reservations are based on space availability.  To make a reservation, please contact Kathy Pottetti at kathyp@wab.org 

Writers & Books has four facilities located at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat — the Gell House, the Gleason Lodge, the Thoreau Cabin, and the Tree House.  During the summer months very sturdy canvas tents are set up for guests to enjoy.


       The Gell Housep1040596-2

Overnight guests will stay in the Gell House, a completely furnished hillside house surrounded by a landscaped yard and acres of woodlands.

This charming space has two furnished suites each consisting of a bedroom, sitting room/workspace, and bathroom. The suites share the common space of a dining room and fully equipped kitchen. Several large windows overlook the yard, which slopes down to a brook and valley beyond.

This quiet retreat is the perfect setting for study, writing, reading, discussion, and reflection.

Gell House Nightly RatesHOUSE

  • $60/$80 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate – one guest.
  • $110/$150 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate – two guests
  • $160/$220 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate – three guests
  • $210/$300 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate – four guests
  • $25/$30 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate  for each additional guest, 8 maximum
  • Daytime group rate: $150/$175 W&B Member Rate/Public Rate per day.

Restrictions & Additional Information

  • No charge for guests age 16 and under when accompanied by adult.
  • No pets on premises at all, and no smoking indoors.
  • Fees include full use of facilities and grounds.
  • Linens and kitchen utensils are provided.
  • Guests must provide their own meals.
  • One outdoor grill is located near the Gell House.
  • WiFi available.
  • Printer & copy paper available.

Gell House Testimonials:

I wanted to let you know I had a great stay at the Gell House. I got about 3 times as much done as I had planned. Really productive time.

Writer-in-Residence| June 2017| Larry Kelts.

I really enjoyed the week at Gell House because it gave me the opportunity (as well as the space) to do some serious writing and editing for the poetry project that I had mentioned on my application.

Writer-in-Residence| July 2017| Keith McCauley.


The Gleason LodgeIlodge

The Gleason Lodge is located on a secluded hillside with a magnificent view of the Bristol Valley. The Great room of this building provides an elegant and spacious meeting place, with its stone fireplace, high ceiling, and bookshelf-lined wall.

It can accommodate up to 73 people for social gatherings and 50 people for day-long meetings, seminars, or workshops. The Lodge also includes a dining area that seats up to 25 people and a commercially equipped kitchen. The Gleason Lodge is equipped with an accessible path and bathrooms.

Surrounded by fields and woods, the Gleason Lodge provides the ideal environment for groups seeking a unique and refreshing experience.


Cloudburst Retreat Friday, May 19th – Sunday, May 21st, 2017  

http://www.foothillspublishing.com/2017/cloudburst.html – link to Cloudburst’s Anthology.

Gleason Lodge Daily Rates

  • Kitchen1 – 24 people: $300/$350 – W&B  Member Rate/Public Rate.
  • 25 – 45 people: $400/$450 – W&B  Member Rate/Public Rate.
  • 46 – 73 people: $550/$600 – W&B Member Rate/Public Rate.
  • 74 + people: $800/$900 – W&B Member Rate/Public Rate.

Restrictions & Additional Information

  • For all bookings, $100.00 security deposit is required.
  • To have lodge set up a specific way for your event, it must be indicated when signing rental contract.
  • No pets on premises at all, and no smoking allowed indoors.
  • WiFi available.
  • Two outdoor grills are located near the Gleason Lodge.

Gleason Lodge Testimonials – 2016 & 2017

Just Poets is always enthusiastic about spending an autumn day at the Gell Center. We had another awesome retreat; the lodge and its surroundings are a perfect place for us. We made coffee in the kitchen, then settled around the fire in the morning to write, moved to the dining area to sit together for lunch, enjoyed walks up the hill in the early afternoon to write some more under the trees. We held a reading of poems at the end to mark the day. Thanks for supplying a great facility to us.

Just Poets| October 2017| Bart White, President



Gell Summer Intensive Testimonials

Excellent.  Instructors were well prepared and attentive.  Student participation and level of writing excellent as well.

Participant – Fiction Intensive| July 2017| Ralph Uttaro.

I enjoyed the day.  The feedback I received was helpful.  The other writers were knowledgeable and I enjoyed reading their work. 

Participant – Fiction Intensive| July 2017| Stacey Freed.

Excellent & inspiring.  Useful criticism, re-affirmed my enthusiasm for the craft. 

Participant – Fiction Intensive| July 2017| Jim Byrne


As an attendee of the first “Mother Wolf”  1 Day Writing Retreat, I can only say that it was a wonderful experience.  I loved both the gorgeous retreat site, and entire program.  It was all fabulous!

Participant| May 2017| Lisa Thompson.

We always have a great time in this space!  The porch and the beautiful landscape are the biggest reasons we have returned for our fourth year.  Thanks for making this available to members at a reasonable cost. It is truly a gem! 

Artisan Women| May 2017| Tracy Austin.

Rochester Veterans Writing Group held a half day writing retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – This lodge provided a welcome respite for our group from the normal routine our writing workshops by listening to our guest speaker, Jen Case as an outside voice, engaging with one another, and gazing out on the radiant beauty of the surrounding hills.  In Hemingway’s words ” this clean, well-lighted place” was ideal, and met all of our needs. Many thanks for maintaining such a gem in the midst of the Finger Lakes Region!

Rochester Veterans Writing Group| June 2017| Tim Hansen, Co-Founder.

Upstate Artist Forum Gathering, Friday, October 28th, 2016 on the deck of the Gleason Lodge.



FLCC’s Board of Trustees held an all-day retreat at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat – The Gleason Lodge is situated in a beautiful and peaceful setting – perfect for a retreat! Kathy Pottetti and her staff were wonderful to work with and graciously accommodated all our needs and requests. The Gleason Lodge is easy to access, has plenty of parking, and boasts a full kitchen, large dining room, and a great room with stone fireplace and fantastic views off the deck. If you seek a quiet location where your group can truly relax and unwind without the distraction of technology, Gell is a great choice.

FLCC’s Board of Trustees| October 2016| Janet Carabell, Executive Secretary to the President.

Great location, clean and bright, comfortable and an absolute must for those planning a gathering/seminar/meeting especially amidst the fall foliage.

Just Poets Group| October 2016


Tents are now up on both Tent Platforms!   

There are two tent platforms, and each one has a very sturdy canvas tent that can accommodate two people comfortably.  Bring your camp chair, bug spray, and battery-powered lantern for your rustic rental experience.  Guests will have access to either the Gleason Lodge or Gell House for kitchen and bathroom usage.

                      Tent 1

                       Tent 2


Platform Tent Rates:                                    

  • $ 25/$30 – W&B Member Rate/ Public Rate
  • For day use and/or overnight.           


  • Two guest maximum                                 

The Thoreau CabinThoreauCabin

Dr. Kenneth Gell was a great admirer of Henry David Thoreau, and so when he and his wife Geraldine first bought the property in the Bristol Hills and needed a place to stay when they visited on weekends and throughout the summer, he designed and built a small cabin built to the exact dimensions of Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond.

In later years the Gells would build a more permanent house on the property in which they would live for the remainder of their lives, but that original cabin still exists and is now, after some minor renovations, once again available for daytime and overnight use.

Nestled between a pair of grand, old-forest pine trees, the Thoreau Cabin provides a rustic and inspiring setting for writing and reflection, as well as close-to-nature overnight accommodations for one person or a couple. There is no plumbing or electricity available in the cabin, but guests will have access to either the Gell House or Gleason Lodge for kitchen and bathroom usage.

Thoreau Cabin Rates

  • $45/$50 – W&B Member Rate/ Public Rate
  • For day use and/or overnight


  • Two guest maximum

The Treehouse – currently under construction.


The Treehouse, 200 square feet in size, can be used as “a classroom-in-the-sky”, and as a writers’ cabin. With an outside deck providing beautiful views of the nearby stream and surrounding woods, the house is nestled in a cathedral of trees of many sizes and species.

There is a desk on which to sit and write, and built-in benches and a table with space for a group to assemble and eat. There is no plumbing or electricity available in the Treehouse, but facilities are available nearby in either the Gell House or the Gleason Lodge.


2 Responses to Facilities at Gell: A Finger Lakes Creative Retreat

  1. Kerry Robertson June 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    A group of teachers from around Monroe County are developing a summer institute for teachers. We are looking for a place to host us on Monday, August 17th. There will be about 70 teachers in our group. We would like to reserve the Gell Center for that day if possible. Please let us know as soon as possible if it is available, or if you have another location that could host 70 on that date. Thank you for your prompt attention.

  2. Chris Fanning June 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi Kerry. Thanks for your note. Please e-mail Kathy Pottetti, Director of Programming at The Gell Center at kathyp@wab.org. She handles all books. I am also forwarding your information to her.

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