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Catskill Game Farm
Photograph: Realtor.com

You can buy a 193-acre zoo in the Catskills right now

It used to be the oldest privately owned zoo in the United States!

Anna Rahmanan
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Anna Rahmanan
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Just a few weeks ago, news broke that a Staten Island Ferry (yes, an actual one) was up for sale. Staten Island's unofficial mayor, Pete Davidson, and his Saturday Night Live pal Colin Jost ended up purchasing the thing for $280,100. But if you still have a desire to use your cash for something incredibly odd, this might interest you: a former zoo in the Catskills has just hit the market for $3.6 million.

The 193-acre Catskill Game Farm used to actually be the country's oldest privately owned zoo, once welcoming as many as 500,000 visitors per year. 

A bit more about the property's pretty cool history: it first opened back in 1933 and was home to a slew of sheeps, deers and donkeys. According to Curbed, it achieved "official zoo status" in the late 1950s, at which point a number of exotic animals took up residence there—including alligators, hippos, kangaroos, camels, llamas, "prehistoric horses" (we're not entirely sure what those are) and mountain lions. 

The destination closed down in 2006 and, a few years later, in 2012, Cathy and Ben Ballone purchased it and turned it into the six-bedroom Long Neck Inn. The area surrounding the inn was converted to four luxury campsites. 

But it doesn't end there: in 2020, a group of investors purchased the site for $1.86 million hoping to continue using it as a hotel while offering other outdoor activities on premise. Although the 9,000-square-foot inn was then available on Airbnb, the pandemic obviously affected the owners' long-term plans.

Now, that same group of investors has put the property up for sale for almost double the price it paid for it just two years ago. Is the cost too steep for the property to sell? We're not real estate experts but if the sale of the Staten Island Ferry and the city's devotion to all things "old New York" are of any indication, we're sure there are some buyers already lined up for this one.

You can check out the listing right here and, below, a few pictures. 

Catskill Game Farm
Photograph: Realtor.com
Catskill Game Farm
Photograph: Realtor.com
Catskill Game Farm
Photograph: Realtor.com

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