Obituary: David Walter Garrett, 1942-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: David Walter Garrett, 1942-2021 

Woodsman, artist and developer of luxury hotels helped inspire a renaissance of all things Adirondack

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  • David Garrett

David Walter Garrett, 78, of Charlotte, died on August 17, 2021, from heart failure brought on by a breakthrough COVID-19 infection. Though tragic, it was as he would have wanted it: over in an instant at his home, the historic Cedar Farm on Thompson’s Point in Charlotte.

As a woodsman, artist, investment manager, entrepreneur and hotelier, David regularly made things that seemed impossible a reality — from a cabin in the Adirondacks he built by hand to a boutique hotel company that set new standards for ultra-luxury accommodation and historic preservation.

David was one of the most experienced developers of small, high-end hotels in the world, beginning with the purchase in the 1980s of a Rockefeller Great Camp on Upper Saranac Lake, N.Y., known as the Point. The hotel became one of the most lauded luxury properties in the country and led to other hotels, including the Lake Placid Lodge, the Wilcox in Aiken, S.C., and the Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, N.M. David was also instrumental in Twin Farms in Barnard, Vt. He had served as North American president of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux hotel association.

David helped inspire a renaissance of all things Adirondack. He enlisted local craftspeople to build pieces for the hotels and also made pieces himself; many are on display in his most recent hotel project, the Ivy, in Baltimore, Md.; in his barn/office in Charlotte; and on his website, corkiture.com — named for his fascination with using corks in his furniture making.

David Garrett was born in New York City on December 12, 1942, and grew up in Scarborough, N.Y., with his brother, Daniel. His parents, Daniel N. Garrett and Louise Benson Garrett, were transplanted Southerners, and David nurtured a lifelong fascination with family genealogy.

As a boy, David was drawn to the woods and fascinated by the television show "Daniel Boone," impressed by the warm family life in a log cabin. He attended the Williston Northampton School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he even lived in a log cabin.

After college, he met his wife, Christie Coursen, then a TWA flight attendant. In 1967, he purchased 165 acres in the Adirondacks and began building his own cabin that became a family retreat. All important life decisions, he’d say, were made at the cabin.

David was a broker at Moseley, Hallgarten Estabrook & Weeden and, later, First Albany, managing offices in Cambridge, Mass., and Burlington, Vt. He also helped the Vermont Teddy Bear Company go from a pushcart to a booming bear-gram business.

In 2008, David and Christie started Garrett Hotel Consulting, through which they advised on properties around the country.

David is survived by his wife of 53 years, Christie, of Charlotte; daughter Erin Garrett-Metz and husband Andrew Metz and children Lydia, Daniel and Miriam of Manchester by the Sea, Mass.; daughter Moriah Garrett and husband Rob Arthur and children, Samuel, Elouise and Olive of Baltimore, Md.; and daughter Caitrin Garrett of Burlington, Vt.

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