Restored Hotel Saranac reopens
SARANAC LAKE — At long last, the historic Hotel Saranac reopened at 4 p.m. today, and despite the short notice, plenty of local customers showed up to welcome it back.
The hotel last took guests in 2013 and was purchased by the Roedel Companies later that year for $1,475,995. The $35 million restoration project took four years to complete and has been pledged a state economic development grant of $5 million.
General Manager Michael Salyers gave the Enterprise the word around 12:30 p.m. that the hotel would open today.
There will be an open house to welcome the community from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, but many aspects of the hotel are now up and running, including its 82 guest rooms, Camp Fire restaurant and second-floor Great Hall bar. Its Academy & Main gift shop is expected to open at noon Saturday. (Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the open house will be on Tuesday.)
Salyers said the Ampersand salon and spa will open at a later date, as will the north terrace overlooking Main Street. A separate building on Church Street with 20 suites, called Compass Point, is still under construction and will open later this year, according to construction management.
Hilton representatives walked through the building before giving their final approval today, and the Hotel Saranac’s computer systems went operational. The Hotel Saranac is owned by Roedel Companies rather than the Hilton chain, but is a franchise affiliate with Hilton’s Curio Collection and therefore uses Hilton’s online booking and loyalty club systems.
Village code enforcement made its final inspection Tuesday. Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Giblin said he issued a temporary certificate of occupancy for everything except the salon and spa and the north terrace. Giblin said a pipe burst during a cold snap on New Year’s weekend, and water flowed into the basement, damaging carpets in the spa.
The north terrace still needs work on its new exterior staircase.
“Weather conditions are kind of hampering that concrete work,” Salyers said. He hopes it will be open in time for the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in early February.
Salyers said the hotel has hired enough staff to open the salon and spa, but is still seeking applicants.
The Hotel Saranac originally opened in 1927. Paul Smith’s College owned and ran it from the early 1960s until 2007, when the Arora family bought it. Its business petered out under the Aroras, who closed the restaurant and bar. That firm is owned by the Roedel family of New Hampshire, whose members have been seasonal residents of Saranac Lake for generations. As of today, they have fulfilled their promise to overhaul and reopen the hotel.
Saranac Lakers in general, and especially downtown business owners, have eagerly anticipated the hotel’s reopening, which is seen as essential to reviving downtown commerce.