Tupper hotel to be built by Tupper Laker

TUPPER LAKE — A Tupper Lake native is preparing for his Virginia-based construction company to begin work on a hotel in his hometown.

Richard LaMere, the president of NorthSouth Construction, said he is currently in the design and site development stage for either a Hilton or InterContinental Hotels Group hotel. IHG hotel brands include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental.

LeMere said he comes to Tupper Lake several times a year to visit his mother, siblings and in-laws, and that he thinks it is the right time to build a hotel in town, with many new additions to the town’s tourism opportunities as well as the promise of an Astro-Science Center and the reopening of the Big Tupper Ski Area.

“I just thought that there’s a need for it with the new stuff coming in,” LeMere said.

LeMere said he worked with Community Development Director Mellissa McManus and the village to get the joint venture started. LeMere has 19 years of experience in building hotels, medical buildings and housing.

He said he will be one of the owners of the completed building and will pay a franchise fee to the hotel chain for the rights to its brand. LeMere said he has not decided on which chain or exact location for the hotel yet but will decide in the next few months.

One location that has been considered is a 3-acre plot on state Route 3 (Demars Boulevard) between McDonald’s and Rite Aid, where there is currently a shopping center with The Row clothing store, Jreck Subs and Dollar General.

The proposed hotel would feature 75 rooms, a breakfast dining area, an indoor pool, a fitness room, a business center, a small market and an outdoor patio. It has been estimated as costing around $10 million to build.

LeMere said though the hotel will compete with local motels and inns, he does not think it will poach their clients. He said he hopes to expand the number of people visiting Tupper Lake and meet the demands of the town’s increased tourism.

In December, the project received $2,195,000 from a state Regional Economic Development Council grant. Village Mayor Paul Maroun said he will work with McManus and the state to see if there is any other grant opportunities for the project.

Maroun said people who came to town for the Snowball party in December told him they could not find a room in town because some motels close for the winter, and he welcomed increased hotel numbers in Tupper Lake.