Compass Point suites opening soon
Hotel Saranac's expanded, extended-stay offering
SARANAC LAKE — Some of the 20 suites at the Compass Point, operated by and adjacent to the Hotel Saranac, will start taking guests in the next couple weeks, according to an owner of the project.
“These are what I would call more extended-stay suites,” said Fred Roedel III, chief financial officer of Roedel Companies, which bought the Hotel Saranac in 2013 and later renovated it. “It’s in the final stages.”
The company bought the building on Church Street from Paul Smith’s College in October 2014 for $630,000. It was built in 1987 as a dormitory for students in the college’s culinary arts programs that used the hotel as a training center. Paul Smith’s kept the building after selling the hotel to the Arora family in 2007, though no students were housed there after 2012.
“In the extended stay world, the real value in this is finding people who need to rent rooms for seven days or longer at one stretch,” Roedel said.
Some examples he gave were personnel brought for weeks at a time for business at Adirondack Medical Center, or families in town for vacations.
There’s a large difference between the hotel’s 82 rooms and the 20 nearing completion at Compass Point — emphasis on large. Though the suites differ in layout, they include two rooms, a kitchen and living room and big bathrooms.
Another aspect that’s different in extended stay suites — the cleaning schedule. Housekeepers will still come in to make the bed and deliver fresh towels, but Roedel said extended stay guests generally want to be left alone and given room to spread out.
“In a regular guest room, there’s 152 things you have to do in a guest room to clean it,” Roedel said. “Should take 28 minutes. These rooms can take upwards of an hour. When you add the kitchen and all the stuff that goes on. So, to make it work economically, that is with the strategy, is you have a longer term stay. Typically people say, ‘Look, just, give me a fresh towel everyday — I’m good.'”
He said the hotel would not likely be making any new hires with Compass Point, but rely on the existing staff at the Hotel Saranac, which currently employs 79 full time equivalents.
“There’s 20 rooms over here, if all 20 rooms got sold, depending on the level of cleaning you had to do, you might have one or two housekeepers assigned to this building,” Roedel said. “I think they’ve got the staff they want.”
From the ground floor up, the rooms get more complete — the first floor is missing furniture and fixtures, while the second and third floors are for the most part finished, waiting on small pieces of furniture and TVs to be mounted. Most of the hallways are still unfinished, and there’s construction equipment pushed into the corners.
“We work our way from the top down, so we finish guest rooms three two one,” Roedel said. “It could be that the first floor, they don’t rent those rooms, but we’re going to get these on top done, and get them open and get them going.”
He said the suites would be priced higher than the rooms offered at the hotel, though it would be still market and season-driven. The hotel and the Compass Point buildings are joined by a covered walkway that connects to the parking garage.
There’s still more space to expand and increase the hotel’s offerings — into the Compass Inn’s basements. The building, which is structured as four buildings joined in the center, each have their own subterranean areas. One is occupied with the building’s utility systems. Another still holds the college’s chainlink cages where the students could put items into storage.
“We may keep it, because it’s a great attribute for guests … if they have skis or bikes,” Roedel said. “These other two we’re going to have to figure out.”