GLENS FALLS — The Queensbury Hotel has completed the first phase to become designated a national historic place.
General Manager Tyler Herrick said executives with the 92-year-old hotel are working with the National Preservation Society to get on the National Registry of Historic Places. The hotel has passed the application’s first phase.
“We’ve submitted our phase two. We’re hoping to hear back,” he said.
Herrick said the hotel will have an application submitted to the New York State Historic Preservation Office by the end of the year. After that, it is sent to the National Preservation Service for its review. He is not sure how long it will take to get the application approved.
Since September, the hotel has been a member of Historic Hotels of America, which has allowed it to get into bulk purchasing of supplies with those other hotels. In addition, the designation would get The Queensbury into the association’s portal, where travelers can find historic places to stay.
“You have a lot of heritage travelers that are coming to the region,” Herrick said.
Officials with the state Historic Preservation Office will be touring the hotel to make sure its renovations are in keeping with the historic nature of the property.
Herrick provided an update of the work at a meeting of the Glens Falls Industrial Development Agency.
Work is progressing on the hotel’s fifth floor, with new floors, wall coverings, furniture and bathrooms being installed.
“That entire floor will be 100 percent wrapped up by the middle of January,” he said.
Hotel officials are going to chip away at room renovations over the next 12 to 18 months, he said.
“We have about 85 rooms left to complete. We’re doing it while operating,” he said.
Once the guest rooms are finished, Herrick said, the elevators need updating, and so does the front desk.
“We pretty much will have renovated or revitalized all the existing parts of the facility,” he said.
The hotel also has addressed some items that are not visible, such as upgrading the plumbing, fixing steam leaks in the basement, putting in a new computer network for sales and property management and installing wifi for guests.
Herrick said the hotel is using every local contractor it can.
The hotel’s long-term plan calls for expansion of the Adirondack Room to increase its capacity to 400 people. Bathrooms near the conference room would be upgraded.
“We’re going to prime ourselves to be ready for that ballroom expansion when we can get to that phase,” he said.
A rooftop bar is also in the plans.
Business is on the upswing, Herrick said, and the hotel has been booking more events.
The hotel hosted 517 events in 2016 and should finish this year with around 630 events, according to Herrick. He is forecasting to host 725 to 750 events by the end of 2018 – a 20 percent increase.
“I think a big attraction for this property and what sets us apart from a lot of other hospitality solutions in our region is our history,” he said.
The number of people eating lunch and dinner at Fenimore’s Pub has surged, he said.
The Park 26 restaurant, formerly called Garden on the Park, is open for breakfast every day from 7 to 10 a.m. They have dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He said the space has become popular for private dinners or meetings.
The hotel is seeking an extension of a sales tax exemption and will be headed to the Glens Falls IDA early in the new year, Herrick dsof.
Board Chairman Judy Calogero said she has noticed how busy the hotel seems when she has driven by it.
“I’ve seen a huge uptick in cars in your parking lot, and buses,” she said.
Edward Bartholomew said The Queensbury is the only full-service hotel in the city. The area is going to need more year-round rooms if it is going to attract convention business.
“If you’re going to a convention, you don’t want to stay 5 miles away,” he said.
Herrick said sports tourism and sports conventions are a particular market segment that he would like to attract.