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How suite it is: Five private viewing areas near completion at Cool Insuring Arena

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GLENS FALLS — Cool Insuring Arena will have a set of new suites completed by the end of next week.

The idea of adding the five new suites came about in 2018.

Jeff Mead, general manager of the arena, said that construction was set to begin toward the beginning of 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work had to wait until the middle of November 2021.

“When we kind of realized that we were back to being open, and with how our ticket sales have been this year, we said it’s time to build the suites,” Mead said.

The area where the suites are located does not yet have a name finalized. Mead said, ideally, the arena would secure a corporate sponsor to have the naming rights of the suites, as happened when the arena was renamed the Cool Insuring Arena.

The work on the suites is all but complete. Furniture and quartz countertops in a few of the suites had not been put in as of Wednesday afternoon, but Mead said that would be done in the coming days.

Each of the five new suites has motion sensor lighting and LED strip lighting, which were lit Adirondack Thunder red on Wednesday afternoon. Each suite also has a television mounted on the wall.

Mead said the arena already had one suite built previously, bringing the total number up to six. That suite was leased to Schemerhorn Real Estate Holdings for every Thunder game this season.

“We still need to do the finishing touches before we get our certificate of occupancy,” Mead said.

Of the six total suites, Mead said the arena would ideally lease four to a company and rent out a few of them on an event-by-event basis.

The biggest suite, which has the capacity to hold at least 20 people, is one that will be available on a rental basis.

“This is for more of a party suite or business outing or birthday party,” Mead said. “We wanted to leave at least two (suites) for our fans or businesses to have a nice night out.”

Mead noted that there are suites available in arenas all over the country. He said that for that reason, arena officials felt that it was time to move in that direction. The improvement of fan experience and the increase in revenue made the decision easy for Mead and the Adirondack Civic Center Coalition, which leases the facility from the city of Glens Falls.

He said suite users will have their own private entrance into the suite area, and he is working on securing parking closer to that entrance to contribute to an “elevated experience” for guests.

“We think it will be a fun night out. The view is amazing. You’ll have your own private server and food and drink menus. It will be an upscale night out at Cool Insuring Arena, so we’re excited,” he said.

The arena will be hiring people to service and get the word out about the new suites. Mead said he expects the positions to offer full-time employment.

The suites are situated over sections V and U.

Rozell Industries started the project with the structural steel work. Villnave Construction is putting the finishing touches on the suites. Todd Tierney at Drywall Center in Fort Edward helped with the project, and Alex Johnston at Adirondack Precision Cut Stone put in the floors and will be putting in the countertops for the suites.

Bare Bones Furniture & Mattress will be supplying the furniture for the suites.

Mead said the Adirondack Civic Center Coalition was very supportive in getting the suite project completed. The cost of the project was not disclosed by Mead, but he said it was a significant investment.

Mead said he has verbal commitments for purchase of four of the suites. People have started to notice the new suites now that they are near completion, he said.

“I’d be very surprised if they’re not all sold for next fall,” Mead said.

Jay Mullen is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls, Warren County and crime and courts. You can reach him at 518-742-3224 or jmullen@poststar.com.

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