LAKE GEORGE — The long-awaited Marriott hotel in Lake George opened its doors Monday, and community leaders hope the more than $26 million project will make the area a year-round destination.
About 100 people gathered to celebrate the opening of the six-story, 119-room Courtyard Lake George by Marriott International. It has been planned for about five years.
Bookings are strong, according to General Manager Taylor Hall.
“We are ramping up to be a full hotel as of Friday,” she said.
Developer David Kenny said Lake George Mayor Robert Blais approached him with the idea.
“He contacted me five years ago and said, ‘Let’s bring a hotel like this to New York,’” he said.
Kenny said it was a team effort of town and village officials that helped get the project through the approval process and then construction.
The village changed zoning to allow a six-story building, and there was much discussion over a design that would fit in with the character of the village. The design features stone with some timber accents.
Kenny’s business partner, Frank Dittrich, agreed that the development of the hotel was a community-wide effort.
“Obviously, it took a lot of support to get this project up and off the ground,” he said.
The rooms offer views of either the lake or the mountains. The standard room is about 400 to 450 square feet and features two king-sized beds, according to Melissa Carter, director of sales and marketing.
Room prices vary based on the season. A typical room would go for $229 per night in the peak of August. During the off-season, that price could drop to around $139 per night, she said.
The hotel also features an indoor pool and fitness center.
The Bistro features food and beverage items, including Starbucks coffee. A full-service restaurant is planned for 2017.
There are three meeting rooms and a variety of small spaces inside the hotel where people can gather, Carter said.
The main entrance to the hotel and a parking garage is located off Amherst Street.
Still under construction are a rooftop terrace and two ballrooms that are about 5,000 square feet and can host up to 400 guests for weddings, social gathering and business retreats. The rooftop space can also be used for cocktail parties, Hall said.
Urgo Resorts is managing the property.
Blais said he is excited that opening day has finally come. The hotel is a big asset to Lake George for visitors, he said.
“This is the kind of facility that they look for. This is the type of facility that they deserve. And now this is the type of facility that we have,” he said.
The business will employ about 40 to 60 year-round employees, and will have other part-time employees, Blais said.
More than just the rooms, Blais said the conference rooms will help draw business groups in addition to leisure travelers.
Michael Consuelo, executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber already has been reaching out to attract that conference business. The additional visitors may convince other local restaurants and business to stay open longer, he added.
Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said the additional assessed value will help the tax base. The conference business is key.
“We’ll start growing our shoulder season and bring people here. It’s beautiful year-round here. It’s going to help us,” he said.