Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, Jefferson County. The Hotel is a prime lodging and conference facility situated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River that was awarded $3 million in Rounds 1 and 3 of the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council initiative and leveraged more than $20 million in private investment. The Hotel creates 90 new jobs in the North Country.
"Today, the North Country is gaining a tremendous asset to attract tourism and generate economy activity in the region," Governor Cuomo said. "The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel will help draw and retain visitors to the North Country for years to come, and I am proud that the State was able to play a role in bringing this important project to fruition. Tourism is a major driver for the Upstate economy, and this is another example of how we are working to grow the industry and create new opportunities for New Yorkers in the region."
The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel features a 105 deluxe guest rooms and suites, many with river views and patios, and will serve the wide ranging lodging, dining and meeting needs of couples, business professionals, conferences, weddings, avid boaters and tour groups visiting the 1000 Islands region. The Hotel will create 90 jobs, generate consumer spending and promote additional business growth in the 1000 Islands region, including Clayton.
"The 1000 Islands region is a very popular destination. Clayton is known as one of America's best small towns; it is the perfect spot for the hotel. Our market study revealed high demand for a property like the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel," said David Hart, president and CEO, of Hart Hotels. "Our goal was to construct an elegant, comfortable and highly enjoyable destination for our guests. The Harbor Hotel will attract a variety of travelers offering a first class regional experience that will draw them back year after year.
"The project took three years to plan, construct and open. We could not have completed the project without the assistance from the Clayton community, the Jefferson County IDA, and the grant funding provided by Empire State Development," said Peter Krog, CEO of The Krog Corp.
Hotel services and amenities, which aim to gain AAA Four Diamond accreditation, include a professional concierge to assist guests with business and leisure planning and activities; nightly turndown service; an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi; and a fully-equipped fitness center and business center. The Hotel has over 6,000 square feet of conference and banquet space, including a grand ballroom, breakout meeting space and a riverside pre-function area. In addition, the Hotel features dining at the Seaway Grille and the 1000 Islands Bar, plus spectacular views and fire pits on the Riverside Patio.
To support this tourism destination project, Empire State Development provided $3 million through the NCREDC. The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, a Regional Council priority project, is consistent with the NCREDC's strategic plan to establish a tourism infrastructure that will serve as a driver to diversify the region's economy.?
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "This Regional Council priority project will create a tourism destination and be an economic driver for the Clayton community and the North Country. It's exciting to see a vacant parcel of land be transformed into a top-notch vacation getaway that will host an influx of people and allow them to experience the very best of the Thousand Islands."
Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the Regional Council said, "The ribbon cutting for the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel represents another opportunity for the North Country to tap into the tourism market of more than 120 million people who live within a day's drive of the North Country, and leverage the 200 miles of international border connecting New York and Canada. With the Governor's support of a new approach to public-private investment to drive job growth, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council is executing on the strategic plan it developed with broad public participation and well on the way to attaining a key component in our vision to activate tourism as a driver to diversify our economies."
Gary Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council said, "The opening of this hotel is a milestone in the implementation of our regional plan for transforming the North Country economy. Our tourism economy requires new and updated accommodations and attractions which can maintain and grow our status as a world class destination for decades to come. This hotel is part of that strategy for the Thousand Islands, and has prompted other new hotel developments in the Adirondacks. Congratulations to the developers, and special thanks to Governor Cuomo for his continued support. Onward and upward for destination tourism development across the North Country!"
The hotel was built on the former Frink America property, a snowplow factory site that was abandoned, but has been successfully remediated by the Town of Clayton and the Clayton Local Development Corporation under the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). The Jefferson County IDA also provided a 15 year PILOT along with sales tax and a mortgage recording tax exemption.
State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Tourism is the lifeblood of the Thousand Islands economy, and projects like this play the very important role of inviting more visitors from across New York State, our country and the world, to rediscover this beautiful region. Not only that, but they also help to create and support jobs that northern New York needs. I would like to congratulate all the individuals who worked together to make this project possible, and wish the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel the best of luck in its first season."
Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, "As a member of the North Country Regional Economic Council, I am proud to have supported this project and I want to thank the Council and the Governor for their full support of this initiative. This hotel will be a tremendous asset to Clayton and the Thousand Islands region. It will bolster our already strong tourist economy and serve to help introduce many people from around the country and the world to this beautiful area. It will also provide much needed jobs to the area, and year round accommodations and opportunities for the community.?"
Town of Clayton Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said, "The ribbon cutting and opening brings to fruition 10 years of work by the entire Clayton Community, which included thousands of volunteer hours by the Clayton Local Development Corporations Frink Redevelopment Committee. The communities' vision will bring positive change and economic benefits to the region for decades. We want to thank both, Peter Krog and David Hart and their hard working staff as well as our partners in the surrounding communities, Jefferson County, JCIDA, the Department of State, Northern Boarder Regional Commission, Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Parks Recreation & Historical Preservation and Governor Cuomo's Empire State Development Corporation. This was a complex project and everyone worked tirelessly to bring it to a successful opening."
Mayor of Clayton Norma Zimmer said, "The Clayton community has been eagerly awaiting the opening of the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. The resort facility, now complete, has a tremendous wow factor and will not only provide amenities to our local residents but will also bring in new visitors to Clayton, helping to showcase the beautiful 1000 Islands region to the world. I applaud all the partners involved that have brought this destination hotel to the North Country and look forward to the boost it will provide our tourism economy this summer and year-round."
Jefferson County IDA CEO Don Alexander said, "This project is an example of how deliberate action and attention to detail creates an end product that is beautiful in structure and meshes with the overall spirit of the area. Combined with job creation and regional benefits to tourism, the Harbor Hotel will create ripple effects throughout the local economy, the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is a wonderful addition to Jefferson County."
About Hart Hotels
Hart Hotels is a Hospitality Management Company located in Buffalo, New York. The company operates eleven hotels including the Four Diamond rated Harbor Hotels located in Portland, Maine and Watkins Glen, New York. Hart Hotels operates five hotels in the greater Buffalo area. Other managed properties include two hotels in the Finger Lakes region of New York State in Auburn and Ithaca and the Green Mountain Suites hotel located in South Burlington, Vermont. For more information, visit www.harthotels.com.
About The Krog Corp
The Krog Corp, located in Orchard Park, New York is a design-build contractor and developer working throughout upstate New York. Krog specializes in hospitality projects, medical and general office buildings and industrial and distribution facilities with a broad resume that includes educational projects, multi-unit housing, adaptive re-use, historic restoration and parking structures. For more information, visit www.krogcorp.com.
To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For more information about the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, please visit www.northcountryopenforbusiness.com.