June 30--LAKE GEORGE -- Design features of the new Courtyard by Marriott are taking longer than expected to win approval by Marriott International Inc., according to David Kenny, one of the developers behind the project.
"The building is pretty much complete," Kenny said this week. "We did a lot more on the first floor --with the restaurant space and the bar and a lot of other things -- that we weren't originally going to do."
As a result, the new hotel likely won't open until August, and possibly not until mid-August, Kenny said.
Previously, Kenny said he hoped to have the hotel open by July 1. Because Marriott must sign off on all elements, to ensure it complies with the Courtyard brand, the "custom" design features of the Lake George location have been slow in coming, Kenny said.
"The first floor's a lot different than a typical Marriott Courtyard. ... It's not a Marriott design," he said. The parking garage, and a lobby area that's double the size of a typical Courtyard hotel, are among the features Marriott is processing.
The company is taking reservations for the new hotel on its website, though the earliest reservations can be booked, as of Wednesday, was Aug. 18.
Finishing work has been frustrating at Canada Street's other major hotel upgrade for 2016, as well: the Surfside on the Lake Resort, located just north of the Marriott. Shipping delays for certain construction materials and furnishings have caused the expansion -- 50 luxury rooms in a new, two-story structure that also features a parking garage -- to open without all of the planned amenities, said owner Salim Amersi.
Rooms are being rented in the new structure, but at a slightly discounted rate, and only after visitors are made aware finishing touches are in process, Amersi said.
"It's not fun working this way," he said. "It's very stressful. It's been challenging."
The exterior of the building is also awaiting final touches, including awnings that are expected to be installed in the coming days, Amersi said.
The construction delays haven't caused many problems, mainly because of a cooperative effort between the village, the hotel owners and the school district, said Mayor Robert Blais.
"We had some parking problems when school was in session because the high school is located immediately between the two (hotel projects)," Blais said. The high school doesn't have its own on-site parking, so construction workers were competing for space with teachers and students.
"But I have to say that (Amersi) and (Kenny) and the school officials and the village all worked together to solve it," Blais added. "For a few weeks there, when we started enforcing our meters, we offered the construction workers a parking permit by the week, same as we do the Americade folks."
Blais said the village has fielded a lot of questions from visitors wanting to know when the new Marriott will open, as this month is the first time many have seen the building.
Read Scott Donnelly's blog, Business Connection, at Poststar.com
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