Beyond Room Occupancy: Hotel Saranac's Economic Impact

AUGUST 15, 2017

Contact: Jim Fennell
Tel: 603-647-8606

Rebirth of Iconic Hotel is Expected to Provide a Major Boost to Region’s Economy

WILTON, NH – The sight of hundreds of people lining up at a recent job fair to apply for the 70 or so jobs needed to be filled when Hotel Saranac, Curio Collection by Hilton re-opens, makes clear the economic impact of the hotel’s rebirth.

Providing jobs, however, only explains part of what the iconic hotel means to the village of Saranac Lake, N.Y.
By attracting an estimated 50,000 guests annually, the last remaining of nearly 20 grand hotels that once populated the region will serve as a much-needed economic driver for Saranac Lake. Hotel Saranac is expected to generate $11 million in annual visitor spending.

The estimate of hotel guests is based on past room occupancy of Hotel Saranac, which has traditionally been at 60 percent. The average daily visitor spend is based on the 2006 "Saranac Lake Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy" report by the economic development firm Camoin Associates.

In that report, which was prepared for the Village of Saranac Lake and the towns of Harrietstown, North Elba and St. Armand, the estimated daily spend of a visitor staying one or more nights was $198.38. When you adjust for inflation, that spend would equal $231.11 in 2017.

Roedel Companies bought Hotel Saranac in 2013 and has invested more than $30 million into an extensive renovation and preservation of this historic hotel which first opened its doors in 1927.

The goal is to restore Hotel Saranac’s place as one of the grand hotels of the Adirondacks, serving as a stylish basecamp for tourists exploring the Adirondacks and a social hub of this micropolitan village where cultured comforts, culinary delights and stellar service reign.

"We believed that restoring Hotel Saranac would be a boon to Saranac Lake," says Fred Roedel III, Chief Financial Officer for Roedel Companies. "This hotel has been such an integral part of this community for so long. To get the chance to bring it back has made this a project we cherish."

The re-envisioning of the hotel is also expected to address a tourism concern for the Adirondacks – lack of appeal to the economically influential Millennials. In 2015 polling of Millennials, 60 percent sought adventure or unexpected experiences, but 76 percent also stated a desire to get into local culture, history or attractions. The study, conducted on behalf of the Wild Center, indicated many Millennials are willing to stay several nights if there is enough variety.

Hotel Saranac, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is included among the Historic Hotels of America, harkens back to the Gilded Age when Saranac Lake was world renowned for its treatment of tuberculosis. The hotel combines that history with superior amenities.

An upscale restaurant (Campfire Adirondack Grill + Bar), a lavish spa (Ampersand Salon and Spa) and a curated gift shop (Academy & Main) featuring local products and cosmopolitan finds are part of that fusion. The names of each have local ties, while the food and even the ingredients used in the spa reflect the Adirondacks.

In an official statement to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise following a May tour of the hotel, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said "restoring the iconic Hotel Saranac is essential to the future growth and tourism in the North Country. The state has been an instrumental partner in this project since day one, and today’s tour of construction progress gave me renewed confidence that this architectural gem will continue to serve as a top destination for decades to come."

The trickle down of increased tourism is considerable.

The direct impact will be felt not only by the hotel but other area businesses, including restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. Businesses will profit and more tax revenue will be generated. Suppliers will feel the indirect effect as consumers buy more products and services.

Even before the hotel opens its door, those direct and indirect impacts were measureable. Local workers found jobs during construction and out of town crews added to the economy with their extended stays.
In a recent article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Kevin Knobloch, operations directions for JNK Home Enterprises of Glens Falls, N.Y., one of the subcontractors, said 20 of the 50 employees his company has used on the job are local. In addition, he said JNK rented six homes in the area to house employees travelling from out of town.

"We visit the restaurants and stores on a daily basis," Knobloch said in the article.

Wait until the guests start arriving.

About Roedel Companies
Roedel Companies has 50 years of experience developing, constructing, managing and designing hotels. They own and operate hotels throughout the eastern United States, including a growing portfolio of nationally branded and independent hotels such as Hilton Garden Inns, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Courtyard by Marriott and Hotel Saranac. For more information, visit