LAKE PLACID — The Grand Adirondack Hotel, a 1920s hotel originally known as Hotel Marcy, is set to reopen its historic Main Street doors on August 31 after nearly two years of construction and more than 20 million renovation dollars.
The August 31 opening will be what Garrick Smith, the hotel’s general manager, calls a “soft launch.” The hotel bar will be open with food, drink and live music, and all of the hotel’s 92 rooms will be open to guests who book. However, the hotel restaurant is not expected to open until a few weeks later, and the rooftop bar and event space may not open until spring 2023.
Wright Investments, a family business based in Memphis, Tennessee, purchased the hotel in 2018 from Smith’s family, of Northwoods Inn LLC. Smith said his family bought the hotel in 2005. Although the hotel has changed hands and names a few times over the years, and despite a fatal fire that destroyed the left wing of the building in 1966 , he was a Main Street mainstay for more than 93 years. years.
The Grand Adirondack Hotel is hosted under the Marriott Tribute brand.
Bringing history to life
The hotel was teeming with workers on Tuesday as the building neared its final two weeks of work before opening. They were putting the finishing touches on the hotel with decor and paint colors that Smith says are meant to hark back to the “rustic camp style. He thought these renovations were the most extensive the hotel had seen since its inception.
“The hotel has been (re)built to look like it’s been there for 95 years and designed to feel that way. Smith said, adding later, “It’s been really fun watching this thing grow.”
Dave Makarsky, chief operating officer of Wright Investments, said the Post Company, the Brooklyn-based design firm tasked with revamping the look of the hotel, had “lots of homework” to understand the architectural and design elements that would reflect the grand camp style and original look of Hotel Marcy. He said Post helped keep key elements of the hotel’s historic design intact by selecting colors and design elements that complimented that original vision.
Restaurant and bar, rooftop
Another nod to the hotel’s origins, the Grand Adirondack restaurant and bar, formerly known as Cabin Grill and Delta Blue, respectively, will now be called “Marcy” and the “Marcy Bar.” Smith said the restaurant and bar — and the new rooftop bar — are meant to appeal to tourists and locals alike.
Smith said the restaurant will feature “regionally inspired” kitchen with “upscale but casual” to eat. There’s also a private dining room adjoining the restaurant, which Smith and Makarsky say could be used or rented out for wine tastings, family reunions, wedding rehearsal dinners and other private events.
Smith described the Marcy Bar as not only a light dining venue, but also a “collaborative space” for local musicians. He said the Marcy Bar will revive the North Woods Hotel’s open mic night on Wednesdays and feature live music on Fridays and Saturdays. He said the bar had a house band and he had heard a lot of local musicians who “dying” come and play at the bar. Smith is also open to exploring the types of performances that could be staged there.
“I think the beauty of the Marcy Bar is that it will allow us to move on to other genres,” said Smith. “We can bring in a comedian on a weekend, we can bring in a magician and/or an illusionist on a weekend, and layer music of all different genres.”
The rooftop bar, which will have a full bar as well as plates and appetizers to share, overlooks Lake Placid Village and Mirror Lake with views of several Olympic venues. Smith said it’s the only rooftop bar in the Adirondacks he knows of, and they’ve installed a new elevator tower that sends patrons from main street level straight to the rooftop.
Grand Adirondack sales manager Steve Vance said the hotel is already working with some couples who want to rent the space for their wedding events.
“You get a bride here and she usually says, ‘I gotta have it'” he said.
While Smith said the rooftop could be ready for opening in late fall, that date could be pushed back to spring.
The hotel offers rooms with king beds and a sofa bed, as well as double rooms with queen beds and “family suites” which feature both a king bedroom and double queen bedrooms that adjoin a common living area. Vance said part of the hotel’s business model is to host groups and events with transient guests, and he said group bookings are returning after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rooms feature custom artwork by artist James Prosek, and there are custom wardrobes that have enough space for people bringing hiking or skiing gear. Rooms are also pet-friendly for dogs, cats and birds, Smith said — the North Woods hotel has even hosted a red-tailed hawk in the past.
Vance said the cost of the rooms is “dynamic” and can range from $100 a night for small rooms during low season to $600 or $700 a night for larger rooms during peak tourist season.
The Grand Adirondack Hotel will also host national and international officials for the FISU World University Games. Smith said that 100% of the hotel rooms will be dedicated to these groups from January 6 to 23, 2023. Vance said that some FISU delegations are also staying at the hotel in September, and this will act as a “test” event that could give the hotel international visibility.
Like much of the region, Smith said the Greater Adirondack has had staffing issues. He said the hotel had to recruit some of its key employees, like its assistant general manager and restaurant manager, from out of state. It also introduced housing issues – another regional problem – but he said they were lucky to find accommodation.
Makarsky said Wright Investments, a family business approaching its 40th anniversary, is trying to establish a sense of family among its employees, and he hopes this will help the hotel retain and attract employees.
“We hope that as word spreads that our own team members that we have hired so far will become hotel ambassadors and bring one or two team members with them. , (that) we will get there.” said Makarsky.
Smith said that slowly Greater Adirondack is increasing its membership. Vance added that with new housing opportunities on the way, such as MacKenzie Overlook and Fawn Valley on Westvalley Road, more housing options appear to be becoming available.
“It gives us hope” said Smith.