Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gideon Putnam Hotel renovation project underway by Delaware North, Post Star, 3/24/09

With all the fancy renovations going on to the Gideon Putnam Hotel we're sure their guests would enjoy swimming at the Victoria Pool on the many hot days in June as well as July and August.

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The New Deal has a fresh coat of paint.The first phase of a multi-million dollar renovation project in the Saratoga Spa State Park is nearing completion, with the Gideon Putnam Hotel getting ready to celebrate its 75th birthday with a number of improvements."Basically, the work will be done in four phases," said Tim Smith, general manager of the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center.The first phase of renovations includes improvements to the hotel lobby, guest rooms, the spa, the gift shop and the Georgian Room Restaurant -- which has been renamed "Putnam's" in honor of the 18th century Saratoga Springs town planner.
The first phase of improvements cost about $1 million and is part of a 20-year plan that will see nearly $20 million spent on refurbishing the 120-room hotel, conference center and Roosevelt Bath.Delaware North Companies was awarded a 20-year lease to operate the buildings on the state-owned 2,300-acre Saratoga Spa State Park in January 2008.
The park buildings were constructed in the 1930s and signified one of the first major projects completed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.Roosevelt, who served four years as governor of New York prior to his 12 years in The White House, targeted the park as a location to create a European-style spa in America.The Roosevelt Spa received national notoriety in 2007 when New York Post reporter Fred Dicker reported the baths, which were thought to be drawn from pure mineral water, were actually being diluted with city tap water.Due to the corrosive nature of the mineral water, the heating units were unable to function properly, and it was revealed the bathhouse was using heated tap water to bring the mineral water up to bath temperatures.
After then-Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno called the dilution of the mineral water "a serious fraud," a $55,000 engineering study was performed, and two of the 42 baths are now served by a $98,000 customized heating system.Water for the remaining tubs is still warmed to 97 degrees with tap water, but Smith said there are discussions under way to try and provide more tubs with warm, pure mineral water."We haven't made any long-term decisions yet, but we are working with the state," Smith said. "My understanding is we're looking at two more (tubs) that I believe will be installed within the next couple of months," he said.
The next phase of improvements will begin in late 2009 or early 2010 and will focus on the Gideon Putnam Hotel infrastructure, including boiler systems and plumbing."Typically, with a historical hotel, you have to go back in and replace the inner workings of the property," Smith said.

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