BY R.J. DELUKE
Plans for yet another hotel in Saratoga
Springs will move forward this summer on the
site of the former Weathervane Restaurant on
South Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
Brian Straughter, vice president of Turf
Hotels, the group that will oversee construction
of a four-story Homewood Suites hotel
on the property. The restaurant building was
demolished in early July.
The project first came to light a couple of
years ago. Without much word from then until
now, there was speculation as to whether the
project was still viable.
“We’re moving 100 percent forward,” said
When Saratoga Springs lost its bid to land a
state-approved, full-fledged casino–a project
that was awarded to Schenectady–there was
speculation some development proposals in
the area would not proceed. The casino was
seen as an enticement for even more tourists,
all year around.
Straughter said his group developed the idea “long before the state started talking
about a casino. It had no bearing on it.”
He said the project was slowed by a couple
factors: the severity of the 2014-15 winter and
“we had another project going on. We’re a small
company and can’t do a lot at once.”
“We work on this project every week,”
Straughter said. “There’s so much that goes
into it. We want to make sure there are no
Once the buildings are leveled, site work
will commence for the hotel, which was estimated
to cost about $10 million in 2013.
Straughter said they also have design review
approval from the city and the architect,
Dan Bounds of Memphis, is still doing some
“We’re trying to figure out how to be as
‘green’ as possible,” said Straughter.
Thus far, a general contractor has not been
“A bunch of people want to build it,” he
noted. “You can only pick one.”
The end result, he said, “will be a gorgeous
Homewood Suites offers extended stay
rooms. It will have over 100 suites.
Straughter said while there is much work to
be done, there is a chance that actual construction
could begin before the end of the years. He
and his partner, Michael Hoffman, are awaiting
building plans so they can be submitted to
obtain the building permit.
“The property wasn’t zoned for a hotel, so
there was a lot of work we had to do to see if
we even had a viable project,” said Straughter.
A new Embassy Suites Hotel opened this year in Congress Plaza and Saratoga Casino
and Raceway just broke ground on a new hotel.
The Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga
Springs is undergoing a major face lift and
expansion, and two hotels on Lake Avenue
were built within the last couple years.
Still, Straughter is undaunted.
“We’re confident in our ability to manage
hotels and run hotels,” he said. An extended
stay hotel “is a particular niche in the market.
We’re going for that extended stay market.”
He added, “Saratoga is a great city. It’s no
longer ‘the summer place to be.’ It’s the place