June 27, 2013 - The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) today joined Buffalo-based developers Krog Corp. and Hart Hotels for the official groundbreaking of the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Jefferson County. The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel was awarded $2.25 million in Round I of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative, leveraging more than $20 million in private investment and creating 90 new jobs in the North Country. The hotel project, a Regional Council priority project, is consistent with the NCREDC's strategic plan to establish a tourism infrastructure that will serve as a driver to diversify the region's economy.
"Tourism diversifies the North Country economy and is well-positioned to create a more immediate return on investment than many other industries can," said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the Regional Council. "In addition to new jobs at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel, this project strengthens a key gateway community for New York's connection to Canada. Transformational investments like this across the region are contributing towards global recognition of the North Country as one of the special places on the planet to visit, live, work and study."
"The construction of this major new hotel is an historic advancement for tourism development in the North Country, which is a top element of the Regional Economic Development Plan," said Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Regional Council. "We were very pleased to make this project a priority and help move it forward and now look forward to its completion."
The 105 room full service boutique hotel will be situated on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Many of the guest rooms will have river views and patios. The Seaway Grille, 1000 Islands Bar and riverfront patio will offer indoor and outdoor waterside dining. The hotel ballroom will have capacity for 300 attendees for social functions and meetings. Recreation facilities will include an indoor swimming pool and fitness center. A business center and full time concierge will assist guests with business and leisure planning and activities. The hotel will be built to achieve an AAA Four Diamond rating.
The Thousand Islands region and specifically Clayton, New York provide the perfect setting for expansion of the Harbor Hotel brand. This new destination hotel will serve the wide ranging lodging, dining and meeting needs of the many travelers that already visit the region. Additionally the year round operation, waterside location and array of services of the Harbor Hotel will bring new business to the region. The hotel will be a job creator and will generate consumer spending at the hotel, in the Clayton community and generally in the 1000 Islands Region.
"We are excited to be developing this property and look forward to its' opening in the summer of 2014" said Peter Krog, CEO of The Krog Corp and David Hart President & CEO of Hart Hotels, Inc.
The hotel is being built on the former Frink America property, a snowplow factory site that was abandoned, but has been successfully remediated by the Town of Clayton and the Clayton Local Development Corporation under the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). A new transient dock facility is also under development at the river's edge proximate to the hotel, which will serve the needs of the many boating enthusiasts that enjoy the 1000 Island Region.
In 2011, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans. As part of that process, Empire State Development provided $2.25 million through the NCREDC, leveraging more than $20 million in private investment.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams, "ESD is pleased to support this North Country Regional Economic Development priority project, especially as the tourism sector is a major driver of the region's economy. The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel project will create nearly 100 new jobs, and will have a tremendous impact on the Clayton community as the hotel gains traction as a tourist destination. We congratulate Krog Corp., Hart Hotels and all our partners in this project on today's groundbreaking and look forward to the hotel's opening in 2014!"
In anticipation of hotel project completion, the community has seen additional tourism investments, including the opening of a miniature golf course in 2012, construction of a distillery, and the planned construction of a transient marina.
Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Tourism is the lifeblood of the Thousand Islands economy, and projects like this serve to invite more visitors from across the region and around the world to rediscover this beautiful region. We welcome them, and we welcome the new jobs this project will create."
Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, "The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel will provide the Clayton community the amenities necessary to fully capitalize on the years of planning and re-investment in its downtown. This project will transform the economy - supporting year-round activity, while keeping with its traditions of river focused tourism and culture."
Clayton Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said, "Any time a small local government like the Town of Clayton takes on a major project like this, collaboration is essential. We've benefited from the help of many partners, including the Clayton Local Development Corporation (CLDC), the Village of Clayton, Jefferson County, the Development Authority of the North Country, the State Department of Health, DEC and Empire State Development on this project. Our guiding principles were to place a majority of the property back on the tax roll, provide year-round employment, create a destination-in this case the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel-for our regions visitors and maintain waterfront access with the 1,254-foot Frink Riverwalk and soon to be constructed 56 slip transient docking facility. We feel all four goals are being met. The Clayton Community and the region will benefit from this for decades to come."
Clayton LDC Chairman Larry Aubertine said, "Ten years ago the local community began with a contaminated piece of waterfront property and a vision that this property would transform Clayton and the 1000 Islands into a tourist destination that reflected the golden age of tourism in the region. The support and collaboration between local and state partners have made this vision a reality."
The Krog Corp. is a design-build contractor and developer working throughout Upstate New York. Krog specializes in hospitality projects, medical and general office buildings, and industrial and distribution facilities with a broad resume that includes educational projects, multi-unit housing, adaptive resource, historic restoration and parking structures.
About Hart Hotels Inc.
The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel will join The Portland Harbor Hotel and the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel as members of the Harbor Hotel collection of hotels. Hart Hotels has co developed, owns an interest in and manages each of these properties. Hart Hotels has a 27 year history of developing, owning and operating hotels. Their current portfolio totals thirteen hotels in four states with concentrations in Western and Central New York, the greater Boston area, Portland, Maine and Burlington, Vermont. www.harthotels.com.