$1.3 million grant awarded for Margaretville Best Western
By Joe Moskowitz
A nine-year-old dormant plan to bring additional lodging units to the Margaretville area is very much alive again thanks to a whopping $1.3 million grant from the New York State Southern Tier Economic Development Council as part of $700 million in economic-development grants that will soon be distributed statewide.
Margaretville Lodging LLC, the company that owns the Margaretville Motel, the Margaretville Mountain Inn, and two other facilities in Margaretville, will now attempt to restart construction of a 62-unit motel on the Route 28 site of the present Margaretville Motel.
Margaretville Lodging Chief Executive Officer Carol Molnar, and her husband Peter, of Margaretville have been working on plans to construct the motel since 2005.
With all of the necessary building approvals in hand, the Molnars ran into the problem of financing the then $5.8 million project. When the global economic crisis hit in 2008, the already difficult task of lining up the money became impossible. But last week, the Molnars got a big, deep pocketed, influential partner by way of the State of New York.
Peter Molnar told the News Monday that the state’s confidence in the project, and in him and his wife, should make it easier to obtain financing. Molnar said that the motel is now projected to cost about $6.8 million.
Molnar said that work could begin immediately after all of the financing is in place. The construction should take about a year and he is hoping to be in business sometime in 2015.
The plan calls for the current Margaretville Motel on Route 28 to be torn down and replaced with a 62-room limited Best Western Motel. The term “limited” is used because the motel would not have a restaurant, but it would include all the other amenities one might expect, including meeting rooms, a fitness room, and an indoor swimming pool.
Lack of lodging
Molnar said the new facility would address the acute lack of lodging space in the area. He also said the motel would help the area’s economy, even during the construction phase, because as many as 100 local workers would build the hotel. Once open, depending on the season, 20 to 40 people would have full or part-time jobs.
Molnar went on to talk about how the multiplier effect money spent by tourists would boost the local economy. He also said that the facility will be able to handle tour buses so that people who may take buses to ski at Belleayre, or go on the Delaware and Ulster Rail Road, won’t have to stay in Oneonta or Kingston.
He added that the Best Western franchise will help people who are looking for rooms because he said it will give tourists around the world an idea of what they are getting, and at a moderate price. He went on to say that the size of the grant means that he and Carol are obligated to the State of New York and to local residents to make the facility into something worthy of such a large investment.
Read about other local recipients of Southern Tier grants in this on-line edition.