Sagamore Warming Up for Winter
Last May, when Tom Guay, the Sagamore’s general manager, announced the hotel would re-open in the off-season for the first time since 2008, few gave any thought to how the Sagamore would attract the out-of-town guests that will help enliven Bolton Landing in the dark months and draw residents out of their houses and across the bridge.
The hotel’s owners and managers, though, apparently have given the matter plenty of thought, and last week Guay revealed details of their plans.
The hotel will not merely keep its lights on and doors open. Building upon its reputation as a summer resort, the Sagamore has positioned itself to become a popular winter destination.
Among the attractions: overlooking the lake, a “Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge” on the terrace above the veranda, which will be installed in January and be open on the weekends of January 24 and January 31.
“The ice bar is a huge hit at the Samoset, Ocean Properties’ hotel in Rockport, Maine and once the crews have completed construction of the ice bar there, they’ll come here and erect one on the Veranda Terrace,” said Guay.
Constructed from 36,000 pounds of ice, the lounge will consist of a frozen back bar, counter and even stools, although the stools will be draped with furs. In addition to drinks appropriate to the frozen north, both chilled and hot, the ice bar will feature foods such as oysters, shrimp and lobster served on beds of snow.
The hotel will maintain its current schedule through December 2, when it will close for three weeks before re-opening for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Having attracted so many families during the summer, the Sagamore appears to be making a concerted effort to bring them back together, and to the hotel, for the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, spa and ski packages are all available. Family activities have been planned for every weekend, among them, culinary demonstrations, wine tastings, history tours, bonfires, and, in the Recreation Center, Wiffle ball and mini-golf.
When the hotel re-opens on Christmas Eve, guests entering the lobby will be greeted by a super-sized gingerbread house, among the largest in the hotel’s history.
According to Guay, local residents will especially appreciate the theme of this year’s New Year’s Eve party: “Van Winkle’s is Back,” chosen to commemorate the hotel’s nightclub of the 1980s. (Though festive attire is encouraged, it’s not a costume party, so don’t feel compelled to dress in era-specific finery, Guay said.) Music will be provided by the New York City Players.
The hotel will be open for Presidents Week and remain open every weekend until full, seven days a week operations resume in the spring.
“Staying open is the best thing possible,” said Guay. “It’s good for the hotel, the community and the staff. It’s a win-win-win scenario.”
Guay attributes the decision to re-open the hotel as a year round resort in part to the completion of renovations, which were started after Ocean Properties purchased the hotel in 2008.
But, he said, the decision was also supported by a renewed confidence in the nation’s economic prospects, as well as the increasing popularity of the hotel.
“The word is out: everyone wants to be here; that’s what the guests tell me,” said Guay.