CELORON – It may well be a historic occasion for not only the Village of Celoron, but Chautauqua County, with the grand opening Thursday of the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, only the third Harbor Hotel in New York.
Dignitaries gathered in the shadow of Chautauqua Lake to cut the ribbon and share the celebration with the community.
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said the hotel only adds to the area, calling Chautauqua Lake “truly a gem…”
The 135-room resort is a massive step forward for Celoron, Chautauqua County and the region, Borrello said.
“Today we celebrate this grand opening of this grand hotel. This is the single largest investment in hospitality ever in Chautauqua County at nearly $40 Million. This is a huge step forward for us. it really is a quantum leap for Chautauqua County and for Chautauqua Lake,” he said. He added the hotel is an investment “in ourselves.”
Lisa Vanstrom, representing State Sen. Catharine Young, said the project will foster economic development and bring people into the community.
“This is a landmark day for our community,” she said on behalf of Young.
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell said the hotel will, itself, become a tourist destination because of its beauty.
“I was so excited about this hotel opening I came here at exactly 3 p.m. last week and this place was just bustling,” he said.
“We are seeing a true tourism economic revival and this is the capstone of that process,” Goodell said. “This hotel itself is so incredible that the hotel is and will continue to be a tourist destination in and of itself.”
Katrina Fuller, representing Congressman Tom Reed, presented the hotel officials with a Congressional Proclamation.
Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost said the village has been tireless in its efforts to revitalize the water front.
“This village is moving ahead. There’s more changes to come and this is a great asset to the village and to the county,” he said.
An American Flag was donated to the hotel on behalf of all the county’s veterans.The other two Harbor Hotels in New York are in Watkins Glenn and Thousand Islands.
The hotel is located on a nine-acre parcel that was once home to the Celoron Amusement Park, which closed in 1962. The design of the hotel pays homage to the history of the Village of Celoron, including the amusement park and comedy great Lucille Ball, who was born in the community,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a released statement.
The Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, also includes dining at Lake House Tap & Grille with a large patio overlooking the lake, indoor and outdoor pools, a A state-of-the-art fitness center and a 350-person capacity ballroom and conference center for weddings, business meetings, and special events.
The property also boasts a lakeside Carousel Bar that pays tribute to the grand carousels of yesteryear. The bar is connected by footbridge to Sunset Island offering an unparalleled setting for wedding ceremonies, private receptions, and performances.
With the opening of the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, Hart Hotels Inc. and Krog Group have completed one of the largest private sector fueled, tourism-based developments to take place in Chautauqua County, Cuomo said.
David Hart, President and CEO of Buffalo-based Hart Hotels, Inc., said, “We are thrilled to open Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, the third New York State hotel in our Harbor Hotel Collection, and bring world-class, waterfront accommodations and state-of-the-art conference facilities to the region. As we’ve seen in other markets, our hotel guests will also patronize local attractions, shops, and restaurants creating significant synergistic economic activity. We thank New York State for helping make this project a reality and for investing in the future of Chautauqua County and its residents.”
WNYNewsNow’s Rory Pollaro and Justin Gould contributed to this report.