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Workers beginning to lay out the landscaping and sidewalks outside the future Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Workers beginning to lay out the landscaping and sidewalks outside the future Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Luxury hotel in Thousand Islands nears completion

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The luxury hotel in Clayton is getting close to completion. And local officials hope it will draw a new kind of tourist to the region.

Two Buffalo-area developers are building the 105-room Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel on a former hazardous waste site right on the St. Lawrence River.

The new construction is transforming Clayton's waterfront.

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The far side of the hotel sits right along the St. Lawrence River, in the heart of the Thousands Islands busiest stretch. Photo: David Sommerstein.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Last week, workers were pouring gravel and grading the soil as they prepare to lay sidewalk and landscaping outside the hotel.

Less than a decade ago, this was a toxic Superfund site, the place where Frink America once manufactured snowplows.

Those jobs are long gone. But Hart Hotels, which owns the facility, held interviews for 130 new jobs last month. And local officials hope this four-story building - the first actual hotel in the village – will become a destination and create more jobs.

Clayton town supervisor Justin Taylor says the hotel is looking great. "I go over every week. I tour it. They’re starting to put the bar together now. In the rooms, the doors are going on. The vanities are going in. It’s coming together very nicely. We’re very excited about it."

Taylor says the facility will have a ballroom for weddings and a conference center. He says Hart Hotels is already reaching out nationally for potential conferences.

Taylor says that kind of business, and the luxury rooms with sweeping views of the St. Lawrence, will appeal to a new kind of tourist. "Folks that have come to the Thousand Islands for years have come here to go fishing and to stay at their camps or their cottages on the islands or the waterfront," says Taylor. "I think this will bring a whole new visitor to the Thousand Islands."

A public riverwalk and a dock with 52 slips are also built into the footprint of the hotel site.

Developers are aiming to open the hotel this summer. One foreman on the construction site said that could be as early as the July 4th weekend.

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