JAMESTOWN – The newly remodeled DoubleTree by Hilton hotel is now open for business in downtown Jamestown.
A special ribbon cutting for the hotel took place Tuesday morning with the developers joining hotel staff and local and state officials to mark the completion of a nearly $20 million development effort that took more than five years to complete.
The Hamister Group out of Buffalo developed the project, which involved a total of $19 million in renovations to a building that was first built in 1979 and which had operated for more then 20 years as a Holiday Inn.
In the mid 00s the hotel became a Ramada and remained in operation until the end of 2013, when the property was purchased by the Hamisters. Since then it has undergone significant renovation to make way for its reopening as a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.
The renovation work included the gutting of most of the internal space as well as replacing much of the exterior, including all windows.
Initially the group had said it would open the hotel under the new franchise in the summer of 2015. However, unanticipated delays brought forward from the State DEC meant that Hamisters would have additional unexpected renovation costs that pushed the schedule back. In addition, the group was also focused on opening another hotel in Niagara Falls – which reportedly contributed to the delay.
The cost of the project was covered by both public and private investments. Highlighting the public funding for the project was $2.4 million in state money that came out of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant the city received in 2016.
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency also provided the project with a sales tax exemption valued at $432,000, a 15-year payment in lieu of tax agreement equating to $1.9 million and a $900,000 Al Tech loan. The project also received an additional $950,000 in loans from the Western Region Corporation Downtown Revitalization Loan Fund, the Greater Jamestown Zone Capitol Corporation, and the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.
The 147-room hotel redevelopment project includes a 4,100-square-foot ball conference room for meetings and receptions of up to 375 guests and a pub and restaurant known as Pearl City Hops.
Currently the operation employs 32 staff members and plans to exceed 50 during the busier summer season.