PAUL SMITHS – For decades Paul Smith’s College and the Saranac Hotel in Saranac Lake have been synonymous, with the school running the accommodation facility as a full-service hotel and learning center in the middle of the village.
The relationship began in 1961 when the college took over the 88-room hotel. The college’s hotel management and culinary programs matched the needs of the inn and its clientele.
The students were educated 10 miles away on campus and then used this knowledge in a real environment at the hotel. However, that relationship ended in 2007 when Paul Smith sold the Saranac Hotel to the Arora family, who in turn sold it to Roedel Companies, based in New Hampshire in 2013.
The Roedel family has long-standing ties to Lake Saranac: their mother was born and raised in the village, and their grandfather was a doctor who treated patients with tuberculosis. The Roedels have embarked on a $ 30 million relaunch of the Saranac Hotel in an attempt to restore the property to its lost grandeur, but with modern resort amenities.
The hotel’s design roots go back to Davanzati Palace in Florence, Italy. Now, with Paul Smith’s understanding of the hotel’s importance to the community’s economy, the two entities are set to partner again, according to a press release.
As part of the restoration of the hotel, the school will receive a conference room on the ground floor, which will be named Paul Smith’s College Room.
The hotel property also intends to name other rooms.
“It’s important for us to honor this relationship that dates back approximately five decades,” said Fred Roedel, Chief Financial Officer. “Looking at the present and the future, I think it’s a good time for both sides to re-engage. It’s a small start, but it’s still a start. We are proud that one of our conference rooms is named after Paul Smith’s College.
As the “new” Saranac hotel seeks to connect with the Adirondacks and the Tri-Lakes region, Roedel added that other rooms in the hotel will also have names endemic to the region.
Official nominating and opening events are being considered for the weekend of October 23-24 and will involve former Paul Smith students who worked at the Saranac Hotel.