The Long Wait Pays Off
“I can’t believe it’s been over five years.” Mark Hamister, Chairman and CEO of Hamister Group LLC. spoke at the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, March 5th about completing the vision of a DoubleTree Hotel at 150 W. 4th Street in downtown Jamestown.
Mayor Sam Teresi reminisced about walking through the neglected space and his first thoughts on the project. “How are we ever going to get this place back in shape? But this is terrific…and what an investment.” It was Teresi and Vince DeJoy, Director of Development for the City of Jamestown, who reached out to the Hamister Group with the idea of revitalizing the hotel almost six years ago. The entire building was gutted, with plumbing being the biggest issue causing setbacks. The outcome is essentially a brand-new hotel.
“Patience has been a virtue for this twenty-million-dollar dream,” Teresi said.
Mayor Teresi thanked all the contributors who brought the idea to fruition, including Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to development in the region, the Gebby Foundation, Empire State Development, and Evans Bank as the mortgage holder. Empire State Development contributed the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) Grant for $2.4 million with an additional grant for $200,000. According to DeJoy, loans from various public lending authorities totaled $1.5 million.
Hamister Group LLC developed the project as, “A center of hospitality in the center of Jamestown.” The former Holiday Inn, and briefly Ramada, was in bad shape for many years, but has been completely remodeled and feels on-trend and inviting. What was dark and more traditional is now an open concept floor plan, complete with modern industrial lighting. Wood, metal and glass throughout complete the chic, industrial look. More light was brought in by tearing down the wall that separated the hotel from 4th St. Mark Hamister thanked local companies, Artone Manufacturing Co. for producing the high-quality furniture, and D&S Glass for the windows. Both companies used Jamestown labor.
“A project like this is more than construction. It’s furniture and fulfillment,” Hamister said.
Tavern and Restaurant
The DoubleTree by Hilton features Pearl City Hops Tavern on the first floor. The name is a nod to Jamestown’s past. The Tavern, and Pearl City Hops Restaurant, which is on the second floor, are both open seven days a week and people are welcome to stop by to enjoy a meal.
“On Friday and Saturday night the Tavern was full; it was nice to see people relaxing and enjoying,” said General Manager Brandon Wade.
Craft beer fans will find Southern Tier Brewing Company, Flying Bison, and Magic Hat on tap, and large screens to view sports games. The food is casual upscale, much like the hotel itself, but the prices are affordable for the area. Breakfast prices are $10 and under. Diners can expect appetizer and dinner menu items like Bison Short- Rib, Root Vegetable Pave, Beer Can Chicken, scratch-made French Onion Soup, and the hearty French-Canadian classic Poutine. Crown Street Roasting Co. coffee adds to the local experience.
“Our Chef, Matthew Ingrao, was from Jamestown but working in Florida. I brought him back. He adds a southern flair to the menu,” Wade said.
Wade said he’s ready to move forward, delighted with the building’s complete transformation. He is also pleased that weddings and other events are already being booked, offering the heart of downtown Jamestown as an added attraction, only a pleasant stroll from DoubleTree’s front door. “I’m most looking forward to Summer. Bring your bookings!”
There is a lot to look forward to; with over 140 rooms, a bromine indoor pool, and outdoor patio; the hotel is ready for weddings, sports teams, reunions, and offers prom packages. A large multi-purpose room and 80-inch TV with computer and skype capabilities sets them up for high tech business meetings.
Wade is partnering with Vince DeJoy to bring in more big events, and hopes the full-service hotel will help attract events to the city. The DoubleTree by Hilton is close to the Reg Lenna, Ice Arena, and Comedy Center, as well as other local restaurants and businesses. “A quote from General George S Patton that I like to tell my staff often,” Wade says, “‘Accept the challenges so you can feel the exhilaration of victory.’”
Jamestown Gazette readers are invited to type doubletree Jamestown in their favorite browser, call (716) 488-7227, visit DoubleTree by Hilton Jamestown on Facebook, or simply stop in at 150 W 4th St, Jamestown, NY 14701.