Horse Racing

Roth and Dubb Bring a New Level of Luxury to Downtown Saratoga

While racing draws thousands of visitors to Saratoga Springs each summer, its biggest draw day in and day out, 12 months a year, is its bustling, charming downtown. The city is steeped in history, dating back to the 1770s, and its Victorian style lends a charm that Saratoga not only strives to maintain, but also regularly mandates through rules of historic preservation.

Two buildings on Broadway in Saratoga Springs are currently undergoing a major makeover without losing their historic charm. Adelphi Hotel, which has recently undergone a major renovation, will be merged with the adjacent Rip Van Dam hotel, expanding the number of luxury hotel rooms from 33 to 78 rooms and adding an additional 85 luxury apartments for Rip Van Dam.

Larry Roth, a wife and daughter partner at LNJ Foxwoods Stable, said: “We bought Adelphi around 2013. “It was me and another group that was no longer associated with Adelphi. Adelphi at the time was a rundown hotel. It is owned by two individuals who graduated from Skidmore probably in the 1960s. They have hotels that are only open two months a year. For the remaining 10 months of the year, they will travel the world looking for antiques and bring them back to the hotel. So when we bought the hotel in 2013, it was literally demolished, filled with thousands of antiques, and we decided we were going to run it for a year or two and then we I will renovate it”.

The appeal of Saratoga and its offerings has extended beyond the racetrack.

In a small geographic area of ​​just 28 square miles, the City of Saratoga Springs boasts the oldest operating racecourse in the United States, a mining track and casino, a 2,379-acre state park, four golf courses, a premier concert and ballet and orchestra venue. , a 6,178-square-mile lake, mineral springs and historic baths, two colleges, and a 171-bed hospital.

In 1977, the Saratoga Springs Conservancy was formed in part in response to the construction of a shopping mall just north of the city limits. By protecting historic facades and downtown buildings, Broadway and its adjoining streets have continued to sustain viable retail businesses and restaurants and pubs. famous when many central suburban districts were exhausted.

Adelphi’s initial renovation took years and was two or three times what the team expected to pay, Roth said, but it reopened in 2017 with a lot of rejoicing. welcome. But looming south of Adelphi is Rip Van Dam, which has been through a tumultuous period of revenue and has suffered from what appears to be a lack of vision and funding. For Roth, they bought Van Dam in need of repair on a similar scale. His partners do not share the vision.

“Their philosophy is not the same as mine,” says Roth. “I told them I think we should buy the Rip Van Dam because the Rip Van Dam has a lot of assets. Someone is going to build something there, a hotel, an apartment building, and you don’t want to really compete with another hotel. They told me, “You’re wrong, no one will build there.”

So in 2019, Roth bought out his partners, became the sole owner of Adelphi, and bought Rip Van Dam.

“That’s when Michael [Dubb] Roth said. “I know Mike in the horse business and I know he’s a great builder. So I thought it would be good to find out if he would like to work with me, to be my partner on this project.”

Dubb said: “Larry and I have known each other for many years. “And we have a very close mutual friend. And, you know, when Larry bought the exact Rip Van Dam property to protect his investment in Adelphi so he could control it, and it was a very smart move.

“It is a big job. And with my knowledge of Saratoga, my years in Saratoga, and my knowledge of construction, have built buildings like this before, although not 180 buildings. five years old, Larry thought it was a good idea for us to talk. And that’s how the partnership was born.”

“Our vision is just one of the most luxurious five-star hotels, restaurants, one destination for people from New York City, Boston, Montreal, Buffalo,” says Roth. “All are roughly equal distances, about three hours by car from those locations. And just to have the number one destination in the Northeast.”

“For any city, a vibrant downtown is very important,” said two-term Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Joanne Yepsen. “The city is successful because we care deeply about historic preservation and we have an appointed design review committee that oversees the proposed development on the basis of zoning and planning.

“This project is a diamond in the rough,” says Dubb. “Saratoga is arguably the best small town or city in the State of New York. It’s a one-of-a-kind town, and this is a one-of-a-kind project right in the center of town. The plan we came up with was to model this after The Plaza in New York City, where you have a five-star hotel, but you also have a home. And those who live in residential areas can avail and avail all the services of the hotel. So here, there are two restaurants here that they will walk directly through the building. There will be a gym. There will be lounges for guests and owners, a business center and underground parking. “

The plan for the condominium units will be a mix of luxury studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units equipped with hardwood floors, modern kitchens, great appliances, tiled bathrooms. marble and cast details. Each owner will have their own storage unit and a coveted parking lot underneath the building. The hotel’s new rooms will mirror existing rooms at Adelphi.

“The hotel units will be and obviously are very, very, very, very high-end luxury units,” said Dubb. “So there will be heated bathroom floors, automatic blinds, lounge style. Some of the new hotel rooms will have private rooms and just have all the services and all the luxury you would expect in a five star hotel. “

In addition to the hotel’s new rooms and housing, there have been significant changes and upgrades to the hotel’s common areas, with more in the plan.

“We have increased the ballroom space. So capacity has increased from about 125 people to 225 people,” Dubb said. “That project is done. We scaled up Morrisey’s, adding in-house dining rooms and a sushi bar. And that project is done. The Salt and Char restaurant, which is part of the building, is in phase one and the interior of the current Salt and Char has been completely rebuilt. But as construction progresses, there will be another dining room, about 800 square feet – modern. You know, with a real steakhouse feel, with great food.

“In the original Adelphi, part of the lobby space was lost to the kitchen. The kitchen is transitioning to a new structure. So Adelphi’s foyer now, which is beautiful, will double in size. “

While both Dubb and Roth have deep trust in the upper echelons of the equine business, they are committed to the City of Saratoga and its growing year-round clientele with the Adelphi-Van Dam project. Underground parking for 100 cars, major streets and sidewalks, and infrastructure improvements add to the entire downtown experience. And both partners are optimistic about the long-term success of the project beyond the racing months.

“It’s not just the racing industry,” Roth said. “We were very busy even during the off-season. Our occupancy rate during off-season can reach around 70%. Throughout the season we are running very close to 100%. Obviously, the period of July and August is the peak for us. But the rest of the year, for a year and a half, the last two years, has been really excellent. “

Preserving the facades and historic feel of the buildings seems to be more a passion of the partners than a requirement of the city.

“The architecture and the characters are both beautiful. One great thing about Saratoga is its intense dedication to preserving its historic feel and historic character,” says Dubb. “You really feel like you’re going back to the early 1900s, to the late 1800s. And one thing we’ve worked hard to do is preserve the entire facade of the existing Rip Van Dam hotel. And before, Larry did the same thing with the Adelphi Hotel. So from the street, you know, I see paintings of this century, not this century, last century. And the facade will be exactly the same as it was then.”

“Towns are very pro-historic sites here,” says Roth. “We’ve been to the board a number of times to show them what we’re doing. We made some modifications after they asked us to make some of the changes they wanted us to make and we followed through with what they wanted us to do.”

What is the timeline?

“Once we’ve completed Salt and Char, we’ll be looking for the next set of hotel rooms, some online later this fall, others just in time for the season,” Dubb said. ‘ said Dubb. “And then there will be the construction of 85 apartments. We are looking at a timeframe for completion which is around 18 months. So we’re going to look at the whole thing at the beginning of 24″.

The appeal of Saratoga Springs, two hotels steeped in American history, and the racing industry at Spa seemed to give Roth and Dubb a sense of deep pride in the project. We could feel it as we walked around the busy establishment while they interacted with the staff and patrons. Individually and together, they appear relaxed and excited about what seems like a big job (and crater) in the middle of downtown.

“The combination, first Adelphi, then Rip Van Dam and the adjoining land, is truly a unique opportunity to bring two historic, legendary buildings together into one,” said Dubb. . “A modern five-star luxury hotel and building – nothing like this really exists in Saratoga and very few places like this exist anywhere in New York. So this is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity. And when Larry contacted me about it, you know, my relationship with Saratoga lasted 50 years. And so, I’ve been walking past these hotels for 50 years. I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to be involved and really make a difference in Saratoga City.”

“I don’t think I could have picked a better partner,” says Roth. “First of all, he is a great friend. I think we have the same vision. We think the same. Being with him for the past two years on this project, I learned a lot from him about construction, and I think even our contractor learned a lot from Michael. He made a lot of proposals to our contractor, and it was a success. “

“I told Larry when we started, it was going to be a very difficult two years to build the building,” Dubb said. “COVID turned that into three and a half years. So it is a challenge. I think we enjoyed the challenge and I know when it’s all said and done, Larry and I will be standing on Broadway, looking up and just being the two proudest boys in Saratoga. “

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