The developers who resurrected The Sagamore resort are preparing to sell the iconic structure on Lake George to a Florida company.
Twenty-five years after Philadelphia developer Norman Wolgin acquired the dilapidated Sagamore at Bolton Landing and turned it into a world-class resort, its partners have entered a sales agreement with Ocean Properties. The prospective buyer is the nation’s largest privately owned franchise of hotels and resorts.
Wolgin’s Green Island Associates announced the pending deal Friday. It said representatives of Ocean Properties, based in Delray Beach, Fla., will visit the 125-year-old Adirondack resort over the next few weeks to complete their due diligence.
“[W]e believe Ocean Properties is a great fit for The Sagamore, its employees and the community given their forty years of experience as owners and operators of other historic and resort properties,” Green Island said in a statement.
After buying the property that sits on a 70-acre island in 1983, Wolgin put The Sagamore through a $75 million renovation. The 350-room resort reopened in 1985 after being closed for four years. It underwent $20 million more in renovations between 2002 and 2004. The resort employs 800 during its peak summer season.
Green Island is a partnership operated by Wolgin and his father, Ike. Kennington Limited in Los Angeles is another Sagamore partner.
The deal would provide Ocean Properties with its first New York hotel. It owns 100 properties throughout North America, including 10 in Maine and four in New Hampshire. Many of them operate under the Marriott, Westin, Hilton, Sheraton and Holiday Inn brands. Some of Ocean Properties’ historic holdings include the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, and the Carambola Beach Resort in St. Croix. That experience with historic properties pleased others around Lake George.
“That certainly is a benefit to the property because it’s unique. It’s the icon for the area,” said Luisa Craig-Sherman, the executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce.
An Ocean Properties representative on Wednesday informed Bolton Landing Supervisor Kathleen Simmes of the company’s interest in The Sagamore. Two days earlier, she received a visit from Ike Wolgin, who informed her about the pending sale. The deal could close by next month, Simmes said.
Ike Wolgin told Simmes the sale of The Sagamore would enable Green Island to pay back the $4 million it owes the town. That debt stems from Urban Development Action Grant funds Bolton Landing had provided the resort with in the 1980s.
Neither Ike nor Norman Wolgin could be reached for comment. Ocean Properties spokesman Kerry Morrisey declined to comment on the sale. Green Island said both parties are contractually prohibited from providing more information on the sale at the current time.