Saratoga Springs

Gideon Putnam reopens following four-month closure

A water main break on Jan. 15 forced the Saratoga Spa State Park hotel to close
Paul Jeppson, of Delaware North, and Alane Ball Chinian, of NYS Parks, look over equipment in the basement of the Gideon Putnam.
Paul Jeppson, of Delaware North, and Alane Ball Chinian, of NYS Parks, look over equipment in the basement of the Gideon Putnam.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Gideon Putnam hotel in Saratoga Spa State Park reopened Tuesday after being closed since Jan. 15 because of a water main break that flooded the hotel’s basement.

The re-opening date was postponed three times since the closure. 

Paul Jeppson, regional vice president of Delaware North, a hospitality company that operates the hotel resort for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the water main break was a result of an old pipe failing. 

“When the water main burst, it pumped 275,000 gallons of water into the basement,” he said. “There was 11 feet of flooding, and the entire mechanical area was submerged.”

Jeppson said it took less than a week to pump the water out of the basement and more than a month to remove all the mechanical equipment and sanitize the area. 

Delaware North decided to renovate the hotel’s guest rooms, bathrooms, corridors, restaurant and lobby while repairing the basement. 

“It was an opportune time, because we have the least occupancy during the winter, so we took advantage,” Jeppson said. 

All 124 guest rooms were outfitted with new carpeting, paint and blinds, as well as renovated bathrooms.

Saratoga Springs artist Frankie Flories painted three murals on the hotel’s second, third and fourth floors. The murals depict horse racing, the New York City Ballet and the “Spit and Spat” fountain in Congress Park.  

The lobby area was also painted and restored, and Putnam’s Restaurant received new carpeting and other enhancements.

Executive Chef Luca Brunelle released a new menu at Putnam’s Restaurant, which features a vegan burger, salmon with beet noodles and pork carnitas tacos, among other items. 

Delware North spent a total of $2 million on renovations. The cost of repairs because of the water main break has yet to be determined, as work is continuing in the basement. 

Madaleine Cole and her husband, Glenn, of Pleasant Valley, were the first to check into the Gideon Putnam after its Tuesday morning re-opening. 

“We would’ve come over the winter,” Cole said. “We love the staff, the building, the history of the area, the spa and trails.”

Cole, who last visited the Gideon Putnam in July, said they were invited by Delaware North to the hotel’s grand opening. 

“Hopefully many other old-timers and new people will see what they’re all about,” she said of the hotel’s re-opening. 

Approximately 40 events had to be relocated to other facilities or canceled outright because of the closure, Delaware North spokesman Glen White said. 

During that time, 70 hotel employees were temporarily laid off. The spa and maintenance departments remained operational.

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