SARATOGA SPRINGS — After nearly 18 years owning the Saratoga Downtowner motel on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, Bill Asay and his wife, Mary Cae, have sold the business.
The property, located at 413 Broadway on the corner of Division Street, sold for $4.55 million to hotel management and development company Lark Hotels.
"We've been at it for almost 18 years, so it was time to make a change," Asay said.
The Greenfield Center resident said Lark Hotels would keep the motel's footprint as it is.
"They're going to put money into the building and make it more updated," he said. "I think they'll do a really nice job."
Lark Hotels boasts boutique properties, predominantly in New England, with hotels in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
CEO Rob Blood said he's not ready to reveal his full design plan for the 14,000-square-foot, 42-room motel.
"The design direction would rely heavily on the local cultural and arts community," he said. "Once our permitting process is complete, we expect the renovations to take about six to eight months."
Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen said that, when tourists come to the city, the Saratoga Downtowner is an attractive option for those who want to be in the heart of the city.
"I think they'll be very successful," she said. "The downtown core is key to the success of Saratoga Springs, just like our neighborhoods are, because it creates an ambiance and quality of life that we need to continue to keep in the front of our minds with every decision being made."
Yepsen added that the Asays installed solar panels over the motel's indoor pool.
"My hope for all properties in the city is that, whether they're in the country or in our downtown core, that we encourage and incentivize more renewable energies," she said.
Blood said Saratoga Springs has been on the company's radar for quite a long time.
"There are so many exciting things happening in the community, from great new restaurants to the robust art and music scene," he said. "We're very interested in being part of such a vibrant community and writing the next chapter in the Downtowner's history.
"We hope that the Downtowner becomes part of the cultural fabric of the community."
Asay said that, as the 31st annual Victorian Stroll nears on Nov. 30, the Saratoga Downtowner's parking lot would not have the kettle corn stand that has been run by his son, Cameron, since 2001.
"That won't be operational, because the kettle needs to be refurbished," he said, adding that the sale had nothing to do with the absence of the kettle corn stand.
Cameron could not be reached for comment Wednesday.