New life for old hotel

It's been a long time since Bill Brooks has seen this much action around the Hotel Windham. Read more
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Whit

Rochester, VT

#1 Mar 19, 2010
Those who continuously cheer lead against the our course to success with Rockingham's downtown have long had two main refrains:

- The hotel has remained undeveloped (aside from ground-floor shops).

- There's no full sized grocery store.

Within a few months, we'll have both a redeveloped hotel building, and a new, full-sized grocery when Lisai's moves to the old A&P building. So what will they complain about now? Stay tuned. They'll never stop. Or even better, tune them out. This proves them wrong.
Good Start

Bellows Falls, VT

#2 Mar 19, 2010
The reporting is a little off. The town bought it ten years ago? I believe it was more like mid 90's. They were holding on to it to find the right owner to turn it into a hotel. In the emantime, it cost the town moey instead of producing tax dollars for the town.

I believe Elliot has had it 4 years and agreed to make it into a hotel within 2 years of having it been practically given to him by the taxpayers.. Now with tax breaks and the like, we're putting in a restaurant that will struggle in the community in which people don't have the disposable income to spend it there.
The economy is turning around? Come on...may be for you, but not for us. It seems like all the poeple involved in this venture will be ok whether this floats or not. Meanwhile, the unemployment line gets longer and the second massive wave of foreclosures are coming.
Same Old Same Old

Bellows Falls, VT

#3 Mar 19, 2010
Hey there's a new restaurant thats coming to BF that will have events and music and great food. Its going to revitalize the area. Its called Bocellis! Oh wait, sorry, wrong year.
NATTERINGNABOBSO FNEG

Cuttingsville, VT

#4 Mar 19, 2010
Do you know WHY people avoid Bellows Falls and WHY they don't want to move here? Read the last two posts and you'll have an answer. Attitude is everything to a community. In our community you have so many negative residents, it's almost like a black cloud is suspended over the Village of Bellows Falls. Tony Elliot has invested his own money in trying to turn this place around and he gets no thanks, no gratitude, no nothing except criticism, hostility and doubt. Obviously, he too has suffered from the economic downturn or this would have been done years ago. My business has suffered as well, but not once have I pointed a finger anywhere but at the people who created this.Go to other towns and Villages in New England and you'll see we are far better off than most people. The NNN's are really that stupid and can't see what vision and a better attitude can do for a place. These blogs alone are enough to prevent quality businesses from locating here. They, of course, read the local papers to get a sense of where they are moving. If I was thinking of relocating to So. Vermont and I read the Reformer for a month, I'd run screaming from this place like it was Amityville!
i dont get it

Keene, NH

#5 Mar 19, 2010
What is the difference here in opening up another cafe/restaurant?

Bocelli's (as referenced above), The coffee house cafe Wraevenwood (not sure if i spelled that right) now closed, and re opened again as another cafe, which has fantastic food, but i will give 2 years before their out of business because its BF. Now another one in the hotel? Anyone see a trend?
Eateries cannot survive without some kind of culture around them. People having a reason to come to the town. No one will be sitting at home at night and say, "you know what, we should go to BF for dinner." Nobody.

Well wait, in a few months, they can come to BF for dinner, and then catch a 3d movie that was released 6 months prior, but dont sit in the new balcony cause you have popcorn and a soda.

There are so many common sense fixes to this town, and everyone overlooks them to try and do something grand and huge that will eventually flop.

Posting this while banging my head against the wall repeatedly.
Ben Dover

Burlington, VT

#6 Mar 19, 2010
Whitney hear you go with your negative s@$%.This is the New York mentality you have.As locals we know what this Village used to be,so were used to a lot of ups and downs. It will be nice to have the Hotel , eatery and Grocery store.

You know in order to afford the extras we need good jobs and Industry here. We as locals can't afford Boccellis and Mediteranian Delights.

Whit I think any development here in our community is a plus, there just not a lot of locals who collect art and listen to jazz music.I don't consider it complaining , we just remember the good times here.

All the local stores you could buy anything you needed for your house or personal use.

I just can't wait until we put the Hotel on the tax base. It shouldn't be subsidized either , they got one hell of a deal on the building.

If we had jobs here like we did not to many years ago, it would make sense to have these luxuries .They would spend locally.
Same Old Same Old

Bellows Falls, VT

#7 Mar 19, 2010
People don't avoid a community because of a blogger's bad attitude. They come to a community for jobs or school. They then spend their money, if they have any leftover after taxes or rent, at clubs, bars, restaurants. The first post had a "see, you got a restaurant, what are you gonna complain about now" tone to it. This cannot go unchallenged.
When you see this story in the reformer time after time, you should note that these things don't last. The biggest story in today's paper is the yogurt factory that is digging ground. Creating jobs. BFers should ask, how can we attract something like that factory close to this village?
The State legislature should be asking,, how can we keep burton board and other jobs in this state? When that is answered then, not only will we have a restaurant that stays in business and flourishes, there will be one across the street competing with it. Then we can collect more taxes instead of reduce spending. And then people can afford to live here. People will have more money to spend.

Then what will we have to complain about?
Ben Dover

Burlington, VT

#8 Mar 19, 2010
Whit read the article about Brattleboro and the Yogurt company. This is what we need JOBS.

Vermont has become a playground for the rich. This is why locals can't afford to live here anymore.What is sad look at Burton leaving Vermont.The reason they said they couldn't afford to do business here any more.

This company started here years ago.They will keep some jobs here , it would of been nice to keep them all.

It is outsiders like your self who have wrecked Vermont. You want what you want ,it doesn't matter what we want.

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#9 Mar 19, 2010
It should be mentioned that these same three people involved in the development of the Windham are the folks that founded Sovernet. Though that business is now owned by a parent company, its still in the Village (and elsewhere) and is still one of the largest employers in the BF.

On another note, those who posted saying that folks don't come to BF to use their "disposable" income need only poke their head into any one of the many watering holes in the village to see their error. Its not just the offerings in town that matters..its the sort of patrons that vary from town to town.
dr phil

Epping, NH

#10 Mar 19, 2010
Speaking of new hotels. Whatever happened to the developement of the old tissue paper factory.
Seem to remember a gushing article a few years back about that building being rehabbed and turned into yet another diamond in the rough.
I hope everyone succeeds albeit on their own dollar.
Me Too

Walpole, NH

#11 Mar 19, 2010
You're talking about the Eco-resort down by the treatment plant? A destination for kayakers. Google: New York Times, Bellows Falls, McCallister Eco Resort, and you'll find an article about how BF's gritty craftiness, eccentricity and god knows whatever else BS is transforming an old mill into a hotel. After proclaiming something like that, McCallister should apologize or at least give us an update as to why there is no progress.

Maybe if these guys waited to go to the newspapers to tell how great they are until after they actually did it, it might be kind of a carrot. Never mind, they've already got their high fives and praise. Time to move on to the next project. Thanks for saving us with your money...can we get you a grant?
Overtaxed

Walpole, NH

#12 Mar 19, 2010
The Sovernet investors are to be commended for building a company up and making lots of money. They sold their product on "Vermonters for Vermonters" marketing. Thye created jobs for Vermonters.

Then they sold the company to an out of state corporation for millions. That was not for Vermonters, but it was for themselves. True capitalists. Who could blame them? Except they don't get to tout their "we're in it for Vermont" thing anymore.

I believe they were handed the hotel building because of that angle. Because they seemed to have alot of capital and were gung ho. Ever since the property passed from the town to them, they seem to have dipped only their pinky toe in it. We're going on multiple years here.

Go to it guys! Make it a hotel again with private capital for Vermonters! Be a tax paying/ water/sewer paying property to reduce all of our bills and create jobs, and have comfortable accomodations for visitors to stay.

Overtaxed

Walpole, NH

#13 Mar 19, 2010
How come I can't say gung h o? Do they censor Santa around here?

Since: Dec 09

Bellows Falls, VT

#14 Mar 19, 2010
Me Too wrote:
You're talking about the Eco-resort down by the treatment plant? A destination for kayakers. Google: New York Times, Bellows Falls, McCallister Eco Resort, and you'll find an article about how BF's gritty craftiness, eccentricity and god knows whatever else BS is transforming an old mill into a hotel. After proclaiming something like that, McCallister should apologize or at least give us an update as to why there is no progress.
Maybe if these guys waited to go to the newspapers to tell how great they are until after they actually did it, it might be kind of a carrot. Never mind, they've already got their high fives and praise. Time to move on to the next project. Thanks for saving us with your money...can we get you a grant?
Why you two haters have so much time on your hands to be putting down potential development in BF why don’t you Google “WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS”. This guy is an accomplished developer in the Metro D.C. market and a native. I’m sure he had big $ tied up in the real estate market like any other developer in 2008 so let’s give him a break. He dropped like $375k for the building and who knows what just to get to the point he is at. Oh, I think he is paying taxes on that building too. That building is a massive undertaking and when finished can be the trend setter we have needed for years. VT sells environment, tourism and ecology so he is targeting the right crowd. If you want to talk about grants then look at the $4.5 million dropped on 6 houses in the Village by RALT. Oh by the way at $225k per rental unit reno cost you basically have to be section 8 in order to qualify to live there. So my summary is quite simple; lets’ support the people putting their own personal cash and time on the line to make this a better place to live.
Me Too

Walpole, NH

#15 Mar 19, 2010
I am not putting down the people. I am calling out the BS. "Potential development" has been "potential" for years. The New York Times article and the abc sunday morning show profile on the McCallister/ eco-hotel project in 2008 made it sound like his development was happening imminently. And come to think of it, I saw Tony Elliot in the front page of the newspaper years ago sitting in front of the Windham Hotel like he was going to transform its fate as well. The inference was SOON and WITH HIS OWN MONEY.

I think we neeed to hold them to it, unless they are willing to retract their bold assertions. I have to read it, so I get to comment on it.
Count me out

Hardwick, VT

#16 Mar 20, 2010
Count me out they are slick talking shysters that worked a sweetheart deal with the town and us the locals paid through the nose for years.

Do you see any local companies NOW doing the rehab? The original partner made money he sold his interest for hundreds of thousands of dollars and made the locals crawl for their money when it came to paying up.

Tony you want to invest in a community then hire local companies but from what I have seen the past months you wont get my families business and quite a few others to
Jamey Berrick

Kincardine, Canada

#17 Mar 20, 2010
I believe Woodstone Co. is a local Co. repairing the Windows and Doors?

I believe it is a local Electrical Contractor doing the wiring?

I believe it is local business owners that will be helping renovate as well as operate the restaurant?

I welcome any group that comes forward to try to bring Business + Growth to the Town as well as the Village. Thank you all for your hard work and determination to move the Project forward.
Unsure if we will be able to do the same with the Naysayers.

I guess we need not look too far to see why we as a community are unable to attract more business to our area.
CTP

Bellows Falls, VT

#18 Mar 20, 2010
Same Old Same Old wrote:
Hey there's a new restaurant thats coming to BF that will have events and music and great food. Its going to revitalize the area. Its called Bocellis! Oh wait, sorry, wrong year.
And when Boccelli's was active, it did exactly that; so, what's your point?
Same Old Same Old

Bellows Falls, VT

#19 Mar 20, 2010
Bocellis didn't even revitalize itself, let alone have any ripple effect in the community. It was open part time and closed within 4 years of opening. The point is, I don't blame the individuals for trying. Not at all. But when the creative economy propaganda keeps churning, and all we need to do is dump tax money into something and it will fly, we need to point out that that is not true. This community is in desperate need of something more. Don't raise the victory flag up on the creative economy yet. In fact, Bellows Falls has proven it is a failed concept.
count me out

Hardwick, VT

#20 Mar 21, 2010
Jamey you are in Canada right now and misinformed on local issues. Look forward to see you at Nicks soon.

Wood stone is owned by one of the partners so they are selling windows to themselves.

This group is taking very minimal risks for what they promised and in the process shafting locals

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