BOLTON LANDING - With the arrival of spring, there's a rush of new activity in town, which includes the Sagamore Resort gearing up to reopen to the public and businesses preparing for the summer season.
The Sagamore had downsized its operations for the past four winter months as they conducted extensive renovations - and faced reduced reservations due to the national economic slump.
In Late December, they closed down accommodations to individual visitors, but operated as needed to accommodate special events.
About 200 workers were laid off, but they were invited back this week to return for seasonal positions.
The Sagamore held a job fair Saturday, and dozens of people turned out, Sagamore employees said.
Over the past three months, the resort upgraded its facilities, which included adding 33 rooms in their main hotel, a national historic structure.
The famed Trillium Restaurant and executive administration wing was renovated to accommodate the new rooms. The operations of the Trillium were combined with their main dining room.
Also, a new outdoor pool was constructed, adjacent to the existing indoor pool.
Bolton Supervisor Kathleen Simmes said Monday she was encouraged by the upgrades to the property and the fact that employees were soon going back to work.
The Sagamore plans to resume full operations April 24.
"We are all absolutely looking forward to the Sagamore reopening," she said. "It's good to see people in the region going back to work at good jobs - And I'm dying to see their new pool and suites."
The purchase of the Sagamore Resort by Ocean Properties, Inc. brought a surprise benefit to the residents of Bolton - the unexpected repayment of $4 million to the town representing the proceeds of a revolving loan bankrolled decades ago by federal grants.
The town is now figuring out what to do with the money, and a committee of local citizens was appointed April 7 by the town board to develop recommendations.
Appointed to the panel were Ike Wolgin, son of former Sagamore developer Norman Wolgin; philanthropist, adventurer and entrepreneur J. Buckley Bryan; Bolton Planning Board member Sue Wilson; town resident Ron Conover; and retired businessman Craig Hannon.
Ideas discussed to date for spending the windfall include offsetting the expenses of the town water district, Simmes said.
Ever since the water filtration plant was built in the mid-1990s for about $2 million, the 800 Bolton households in the water district are paying an "exorbitant" amount for water service, she said.
While the Sagamore was gearing up this week, business owners around town were sprucing up, expanding and getting ready for summer, she said.
The owner of the kayak shop on Main St. is expanding his building into three storefronts and developing apartments upstairs, she said. Plus, Cate's Italian Garden restaurant is expanding to accommodate a pizza shop.
"There are signs of life everywhere as people are opening up their businesses and cleaning up their properties," she said. "Also there's now a lot of traffic through town."