Massive tent allows work to continue on Hampton Inn project in Potsdam
Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 2:59 pm

Looking inside the tent at the Hampton Inn construction site, one can see it covers a huge area, including the hotel’s entire footprint.

POTSDAM – Visions Hotels has put up a big tent at the site of their Hampton Inn project on Market Street to keep the winter out while they get a jump on the building season, hoping for an opening in July.

“It’s a 25-meter 19-bay Hocker,” said Julius Steinbrook of the Ohio company putting up the tent.

Steinbrook said Hocker tents are used for big parties and other outdoor events, and as temporary warehouses. In this case, it covers the footprint of the hotel to keep the winter weather out.

When the tent setup is complete, heaters will be brought in “to allow us to continue operations” despite the cold weather, said Dave Bloomfield of Visions Hotels, the Corning-based owners of the new hotel.

“We have to get the frost out of the ground,” Bloomfield said. “That will take about a week.” Then they will excavate inside of the footers installed last fall, “we’ll start the plumbing and pour the slab. Then we’ll take the tent off and start building vertical.”

“We’re hoping to open in July,” Bloomfield said.

Between now and then, 35 to 40 sub-contracting companies will put in work on the project, from pouring the slab and paving the parking lot to the interior finish.

The 95-room Hampton Inn on the 3.44 acre lot at 167 Market St., just south of McDonald’s, will be the first chain hotel in Potsdam, something village leaders have sought for decades to help with crowds of visitors during college graduations, alumni events and sports tournaments.

The plan to build the hotel was announced in November 2012, and Andy Patel of Visions Hotels began buying up the lots needed, including Scoopuccino, Ton’s Sports Bar, and Village Florist, and arranging financing, which Patel said would total $6 million to $7 million.