NIAGARA FALLS, NY – The Cataract City’s newest hotel is unique in several ways, not the least of which is that few of its rooms are the same.
Due to its location near Buffalo Avenue and The Niagara Scenic Parkway, many have been watching with great interest the transformation of a more than century old building, which was originally a chocolate factory, into a new Courtyard by Marriott.
The Patel family spent more than two years and close to $12 million to completely gut and repurpose the building, which most recently served as the headquarters of Moore Business Forms.
The structure, to which a third floor was also added, is now a sleek, upscale hotel with all the modern amenities travelers seek, including a pool and fitness center, along with a café and meeting spaces.
It took some ingenuity to run the utilities through concrete walls which are one and a half feet thick, but in the end, those challenges also resulted in the creation of accommodations the likes of which never existed in Niagara Falls, and perhaps anywhere else.
“It resulted in a situation where you have a unique set up in every single room type that you go in,” said Nirel Patel, whose family also owns another hotel in the Falls, and who with his business partner Matt Green, is continuing to redevelop the landmark Niagara Club.
“You have 82 rooms, but 67 different types of rooms when you take into account window configuration, ceiling height, and what not,” Patel said.
It’s also now the first hotel visitors now see when they enter the downtown area at John Daly Boulevard off the Niagara Scenic Parkway.
“When we first moved here in 1996, my father remarked that it would make a good location for a hotel someday, and now here we are, “ Patel said.
When Moore Business Forms vacated the property a few years ago, Patel recalls that his father was driving by with his mother on their way to dinner in Buffalo “just as the realtor was hammering the ‘for sale’ sign into the ground”. “He took down the number and called, and had the deal to purchase it basically hammered out in the parking lot of the restaurant they arrived at.”
The hotel began accommodating guests on August 13 during a “soft” opening, and plans to have a more formal ribbon cutting in the future.